April 18, 2009
Indian Wells, Calif. - The No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team crawled back into the semi-final match against top-seeded Pacific Saturday morning to capture a thrilling 4-3 victory and advance to the Big West Championship. Scott Hohenstein snapped the 3-3 tie to give the Gauchos the come-from-behind victory and a shot at the Big West crown tomorrow vs. No. 2 seed UC Irvine at 9 a.m.
The Gauchos battled through the sweltering heat to collect two wins in doubles play at the No. 1 and No. 2 slots. On center court, Alex Konigsfeldt and Josh Finkelstein rolled to an easy 8-3 victory over Renan Delsin and Moritz Starke while the duo of Evan Jurgensen and Scott Hohenstein topped Artem Gramma and Karl-Erik Paaro, 8-6.
The UCSB men gave the lead right back as Mathieu Forget and Taylor Chavez Goggin both dropped their matches. The Tigers extended their lead to 3-1 after Artem Gramma routed Finkelstein in straight sets.
"We lost the first set in all six singles matches," coach Marty Davis said. "We've never come back from a match like this before. But then we started to turn it around by barely winning one set here and another set there."
With a 3-1 Pacific advantage, the Gauchos rallied back just in time. UCSB added a point when Moritz Starke had to retire with leg cramps against Konigsfeldt. The Gauchos knotted the match at 3 apiece after Max Taylor downed Vegerd Veskimagi, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Taylor has had great success in the Big West tournament over his career, improving his individual record to 8-0.
Then, Hohenstein put his team on his back and captured a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 come-from-behind win against Delsin at the No. 3 position. The win gives the Gauchos their fourth straight look at the Big West title.
1. Finkelstein/Konigsfeldt (UCSB) def. Delsin/Starke - 8-3
2. Hohenstein/Evan Jurgensen (UCSB) def. Gramma/Paaro - 8-6
3. Ryan Kim/Kuehne (PAC) vs. Nick Caledonia/Chavez Goggin (UCSB) - DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1
1. Alex Konigsfeldt (UCSB) def. Moritz Starke (PAC) - 6-7 (6), 6-3, 1-0 (ret.)
2. Artem Gramma (PAC) def. Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) - 7-5, 6-4
3. Scott Hohenstein (UCSB) def. Renan Delsin (PAC) - 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
4. Max Taylor (UCSB) def. Vegerd Veskimagi (PAC) - 5-7, 7-5, 6-0
5. Karl-Erik Paaro (PAC) def. Taylor Chavez Goggin (UCSB) - 6-3, 6-2
6. Christina Kuehne (PAC) def. Mathieu Forget (UCSB) - 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 2, 1, 4, 3