NBA Coach Phil Jackson once told Sacramento Kings fans that having the home-court advantage was overrated. The UCSB men’s tennis team continually proves this theory wrong. Gaucho netters hope to continue their dominance at home this weekend against powerful opponents Harvard University and University of the Pacific.
The Gauchos have yet to lose a match in Santa Barbara, boasting an impressive 6-0 record. They continue their six-match homestand this weekend at the RecCen Courts.
Today, at 1:30 p.m., UCSB faces off against the #15 nationally ranked Harvard Crimson at the Rec RecCen Courts. The Gauchos have improved their record to 8-5 overall and 3-0 in the Big West Conference. While the Gauchos have won six of their last seven matches, they have also had great success against Ivy League opponents this year. On March 11, UCSB defeated Yale 5-2 and on March 25 they dominated Dartmouth 6-1. Harvard brings a respectable 9-4 record to the match.
Saturday, April 3, at 1:00 p.m. UCSB will host a pivotal conference match with Big West rival UOP. The Tigers enter the match with a 9-5 record (1-0 in the Big West). With Pacific as UCSB’s most formidable competitor in the Big West, the victor of the match will in all likelihood go on to earn the #1 seed in the Big West Tournament. Pacific opened the season ranked #70 in the nation.
Gaucho #1 seed singles player Alex Anselme will face the challenge of squaring off against Tiger #1 singles player Lennart Maack. Maack, a sophomore out of Doverden, Germany, has compiled a 10-4 overall record this season. He has also won three matches in a row.
Sophomore #2 singles player Nicholas Brotman also looks to carry his victorious momentum into the weekend. He has won six of his last seven matches and captured two-straight Big West Player of the Week awards. Brotman was the fourth Gaucho to win the Big West Player of the Week award. Freshmen Elad Stern and Nick Edlefsen along with senior Mike Placek have also won this honor.
UCSB finishes up its homestand next week with matches against non-conference opponents Saint Mary’s College and Fresno State.