Home was good to Gaucho men’s tennis for the first time this season yesterday, as the #65 Gauchos defeated #48 Hawaii 5-2 for the team’s first home win of 2011.
[media-credit name=”Cedar Lay” align=”alignleft” width=”177″][/media-credit] A three-game road trip that preceded Sunday’s match was less successful for UCSB (3-6 overall, 1-0 Big West). The team went 1-2 over the three matches, losing to Berkeley and Santa Clara. The Gauchos did, however, take out UC Davis in their lone win — also a Big West match.
UCSB jumped off to a quick start against the Rainbow Warriors, taking the doubles point after seniors Alex Konigsfeldt and Taylor Chavez Goggin caught fire to take their match 8-5. The team stumbled at the top of singles play, with sophomore Benjamin Recknagel falling to Dennis Lajola 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 at #1 singles and Konigsfeldt losing to Leo Rosenberg 6-4, 6-1.
Although the Gauchos dropped both of those matches, their depth was on display yesterday as UCSB took each of the next four matches to defeat Hawaii overall.
“There’s not much disparity between the team’s level in ability,” Chavez Goggin said. “The guys all put in a lot of hard work and it’s nice to see it pay off in our first home win.”
Chavez Goggin was especially impressive for the Gauchos in the match, taking the doubles match as well as at #3 singles against Hawaii’s Jeremy Tweedt by a score of 6-1, 6-1.
“I was feeling it today, but a lot of it has to do with the hard work that I put in and at practice too,” Chavez Goggin said of the victory. “I broke him the first game and never looked back; I just kept my foot on the pedal and didn’t give him a chance.”
Sunday’s win could not have come at a better time for Head Coach Marty Davis’ squad, which was reeling after a flurry of early-season tests against some of the nation’s top teams. With pre-season goals of climbing into the nation’s top 40, UCSB will attempt to parlay one solid day into a winning streak. A five-game homestand awaits the Gauchos in the coming weeks, including two Big West matchups.
The first of those comes on March 4 against UC Irvine. Play is set to begin at the Rec Cen Courts at 1:30 p.m. before the team hosts UC Riverside two days later.