The UCSB men’s tennis team split its pair of matches last week with a 4-2 upset win against No. 36 Brigham Young University on Thursday before falling 7-0 at defending national champion No. 1 USC on Sunday. The Gauchos are now 3-2 on the season, while USC improves to 2-0 and BYU falls to 1-2.
At the top-ranked team in the country, Santa Barbara lost the doubles point and then all six singles matches in two games, with the exception of the fifth. Freshman Ziad Sultan, who forced a third game against USC’s Eric Johnson before the Gauchos fell 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-6). Three of the Trojans’ singles players are ranked in the top 50 nationally and are undefeated in singles play this season.
In its first home match of the season, UCSB overcame BYU by winning four of the six singles matches after doubles play was canceled due to wet conditions on the Rec Cen Courts. Junior Mbonisi Ndimande clinched the match for the Gauchos in the No. 5 match, defeating Francis Sargeant 7-6, 6-3. In Santa Barbara’s only win that took three games, freshman Axel Bouillin defeated Keaton Cullimore 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 in the No. 4 match.
UCSB’s next competition is this Saturday, where it will host Westmont College at the Rec Cen Courts at 1 p.m.