The UCSB men’s tennis team was beaten soundly Tuesday afternoon by #13 USC 7-0.
The Gauchos failed to win a match against the Trojans in singles or doubles play. Freshman netters Scott Schnugg and Alex Yaftali lost a close doubles match against USC junior Andrew Park and freshman Damien Spiezo, 9-8. This match was the highlight of a long afternoon for an overwhelmed Santa Barbara team.
“[The Trojans] were a very crafty team,” Schnugg said. “The style they played was very different. They always made us hit one more shot than we wanted to. They really played with their brains on the court.”
Santa Barbara junior co-captain Marcin Kosakowski and sophomore J.J. Stewart also lost a close doubles match against a very good USC doubles team of juniors Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey, 8-6. The Gauchos struggled even further in singles play. No Santa Barbara player won a set in any of the six singles matches played.
“USC played really tough,” junior co-captain Marcio Pepe said. “We had a chance to win some doubles matches, but when we didn’t it really discouraged us. We tried to do too much. We gave them too many free points.”
UCSB redshirt freshman Jerome Chan and freshman Mike Placek lost their doubles match 8-6. Stewart was defeated in singles play by the Trojans’ top player Park, 6-3, 6-0. Kosakowski lost his singles match to Moore 6-4, 6-2. Schnugg lost to Spiezo 6-4, 6-3. Rainey defeated Placek in singles play, 6-1, 6-2. Yaftali lost to USC freshmen Ruben Torres 6-0, 6-0, and Pepe lost his match to Trojan sophomore Parker Collins 6-4 in the first set and 6-3 in the second set.
“It was frustrating to look up on the score board and see everybody losing,” Schnugg said. “It brings everyone down. I guess it’s kind of a cop out, but it affected our play.”
Santa Barbara’s next game is at home against Loyola Marymount this Saturday. After losing their last two matches, the Gauchos find themselves at a crucial juncture in the season.
“[Loyola Marymount] is a must-win match,” Kosakowski said. “It being a home game should raise our level of play. We need to get the ball rolling.”