Many people dispute the differences between perception and reality.
The perception of yesterday’s match between the UCSB men’s tennis team and Saint Mary’s was that it would be a close match fought down to the wire. The reality, however, is that the Gauchos smashed the Gaels convincingly 6-1.
Santa Barbara jumped out to a quick start by clinching the doubles point when senior Mike Placek and junior Alex Anselme beat their #1 doubles counterparts 8-5. Although the doubles point had already been clinched, UCSB finished the sweep of doubles matches with a 7-6 victory at #3 doubles by junior Matthew Coin and freshman Nicholas Edlefsen.
“[Sweeping the doubles point] is a huge confidence boost,” Coin said. “It puts pressure on them knowing they have to win four singles matches to win.”
The Gauchos’ dominance was not solely confined to the doubles matches either. Anselme, the #1 singles player, dominated French phenom Andre Sion at 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Nicholas Brotman, #2 singles, disposed of Martin Marechal 7-5, 6-2, and Senior Mike Placek participated in the longest match of the day at #3 singles. After countless rallies in a hotly contested match, Placek emerged victorious 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) while his opponent Vincent LeBorgne was left bitter, slamming his racket into the ground and yelling at Gaucho fans.
Santa Barbara had its hopes of a shutout deflated by forces literally beyond its control. The sole dark spot to the UCSB victory went down when Coin aggravated a prior injury. Coin was likely en route to a victory with the third tie-breaker match tied at 2-2. He had won the first set 6-1 and lost the second 3-6 before the pain became unbearable to the point where he was forced to forfeit. While one would suspect Cain to be more concerned about his injury, he had a more team-oriented outlook.
“It was really nice to win, but it stinks we didn’t sweep them,” he said. “I almost feel like I let the team down.”
UCSB takes on #39 nationally ranked Fresno State tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club. The prognosis on Coin’s injury at this point is still uncertain.
“I’m not really sure if I can [play] yet. I have an ingrown toenail, a torn cartilage – I’ve had a number of injuries since January,” Coin said.
The win improved UCSB’s record to 10-6 and dropped Saint Mary’s to 13-9. The Gauchos have won eight of their last nine matches and are 4-1 on their current homestand.