One holiday weekend, a little rain and two losses left the UCSB men’s tennis team full of disappointment.
The Gauchos missed an opportunity to get back in the win column as Saturday’s match against Davis was rained out. UCSB (2-8 overall) came into the match with six straight losses, five against nationally-ranked teams. Davis has struggled so far this season, much like the Gauchos, and UCSB looked to gain some momentum heading into Sunday’s match with Cal.
Instead, UCSB took that six-game losing streak to Berkeley, where it extended to seven, falling to the #32 Bears (4-2 overall) 5-2. The Gauchos lost two of the three doubles points while winning two of the six singles matches.
UCSB nearly came away with the doubles point after sophomore Elad Stern and senior Leo Basica won at #3 doubles 8-5. Senior Alex Anselme and freshman Anders Dalskov nearly pulled off a victory at #2 doubles, falling 9-7.
Basica continued his winning ways in singles play at #6, defeating Jirou Nakajima 4-6, 7-5, 1-0. Junior Nick Brotman was the only other Gaucho to record a point, knocking off Daniel Sebescen 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, despite playing in his first game back from injury.
Anselme played well against #21 Conor Niland, taking the second set before eventually falling 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
“Today is the best I’ve seen Alex play in a few years,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “He’s still not quite fit enough, which may have cost him in the third set.”
Santa Clara proved to be just as difficult, defeating UCSB 5-2. The Gauchos got off to a 2-0 lead after victories by Basica 6-3, 6-1 at #6 singles and Anselme 6-4, 6-3 at #1. The Broncos came back to tie the score at 2-2. Stern had match point in the second set at #4 singles, but lost the point and didn’t win another game, losing 5-7, 7-6, 6-0.
“We knew the Santa Clara match would be tough,” Davis said. “We did lose three tiebreakers. It was very close and we are very disappointed.”
“I’m not worried, just disappointed, as is everyone else,” Dalskov said. “We are confident that we’ll do better. It has been hard with the difficult schedule and not playing at home, but it’s still early.”
UCSB’s losing streak is now at eight with Big West play starting March 9.
“We will be ready for the Big West,” Dalskov said. “We are starting to get the hang of things and we’ll be OK.”