Last weekend, at the Omni Hotels Region VIII-South Championships hosted by Pepperdine University, UCSB men’s tennis players Alex Anselme and Mirco Schwindt reflected the concept that destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice.
Schwindt and Anselme competed in a field that included players from such national powerhouses as UCLA and 2002 National Champion USC. Schwindt, a freshman from Germany, first dismantled University of San Diego’s Ben Regin 6-2, 6-0 in the opening round. He then cruised to the quarterfinals by beating University of Arizona’s nationally ranked and #4 seed Whi Kim 6-1, 2-0 (retired) and UCLA’s Alberto Francis 6-2, 7-5. Schwindt fell to the eventual winner of the tournament, UCLA’s Erfan Djahangiri.
“Even in my match against [Djahangiri], I was able to exert a lot of pressure,” Schwindt said. “Overall, I liked my effort at the tournament and the improvement I am making.”
After a strong freshman campaign, UCSB sophomore netter Alex Anselme appears to be starting off on the right foot. On his way to the round of 16, Anselme encountered a tough first round opponent in University of San Diego’s Pierrick Ysern, losing the first set 4-6, before winning the next two sets 6-4, 6-1. Anselme handily fought off Irvine’s Brian Morton 6-3, 6-3 before being overwhelmed by Djahangiri 2-6, 2-6, who went errorless on the match.
“From a personal and a team perspective, my win against Morton was the most important,” Anselme said. “He beat me in juniors a couple of times, so it was sort of a revenge.”
Other UCSB netters enjoyed competitive showings as well. UCSB freshman Michael Frick from Hong Kong authenticated his strong showing from last week’s San Diego tournament, in which he reached the semifinals of the flight 2 singles, by taking the preseason #2 singles player in the country, UCLA’s Tobias Clemens, to a competitive match. Clemens won the contest by a score of 6-4, 7-5, however. UCSB sophomore Ilya Leshinsky was up 5-1 in a second set tiebreaker against Pepperdine’s Diego Acuna before falling 2-6, 6-7.
Additionally, two Gaucho doubles teams advanced to the quarterfinals. Anselme and junior Mike Placek rallied for wins over USC and the University of Arizona. The team of Frick and sophomore Jesse Inghelram fought through two qualifying rounds, defeating Riverside before upsetting UCLA’s #7 rated tournament team – comprised of the two singles finalists Djahangiri and Chris Lam – by the score of 8-6.
“Frick and I were returning serves and communicating really well,” Inghelram said. “It seemed like everything was coming together when we wanted it to.”