UCSB’s men’s tennis team was unable to quench its thirst after a long weekend in the desert, losing 5-2 to #32 University of Arizona on Saturday and falling to #33 Arizona State on Sunday 6-1.
The Gauchos (2-3) got off to a poor start against the Wildcats (4-1), losing all three doubles matches. UCSB fell 8-4 at #1 doubles and was nearly swept at #2 and #3, losing both 8-1.
The situation didn’t improve much for singles play, as UCSB lost four of six matches. The only Gaucho points came at the hands of junior Ivan d’Argence, playing at #3 singles, and freshman Anders Dalskov at #6 singles. D’Argence won 6-2, 6-3 while Dalskov was victorious 6-1, 6-4.
“We didn’t play as poorly as the score indicates,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “We hung around in most singles matches, and [senior] Alex [Anselme] had a chance to win the first set. We just were unable to hold our serve.”
Senior Matt Coin was able to win one set at #5 singles, but fell 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Anselme, playing at his usual spot at #1 singles, was defeated 7-5, 6-2 by Wildcat Roger Matalonga, the #58 player in the country.
UCSB was again swept in doubles play Sunday, losing 8-3, 8-5, 8-1 to Arizona State. The only point the Gauchos earned against the Sun Devils (2-0) came at #6 singles from Coin, winning 7-5, 6-2.
“Had we been at home we would have had a 50-50 chance of beating either of these teams,” Davis said. “It’s difficult to win on the road.”
Much of the Gauchos’ doubles woes are due to the absence of junior Nick Brotman.
“Nick is questionable to play next weekend,” Davis said. “Doubles was playing well with him in there at #1, and without him things just aren’t the same. We had solid pairings before, and this has forced us to mix things up. The doubles point is important and we need Nick to win that point.”
UCSB has played its last three games against teams ranked in the top 30 nationally. Despite three straight losses, the team is still looking at the positives.
“Our goal is to move into the top 50 in the country,” Davis said. “To move up we need to beat the teams that are above us. Our schedule gives us the opportunity. We may not win every match, but the things we learn will improve our team.”
The Gauchos play three matches next weekend in Eugene, Ore. UCSB faces Portland State on Friday, Boise State on Saturday and University of Oregon on Sunday.