The UCSB men’s tennis team outplayed Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon at home to notch their first win of the season in convincing fashion, five games to two.
The Gauchos started strong by soundly winning two of the three doubles matches played. The intensity Santa Barbara established in doubles play helped them overpower the Lions in singles play.
"We prepared a lot and worked hard this week to get ready," UCSB sophomore J.J. Stewart said. "We had a lot more confidence coming into this match. Everybody was fired up to play."
Junior co-captain Marcin Kosakowski exemplified the Gauchos’ spirited play in his singles match against Lions sophomore Ryan Gerstner. Kosakowski won the first set of the match quickly six games to two. However, Kosakowski found himself in a hole early in the second set, behind 3-5. Undaunted, Kosakowski clawed his way back to a 5-5 tie before winning the second and deciding set with seven games to five.
"The crowd at the match really helped me through the second set," Kosakowski said. "I had played [Gerstner] before and actually lost to him, so I really wanted to beat him. I couldn’t have come back in that second set without those guys cheering me on."
Even though the crowd was not large, they had a definite effect on the match. A half dozen or so rowdy Gaucho supporters cheered continuously, rattling the Lions and firing up the home squad.
Kosakoski and Stewart defeated Lions senior Carsten Bitschkus and sophomore Leopold Graeubig eight games to one in doubles action. Gaucho freshmen Scott Shnugg and Alex Yaftali defeated sophomores Michael Levin and Iman Nilipour 8-1. Freshman Mike Placek and senior David Angert lost to Lions sophomore Johannes Asuja and freshman Beau Bergland.
Stewart beat Graeubig in singles play, winning the first set 6-3, losing the second set 1-6, before winning the third set 6-4. Schnugg defeated Bitschkus 6-2, 6-0 in his singles match. Placek lost to Asuja 6-3, 4-6, 3-6. Angert lost to Beglund 6-7, 6-7. Yaftali defeated Lions senior Erik Nelson Kortland 6-2 in the first set and 6-4 in the second set.
"Even though my day wasn’t so great, the team played really well," Placek said. "We were determined to go out and win. We felt ourselves playing better."
The Gauchos will host #73 Georgia Tech on Saturday, Jan. 10, at noon.
"[Georgia Tech] is a really tough team," Stewart said. "We need to go in there and see what we can do. We have a lot of confidence right now. Everybody is looking forward to playing."