It was an extraordinary weekend for the UCSB men’s tennis team, as top players senior Mike Placek and junior Alex Anselme represented the Gauchos with pride and dignity at the 47th Annual Southern California Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament on Nov. 6-9 at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. The top 32 players from West Coast schools – including UCLA, USC, LMU, University of Oregon and Pepperdine – participated in the tournament.
Placek, a three-year letterman, qualified for the tournament by defeating Loyola Marymount’s Matt Phillips 6-0, 6-2. Advancing to the main draw, Placek lost in the first round in a grinding match against UC San Diego’s Sameer Chopra 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
“The level of tennis that Alex and I played was encouraging,” Placek said. “Although I lost in the first round, I was happy to be back on the courts and to see Alex get so far. It’s good to see Santa Barbara back on the map.”
Anselme, who was chosen as part of the All-Big West second team last season, was accepted directly into the main draw. Anselme defeated USC’s Parker Collins 7-6, 6-2 in the first round. He then defeated Oregon’s number-one player and two-time NCAA participant Manuel Kost 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the draw. Advancing to the quarterfinals, he defeated UCLA’s top recruit and fifth-seeded competitor Kris Kwinta of UCLA 6-1, 5-7, 7-5.
“This was a breakthrough tournament for Alex. He proved to himself that he could play with the best players in the country,” UCSB Head Coach Marty Davis said.
Defeating two seeded players in the tournament, Anselme advanced into the semifinal round of the intercollegiate tournament with much admiration and respect. After a spine-tingling match, Anselme was defeated by third-seeded Chris Lam of UCLA 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the semifinals.
“It was fun playing in my hometown, L.A.,” Anselme said. “I got pumped up to do well and it worked out for me.”
In doubles play, Anselme and Placek pulled through the qualifying rounds and defeated Andrew Hogan and Romain Van Rillas of the University of San Francisco 8-1 in the first round. Yet the doubles duo was defeated by UCLA’s Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta 8-3.
Historically, UCSB has had a great amount of success in the Southern California Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament. Not only did UCSB’s Cory Guy win the tournament in 1999, but in 2000 Simon Chen also captured the title. The Gauchos are keen and enthusiastic to complete their fall schedule this weekend at the Cal Poly Invitational in San Luis Obispo.