A six-game losing streak and yet another three-games-in-three-days weekend road trip wouldn’t seem to bode well for the UCSB men’s tennis team, but the Gauchos appear to be on the verge of turning the corner.
UCSB (2-6 overall) travels to Davis on Saturday, #32 Cal on Sunday and closes out the trip in Santa Clara on Monday. The weekend concludes nine games away from Santa Barbara, a trip in which the Gauchos are win-less thus far.
Davis’ (1-7 overall) season has been striking similar to that of the Gauchos. After earning an early season victory, the Aggies are on the same six-game losing streak as UCSB. Still in the transition to the Big West, the match will help the Aggies gauge their progress against one of the conference’s elite.
“Davis still has some catching up to do with the rest of us in the Big West,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “But they should catch up with the rest soon enough. This shouldn’t be a difficult match for us at this point, but in the near future should be.”
Cal (3-2 overall) has defeated Arizona and lost to Arizona State, teams that have dismantled UCSB. The Bears boast #21 Conor Niland and #27 Lennart Maack at singles, with #30 Patrick Briaud and Conor Niland at doubles. Cal will be looking to take advantage of playing an opponent from outside the Pac-10, one of the strongest men’s tennis conferences.
“Cal is extremely strong and it will be a difficult match for us,” Davis said. “They have one of the strongest traditions in college tennis.”
Santa Clara (2-3) comes in having lost to Cal and defeated Davis. The Broncos are in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
“We’ve had favorable results against Santa Clara in the past,” Davis said. “They have one of the more ruckus crowds out there, so playing there is always a challenge.”
Santa Barbara looks to the Davis match to jump out of its losing streak in preparation for Cal and Santa Clara. Senior Alex Anselme, playing at #1 singles and #2 doubles, will return to action after a break last week against Oregon. The return of Anselme will bolster a strong singles lineup that has been overmatched due to the Gauchos’ difficult early season schedule. The Gauchos will likely be without #3 singles and #1 doubles player Nick Brotman, due to injury.