April 14, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Visiting UC Irvine defeated UC Santa Barbara in a hard-fought Big West tennis showdown on Saturday afternoon at the Recreation Center Courts, 4-3. The Anteaters improve to 3-0 in league play while the Gauchos fall to 2-2.
UCI began the afternoon by winning two of three doubles contests to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Anteaters' Aron Yovan and Mustafa Ulukan defeated Bijan Hejazi and Jack Hui at No. 1 doubles, 8-3, and then Trevor Dobson and Victor Lamm battled to an 8-6 win over Josh Finkelstein and Nigel Barton at No. 3. The Gauchos No. 2 tandem of Anders Dalskov and Grant Robertson produced an 8-5 win over Zac Tsai and Andrei Radulescu, but the damage was done.
At No. 1 singles, UCI's Yovan struggled to a 7-5 win in the first set against Hejazi, but closed it out in the second set with a 6-1 win. His victory gave the Anteaters a 2-0 lead and then Dobson battled to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over Jack Hui at No. 4, giving his team a 3-0 edge in the match.
UCSB pulled to within 3-1 when Finkelstein won a three-setter over Shimpei Suzuki, 6-1, 1-6, 7-5. The Anteaters clinched victory when Ulukan defeated Philip Therp at No. 3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The Gauchos' Dalskov and Robertson won at No. 2 and No. 6 singles as UCI players retired in the third set.
"This was a very, very close match and it could have gone either way," commented UCSB head coach Marty Davis. "Both teams were very determined and played at a high level.
The loss drops the Gauchos to 3-16 overall and 2-2 in the Big West. Irvine improves to 10-9 overall and 3-0 in league play. UCSB will host UC Riverside at the Recreation Center Courts in another key Big West match at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
"Hopefully the squad will regroup before tomorrow's final Big West match," Davis said. "If we win, we will secure the third-seed at the all important conference tournament. Now, that is what we are aiming for and we remain optimistic that we can earn a second straight invitation to the NCAA Tournament."
UC Irvine 4, UC Santa Barbara 3
#1 Aron Yovan UCI def. Bijan Hejazi UCSB 7-5, 6-1 #2 Anders Dalskov UCSB def. Victor Lamm 7-6,5-6 ret. #3 Mustafa Ulukan UCI def.Philip Therp UCSB 4-6,6-4,6-4 #4 Trevor Dobson UCI def. Jack Hui UCSB 6-4,3-6,6-4 #5 Josh Finkelstein UCSB def. Shimpei Suzuki UCI 6-2,1-6,7-5 #6 Grant Robertson UCSB def. Zac Tsai UCI 2-6,6-4,4-4 ret.
Doubles #1 Yovan/Ulukan UCI def. Hejazi/Hui UCSB 8-3 #2 Dalskov/Robertson UCSB def. Tsai/Radulescu 8-5 #3 Dobson/Lamm UCI def. Finkelstein/Barton UCSB 8-6
Order of finish for doubles: 1, 2, 3 Order of finish for singles: 1, 4, 5, 3, 2, 6