In baseball they bring brooms to the third game of a three-game series in anticipation of a sweep. Gaucho fans could have done the same for the UCSB men’s tennis team this past weekend at Campus Courts as it swept away the competition in impressive fashion.
On Friday the unranked Gauchos took to the hard court and defeated Santa Clara in a thrilling match, 4-3. On Saturday, Santa Barbara downed defending Big West Champion Pacific in impressive fashion, 6-1. For its finale on Sunday, UCSB improved to 6-4 overall and 2-1 in conference with a dismantling of Utah State that ended in an embarrassing 7-0 dismissal of the Aggies.
Santa Barbara’s hot hand all weekend long was junior Carlos Palencia, who has now climbed to a No. 42 ranking in the nation. Palencia was in control of his game, winning all three of his singles matches, and all three of his doubles matches as well, paired with senior co-captain Marcin Kosakowski.
But it was not only Palencia who benefited from the home cooking; it was the entire Gaucho squad. Playing inspired tennis all weekend long, they refused to surrender their home court advantage.
Friday’s match started out with both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams winning their matches to secure the doubles point. Palencia, in the No. 1 spot, Kosakowski in the No. 2 spot, and sophomore Alex Yaftali in the No. 6 spot, all secured victories in singles. Kosakowski’s match may have been the most compelling, as he made a great comeback after losing the first set 4-6, to win going away 6-3 and 6-2.
Saturday’s match was sweet for Santa Barbara, not just because the Tigers are the defending Big West Champions, but also because UCSB lost to Pacific 6-1 last year in Stockton. The only point that the Gauchos lost all day was the doubles point, as they failed to win at No. 2 and No. 3. Despite the early setback, Santa Barbara cruised its way to victory by winning every singles match.
Sunday’s match against Utah State was almost a formality, as UCSB set its game on cruise control early and never looked back. The end result was a complete dismantling and a 7-0 skunk.
Santa Barbara, which fell out of the national rankings earlier this year, now has a good chance of moving back after its performance this past weekend. But the Gauchos are not focused on such outside distractions. Instead, they are focused on their upcoming match against No. 55 University of San Diego.