The UCSB men’s tennis team played in its last tournament of the fall at the 57th Annual SoCal Intercollegiate in Los Angeles this past weekend. Junior Ziad Sultan made it to the semifinals and Sultan and senior Sasha Gryaznov played their way into the quarterfinals of the doubles draw.
“We have a young team with only one senior,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “But the team has built great team chemistry and has improved a lot since the beginning of the season.”
On Thursday, Sultan won his two matches to make it to the quarterfinals. He defeated UC San Diego’s Horea Porutiu 6-3, 6-0 in the Round of 32 and then won a grueling three-set match against Cal Poly’s Corey Pang 7-5, 6-7, 6-4. Also on Thursday, junior transfer Tobias Galskov seeded fourth in the tournament and defeated Gannon Daynes of Cal Poly in the Round of 32 6-2, 6-1, but he unfortunately had to retire from his next match against UCLA’s Joe Di Guilio due to an abdominal injury.
In doubles, Galskov was able to come back and pair up with freshman Corey Karen to defeat Azusa Pacific’s Pascal Engel and Jan Meyer 8-3, while Sultan and Gryaznov beat UCSD’s Rajeev Herekar and Devon Sousa 8-4.
On Friday, Sultan won his quarterfinal match against BYU’s Juan Canales 6-3, 7-5, setting up a semifinal match against No. 3 seed Mackie McDonald from UCLA on Saturday. Sultan and Gryaznov also moved on in the doubles draw as UCLA’s Michael Guzman and Seth Stolar retired due to injury after losing the first set 6-0. The Gaucho duo then lost in the quarterfinals in a very close match to Devin Barber and Corey Pang of Cal Poly 8-7(3). Also finishing on Friday were Galskov and Karen after their loss in the Round of 16 against the No. 3 doubles team from BYU, Andrew Goryachkov and Francis Sargeant, 8-3.
UCSB’s remaining player in the tournament, Sultan, lost a hard-fought match to top freshman McDonald from UCLA 7-6(5), 6-2. Overall, it was an exciting weekend of tennis and Davis was very pleased with the performances from his players.
“We have two weeks of practice before finals and winter break,” Davis said. “We are going to work on our serving and service return in order to be ready for the beginning of the regular season in January and we look forward to working to defend our Big West Title from last year.”
The Gauchos begin the next section of their season on Jan. 17 with a match at home versus Portland.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of The Daily Nexus.