In college tennis, you have to take wins where you can get them.
Looking to regain vital confidence after dropping their final conference match to arch rival Cal Poly, Santa Barbara went south to San Diego to take on a pair of nationally ranked opponents. Despite some rather odd circumstances, the Gauchos walked away with a win in their pockets.
“It’s really nice to beat ranked teams going into the Big West Tournament,” said junior Matthew Coin. “It gives us confidence getting ready for the tournament.”
Inclement weather prevented the Gauchos from ever exchanging rallies against #27 nationally ranked University of San Diego. A drizzle in San Diego forced the match against USD to be cancelled due to unplayable conditions.
Sunday, the Gauchos salvaged the trip with a win over the #71 nationally ranked San Diego State Aztecs. For unknown reasons, the Aztecs were only able to field five netters. They were without Armando Carrascosa and two-time All-American Ryan Redondo.
The Gauchos took advantage of their good fortune and knocked off SDSU 4-3. The two squads essentially split the doubles point, but since SDSU was unable to play in #3 doubles, the Gauchos won the point by default.
Head Coach Marty Davis was ecstatic with the victory.
“Beating a nationally ranked team on the road is huge for us; it’s a first this season,” said Davis. “We needed to bounce back after losing a disappointing match to Cal Poly.”
Junior Alex Anselme and sophomore Michael Frick lost at #1 doubles 8-4 but sophomore Nicholas Brotman and freshman Elad Stern emerged at #2 doubles 8-6. Coin and freshman Nicholas Edlefsen won at #3 doubles through default because of their lack of opponents.
In singles play, the top-seeded netters struggled, whereas the lower seeds picked up the slack and dominated the Aztecs. In #1 singles, Anselme was defeated by his #44 ranked counterpart Felix Hardt 6-2, 6-0. Likewise, Brotman lost at #2 singles to Markus Dickhardt 6-2, 6-2. Stern had a similar fate with a loss at #3 singles to Daniel Jung 6-3, 6-1. Coin and Edlefsen both rallied in their respective matches to pick up points for the Gauchos.
Coin knocked off Dontia Haynes 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 at #4 singles, while Edlefsen dug himself out of a hole to defeat Michael Coehlo 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at #5 singles. Eventually, SDSU’s inability to field players caught up with them as junior Leo Basica clinched the match by default win at #6 singles.
The Gauchos will spend this week preparing for the Big West Tournament in hopes of winning their third consecutive title. They recently clinched the top seed for the tournament and a bye in the first round.