After taking two weeks off from traveling, the No. 48 UCSB men’s tennis team will hit the road again this Sunday to take a short trip to Malibu, CA where the Gauchos will face No. 44 Pepperdine.
The Gauchos head into this weekend’s match with an overall record of 2-3 while the Waves come in looking for their first win at 0-2.
Pepperdine is coming off two straight losses in which the Waves have only been able to win three match points so far this season. The team saw its first time on the court two weeks ago at the ITA Kickoff weekend where it traveled to Los Angeles to compete with No. 37 Tulane and No. 57 UC Davis.
The Waves were swept 4-0 by Tulane and dropped their next match against the Aggies, who won the match by a slim margin of 4-3. Both losses came on the road, so Pepperdine will get its first home try when the Gauchos visit.
Santa Barbara will be looking to carry some momentum from its last big victory, which also came at the ITA Kickoff Weekend when the Gauchos competed in the NCAA National Indoor Championships. In the second round, the Gauchos faced a tough opponent in No. 37 Louisville and just edged out the Cardinals by a final score of 4-3.
Freshman Anders Holm emerged as a bright spot for Santa Barbara as he came away with a walk-off singles victory in the final match when his team was tied at 3-3. Anders fell in the first set and was able to win the next two straight despite suffering an ankle injury in the second set.
Although the Gauchos have found success in singles play this year, they truly have struggled on the doubles side and must find a way to improve as conference play slowly approaches.
So far this season, Santa Barbara has only won the doubles point one time in its five matches and has lost the last four straight. Aside from the doubles point itself, the Gauchos have only won five of their fifteen doubles matches.
This Sunday’s match will be the closest thing that the Gauchos will have to a home match as the team will not host one until late February when they open the home season with Pacific.
Santa Barbara plays its first nine matches on the road with just two in California. The team will look to better its current 1-2 road record this weekend when it visits Pepperdine University.
The match is set to start at 1 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 7 in Malibu, Ca.