The UCSB men’s tennis team heads north this weekend to face Big West foe Pacific on Saturday and Fresno State on Sunday in a nonconference match.
UCSB has a 3-1 conference record, but holds an 8-9 overall record after going 3-2 over Spring Break. Last Monday, they swept a double-header after beating #71 Dartmouth 4-2 and Eastern Washington 7-0. At the BYU invitational, they lost 4-1 to #33 BYU and 4-0 to #48 UNC Wilmington but defeating William and Mary 4-2.
“We’ve played a really tough schedule,” said Head Coach Marty Davis, who noted that all nine of the team’s losses were to opponents ranked in the nation’s top 50. “We’re probably better than people realize at this point.”
In the two matches of the double-header, sophomore Benjamin Recknagel and junior Mathieu Forget went undefeated on the day, with Recknagel defeating Dartmouth’s Michael Laser 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in No. 1 singles, and Forget 7-6, 6-2 in the fourth slot. Against Eastern Washington, the two paired up to win the No. 2 doubles and Forget won at No. 3 singles, beating Mario Navarro 6-0, 6-3.
“I’m pretty happy with my tennis right now,” said Forget. “It was a really good win for me. I knew that if I kept playing my tennis I could beat practically anyone.”
However, the team has struggled in its doubles play this season, losing the point in 10 of 17 games and going 3-7 in the games they have lost.
“We’ve been starting off a lot of matches behind 1-0,” said Coach Davis. “A lot of people feel that the doubles matches are unimportant because it only counts for one team point, but because it’s the first point of the match, emotionally it’s more important than the one point you actually get.”
Saturday’s match against Pacific begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Tigers own a 7-7 conference record but have yet to play a conference match. Sunday’s match against the Bulldogs begins at 12 p.m.
“We’re trying to win the Big West tournament,” said Forget. “We’ve won four of the last five years before losing last year, so we’re trying to get our title back. It’s going to be really tough. We’re all really motivated to be going there.”