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The UCSB men’s tennis team closed out their fall schedule this weekend with the UCSB Classic, a three-day home tournament in which it captured the title in seven of the nine flights.
Westmont won the two flights that the Gauchos lost, taking second place in the tournament.
“That was surprising,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “We thought LMU would take second.”
On Friday, the Gauchos rolled out of the gates to win seven of their nine matches, all against UCSD. In the doubles A Flight, senior Taylor Chavez Goggin and junior Mathieu Forget flattened UCSD in an 8-2 rout in their first doubles match of the tournament.
“That win was a good way to start off the tournament,” Chavez Goggin said. Matt and I both went 6-0 [in the tournament] and we were both serving well. It makes doubles so much easier when you’re used to your partner.”
Senior Evan Jurgensen and freshman Axel Bouillin also won their doubles match for the day with a convincing 8-4 win in the B Flight, but the team of sophomore Max Glenn and junior Alex Johnson wasn’t as fortunate after losing a 9-8 heartbreaker in the C Flight. UCSB’s only other loss of the day would come in singles play in the G Flight when Vincent Nguyen beat Bouillin in two sets, 7-6 and 6-4.
In singles play, Forget and Chavez Goggin again led the charge. In his first match in the A Flight, Forget fell behind after losing the first set 4-6 to Erik Elliot, but then came roaring back to take the next two sets, both by a score of 6-2.
“He just settled down,” Assistant Head Coach Blake Muller said. “The guy had a really good forehand so [Mathieu] just wore him down.”
Chavez Goggin won his first match, which came against Chapman Chan, in two sets, 6-3 and 6-4, but the real gem on the day came from Jurgensen, who decimated Max Dutreix in a two set (6-2, 6-1) win in the C Flight.
“He played well and he served well,” Muller said. “The guy struggled with the high forehand and Evan stayed up there.”
The Gauchos went on to win all nine of their matches on Saturday without losing a set, including Forget’s 6-0, 6-0 routing of LMU’s Daniel Simko in the A Flight.
“I had a really good win on the first day and that really boosted my confidence,” Forget said. “I just played solid. I felt really good about myself. I played simple and relaxed.”
Alex Johnson also managed to stand out on a day when all the Gauchos played outstanding matches. Facing Jack Zapala in the F Flight, Johnson came within two games of replicating Forget’s achievement as he won both of his sets 6-1.
“I think Alex is still trying to get comfortable a little bit since it’s his first year at UCSB,” Muller said. “But he never let up and he never let the guy believe he had a chance.”
Santa Barbara closed the tournament as it had opened it: by winning seven of their nine matches to bring their total up to 23 wins out of 27 possible for the weekend.
“I think our guys are all playing well,” Muller said. “They’ll come back ready to play after the break. We have a tough start to the schedule. How we play in those first few matches will say a lot.”
The Gauchos will not see action again until the regular season starts when they travel to Pepperdine on Jan. 22.