With another doubleheader weekend now concluded, UCSB went on to sweep Loyola Marymount University and fell short to the University of Oregon. The men’s tennis team now stands at 6-3 overall on the season.
The Gauchos came into this previous record with a similarly split set of matches after ousting the University of San Francisco 6-1 and dropping to Cal Berkeley 3-4.
UCSB entered this home series looking for to establish another streak. Ultimately, they got back on the right track by defeating the Loyola Lions 7-0 but couldn’t get the job done late versus the Oregon Ducks, 3-4.
Saturday’s meet opened up as the first home game of the season. The competition commenced with the doubles portion, per usual. This meant yet another dominant performance by the now-ranked 8th duo of junior Simon Freund and senior Morgan Mays at a score of 6-3.
Gaucho sophomores Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm went on to ensure the doubles advantage point after a 6-3 performance of their own on court three. The Lions couldn’t even manage a doubles win of their own as they also dropped court two to junior Cody Rakela and freshman Kristian Prior, 5-4.
The single portion of the meet just reasserted Santa Barbara’s dominance as a clean sweep of wins highlighted throughout. Moreno de Alboran handed back-to-back 6-0, whilst Rakela put up 6-1. Then was Holm’s 6-4 / 6-1 match, junior Chase Masciorini’s 6-3 and Freund’s, which actually went to three sets, 4-6 / 6-2 / 11-9. Mays managed to wrap up the rout of LMU with his 7-6 / 6-2 score, finalizing UCSB’s 7-0 victory on the day and marking a very successful start to their home campaign.
It was Gaucho tennis at its best on Saturday in front of a home crowd. Each player performed at peak performance in order to provide Santa Barbara with their third 7-0 sweep on the season. This momentum came deservedly so, considering Sunday’s meet would be up against a top-25 University of Oregon.
The following day, the Gauchos came off to a great start after earning the doubles point yet again. Mays and Freund put up an easy 6-1 victory on court one, whilst Holm and Prior also won on court three with a 6-3 score. However, court two went to Ducks sophomore Thomas Laurent and junior Cormac Clissold after a close 7-6 set. Nevertheless, the advantage point went to the in-form Gauchos.
UCSB went on to extend their lead after Mays put up a 7-5 / 6-1 victory for the first match. Oregon’s record-breaker Laurent claimed a 6-1 / 6-3 win over Moreno de Alboran, earning him his historic 16th singles win in a row.
The Ducks went on to tie the meet at 2-2 once junior Akihiro Tanaka beat Freund by a score of 6-2 / 7-6. Things didn’t get better for UCSB after Clissold scraped a three-set win over Holm, 6-4 / 2-6 / 6-4. However, Masciorini tied it up at 3-3 after a three-setter of his own, 6-3 / 3-6 / 6-2.
Altogether, the meet decider depended on the final match between Oregon senior Jayson Amos and Santa Barbara’s Rakela. The streak of three-set nail biters continued as the match ended in a score of 7-5 / 1-6 / 7-5, unfortunately in favor of the visiting side, thus resulting in UCSB’s 3-4 loss on the day.
Altogether, another positive weekend is in the books as UCSB manages to start their home campaign 7-0 as well as showing that they can hang with the elite, nationally ranked tennis programs that come their way.
The Gauchos return to action this Thursday, at home, against the Baylor Bears at 1:30 p.m. They will then face off against New Mexico on Friday.