The Big West made official what everyone else knew all along: Santa Barbara hails the best player and the best coach in the conference.
Just four days after the No. 75 UCSB men’s tennis team claimed its second conference title, the Big West awarded the Gauchos enough hardware to fill an entire trophy case. Third-year Head Coach Marty Davis won Big West Coach of the Year. Carlos Palencia won Big West Player of the year.
In addition, Big West Tournament MVP and senior co-captain Marcin Kosakowski earned first-team honors for his singles play. Sophomore Mike Placek was named to the singles second team. Kosakowski and Palencia earned first-team doubles, and Placek and freshman Alex Anselme were named second-team doubles.
“I think that it is great and well-deserved,” Davis said of all his team accolades.
Palencia, a junior from Cordoba, Mexico, realized tremendous success in only his first year as a Gaucho and is the third Gaucho in four years to receive conference player of the year accolades.
“I always had in the back of my mind that Carlos was going to get a lot of awards,” Davis said. “He went undefeated in singles and doubles in the conference this year and he was clearly the best player in the country.”
Despite all of the success the team has had on and off of the court this year, the Gauchos have their sights squarely set on the NCAA Tournament.
“All of the guys are pretty pumped up,” senior co-captain Marcio Pepe said. “We are pretty focused as a team right now and I think that we are going to scare some teams [in the tournament]. We are still ready to play. It is not over yet.”