On Wednesday, the UCSB men’s tennis team lost an agonizingly close match to the University of Hawaii 4-3 without the help of seniors Mbonisi Ndimande and Benjamin Recknagel.
Recknagel and Ndimande both did not play, thus the rest of the squad moved up a spot in the rotation.
Junior Sasha Gryaznov and Dmytro Kovalyov of Hawaii battled for over three hours before Gryaznov double faulted to lose the tiebreaker and seal the match for Hawaii. The loss put the Gauchos overall record at 9-12 overall and 2-3 in Big West Conference play. It was also UCSB’s fourth loss in their last five matches.
The Gauchos got off to a good start against Hawaii as they secured the important doubles point. Sophomore Ziad Sultan and Gryaznov shut out David Schuster and Jared Spiker 8-0 while freshman Andrew Riminton and sophomore Miles Seemann won their doubles match 8-1.
Singles matches were a different story, however, as Hawaii won four out of the six. Sultan and freshman Jacob Johnson were the only Gauchos to win in singles as Johnson defeated Danilo Casanova 7-6, 6-4 and Sultan took down Spiker 6-3, 6-1.
The only remaining regular season match for the Gauchos is the traditional Blue-Green Rivalry against No. 65 Cal Poly this Saturday.
The match will be difficult as in addition to their national ranking, the Mustangs also boast the No. 25 player in the country, Andre Dome.
Cal Poly’s overall record stands at 12-8 but they have done very well in Big West play with a 4-1 conference record. The Mustangs defeated Hawaii 4-3 on Tuesday and have now amassed an impressive four wins in a row heading into Saturday’s encounter.
As the last home game of the season, the match against Cal Poly will also be Senior Day and UCSB will bid farewell to Ndimande, Recknagel and Max Glenn.
The match will begin at 1:00 p.m. in Santa Barbara at the Rec Cen Courts.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Daily Nexus File Photo.