Hard work always pays off.
With the completion of both the UCSB men’s and women’s tennis team’s seasons, the All-Big West Conference teams were announced on Tuesday.
A total of eight Gaucho netters were recently selected for the All-Big West Conference team. The men’s squad, which finished 13-8 and first place in the regular season Big West standings, received four all-conference selections.
Junior Alex Anselme and sophomore Nicholas Brotman were both elected by Big West coaches into the All-Big West first team for their strong singles play at the #1 and #2 seeds. Senior #3 seed Mike Placek received an honorable mention for dominant singles play despite missing several matches due to injury. Placek and Anselme also were chosen for the first team for their doubles play. Brotman and freshman Elad Stern were chosen for the second team for doubles.
The women’s squad, which finished 11-13 this year, also had four netters chosen for the All-Big West Conference team. Sophomores Marielle Gruenig and Andrea Pintar were both elected onto the second team for singles play.
“It is great. Marielle and Andrea definitely deserve it; at #1 and #2 singles, those are really tough spots to hold down,” UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said.
This was the first year Gruenig consistently played in the #1 seed.
“Marielle is great, she beat some really tough opponents from Kansas State and Santa Clara,” Kirkwood said.
Pintar put together her second consecutive stellar campaign after finishing 18-10 last year at #3 singles. This year she typically held down the #2 spot.
“Andrea really earned the respect of the coaches,” Kirkwood said. “She is a fierce tenacious competitor. She gets the maximum out of the minimum. In the match against Long Beach she lost the first set 6-2 and was down 5-3 in the last set, but she had that competitive fire and never gave up.”
Sophomore Leslie Damion received honorable mention for her singles play. Damion shared time at various seeds in singles.
“Leslie really had a great year at #3 singles,” Kirkwood said. “She couldn’t make the Boise trip and came back, and after moving to the #5 seed she really caught fire. She was the best #5 in the conference.”
Two doubles teams also made all-conference. Senior Jen Kuhle and Gruenig, who played #1 doubles, made second team all-conference. Pintar and Damion, who held down the #2 doubles spot, also made second team all-conference.