The UCSB men’s tennis team got out to a hot start to open its season yesterday, sweeping Westmont at home 7-0. With the victory, the Gauchos begin the season with a 1-0 record.
The Gauchos, who last year were much stronger in singles than they were in doubles, had no trouble in either match setting, controlling each game from start to finish.
“To put it simply, we’re an NCAA (Division) I team and they’re an NAIA team,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “There’s no question Division I is a higher skilled division and that was definitely apparent today.
Seniors Benjamin Recknagel and Mbonisi Ndimande set the tone as the No. 1 and No. 2 singles players by winning their sets 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-1, respectively. They defeated Westmont’s best in junior Tim Goranson and junior Rodrigo Schaefer.
Later, No. 3 singles player, sophomore Alex Boullin, won 6-1, 6-2 and No. 4 singles player, junior Alexander Gryaznov, defeated his opponent 6-0, 6-5.
Coming off of long-term injuries, senior Max Glenn and sophomore Greg Scott proved they are fully back and ready to help their team win the Big West title this season.
Newcomers Jacob Johnson and Andrew Riminton, the No. 5 and No. 6 singles players, respectively, impressed Coach Davis in their first real games as Gauchos as well, only losing at most one game each in singles play.
“They were terrific,” Davis said. “They played about as good as you can, close to a perfect game for being their first.”
In the No. 1 doubles match, Recknagel and Ndimande easily handed their oppoenents, winning 8-4 over Goranson and junior John Bertram.
In the No. 3 doubles match-up, Riminton and Johnson sailed to an easy 8-1 victory over junior Nicholas Szyndlar and sophomore Gerrit Dickey.
UCSB’s next game will be their biggest challenge of the season when they travel to play at UCLA next Wednesday.
A version of this article appeared on page 10 of January 17, 2013′s print edition of the Nexus.