The No. 50 UCSB men’s tennis team moved up 11 spots to jump No. 53 Cal Poly in the rankings this week as the Blue-Green Rivalry is set to renew tomorrow. The Gauchos are 7-4 overall and will put their three-match win streak to the test with its showdown against the Mustangs before returning home to face Santa Clara on Sunday.
“Cal Poly’s a really big match; we haven’t beaten them since I’ve been here,” junior Max Glenn said. “If we can beat them then we’ll know we’re the top team in conference.”
Last year Cal Poly won 4-3 and the last Gaucho win in the series was in 2008. The Mustangs are 6-3 this season, having won their last six matches and sweeping the last three. They are 1-0 in the Big West and the Gauchos are 2-0, with both beating UC Davis 7-0 in their last matches.
“It’s nice to have a little momentum going into the Cal Poly match,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “That’s the most hostile place to play in our conference and they’re very good. They’ve got the best player in the conference, Andre Dome, who’s ranked No. 22 in the country, so I know Mathieu Forget will be looking forward to that match.”
Santa Barbara then faces No. 37 Santa Clara (8-3) on Sunday. The Broncos, from the West Coast Conference, are 2-0 against Big West teams with wins over Davis and Pacific.
“Then we [need to be ready to] come right back the next morning, kind of an early start against Santa Clara, who is ranked even higher,” Davis said.
Matches are to begin at noon on Saturday on the Mustang Courts and 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Rec Cen Courts.
The UCSB women’s tennis team also returns to Big West action on Saturday as it heads to Irvine to take on the No. 54 Anteaters. UCSB is 4-8 overall and 2-0 in the Big West while UC Irvine is 5-4 heading into its first conference match.
The Gauchos are coming off three straight matches at home, including a 6-0 win over St. John’s (NY) on Monday and a 6-1 loss to No. 50 Georgia State on Wednesday. Sophomore Paola Cos has impressed in the No. 5 spot with 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-4 wins this week.
“I think actually being away from home is gonna feel good to us at this point,” Assistant Coach Charlotte Scatliffe said. “We’re really excited about playing in Irvine’s turf and playing another conference match. Going in 2-0, I just think we have a lot of positives in our favor and we’re really looking forward to it.”
UCSB has beat Irvine the last two meetings and will look to make it three straight to remain in first place in the Big West. Match time is 11 a.m. at Anteater Tennis Stadium.