Five members of the UCSB men’s tennis team advanced to the main draw competition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Wilson/ITA Regional Championship held at Pepperdine.
“This was a good experience for the team,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “Everyone on the team has earned a win; everyone has one good victory under their belt.”
The ITA tournament was proof that the intense daily Gaucho practices have been paying off.
“We have been working hard on doubles and with this tournament we can see the results,” Davis said. “Seeing the results in our game is very encouraging and shows us that we are on the right path.”
Senior Leo Basica and sophomore captain Elad Stern made it to the 16th and final round, where they played a strong match against one of UCLA’s top doubles teams before losing 8-6.
“We lost in the last round to one of the best couples there is,” Stern said. “We played really well.”
Stern’s teammate agreed that even a close loss in this heat of the tournament was considered a success.
“I was very satisfied; we did pretty good and it was a tough game against UCLA,” Basica said. “In this tournament any loss is like a win.”
Proud of his winning couple, Davis said that the team will continue to work on doubles practice in order to enhance UCSB’s abilities.
“I am really happy with the winning combination of Leo and Elad, now that we have one we will keep working for three competitive teams,” he said.
What Davis attributes much of the team’s many triumphs to is its ability to reject all the reputations of other top teams.
“This team is very special in that unlike other teams who seem to get a mental block when challenged by Pac-10 competitors; these guys don’t seem to care what uniform anyone else wears,” Davis said. “They are not intimidated by anyone.”
To confirm this, the Gauchos overpowered Pac-10 players from Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and USC.
“Everyone is happy about this tournament,” Basica said. “Especially since we beat a lot of the big teams.”
Freshman Anders Dalskov and junior transfer and captain Ivan d’Argence have stepped up for Santa Barbara and are expected to be major contributors this year.
“All the guys have done really well, I am enthusiastic to get Leo back on the court winning for us,” Davis said.
In two weeks, the Gauchos will travel to Los Angeles to partake in their final tournament of the fall season.
“Most of the guys are already qualifying as we finish season,”