The #64 UCSB men’s tennis team split their two matches against #10 University of Washington and unranked University of Portland this weekend at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle.
Early into the Washington match it seemed as if the Gauchos would be able to pull off the upset, leading in three out of the first four matches. But the Huskies regrouped and took the match 6-1. Junior #1 Alex Anselme jumped all over Alex Vlaski, the #2 ranked player in the country, taking the first set 6-1. But Anselme was unable to close Vlaski out, losing in a tough third set. Freshmen Nick Edlefsen scored the lone Gaucho point, winning at the #6 position over Chris Floyd.
While the Gauchos might have been down after letting such a good opportunity for an upset slip by, they bounced back the very next day and took care of business against Portland. With both teams deadlocked at three games apiece, freshmen #4 singles player Elad Stern clinched the tie for the Gauchos with a win over Colby Jager. Anselme capped the dramatic match with a 6-4 win in the third set.
“Marty came over to me at the changeover 5-4 and told me to use my serve, I smashed a serve up the middle on match point and the guy couldn’t react,” Stern said. “The facilities were amazing to play in, and I thought we played very hard against Washington the day before.”
The Gauchos’ depth proved to be their strength on the road trip as sophomore #3 Nick Brotman, #4 Stern, #5 Edelfsen and junior #6 Matt Coin all won their matches.
” We are very solid at the four, five and six spots, we aren’t scared of anybody because of that knowing our depth can produce wins,” sophomore Michael Frick said.
Another bright spot for the Gauchos was the play of #1 doubles team senior Mike Placek and Anselme. They defeated Portland’s #1 doubles team 8-5.
Santa Barbara plays again this weekend against the University of Oregon and Oklahoma State University. The Gauchos play Oregon at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. on Saturday at RecCen Courts.