An up and down season for the #75 UCSB men’s tennis team comes to a close early next week with the final Big West match on Friday before finishing up with nonconference matches Sunday and Tuesday.
Riverside (6-11 overall, 0-2 in the Big West) comes to Santa Barbara on a six-match losing streak, having been swept in two of those matches. Despite having not won a Big West match, Riverside is not to be overlooked.
“UCR has improved lots over the last few years,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “We are not expecting them to be a pushover. Their former #1 singles player has dropped to #4, which just shows how deep they are.”
Friday’s contest will be the Gauchos’ final tune-up before the Big West Tournament.
“I am hoping to see strong doubles play and lots of energy,” Davis said.
Denver (6-10) visits Santa Barbara on Sunday at 10 a.m. The Pioneers, like UCSB, were nationally ranked at the beginning of the year, but have since fallen off the polls despite featuring one of the better players in the country in #89 Adam Holmstrom.
“Denver is extremely strong at the top of their lineup and weaker at the bottom,” Davis said. “I am expecting it to be a tough match.”
UCSB’s season finale will be at home Tuesday when the Gauchos host Westmont. Santa Barbara hopes to take advantage of playing a much weaker opponent to build some momentum heading into the Big West Tournament.
“The match against Westmont will be Senior Day and we will honor those who have helped us build this program,” Davis said. “Hopefully we will get three wins and lots of momentum over the next few days.”
Alex Anselme, Leo Basica and Matt Coin will all be honored. Anselme has been the Gauchos’ #1 singles player and part of the #2 doubles pair. Basica played at #4 singles and was part of the #3 doubles pair. Coin has been one of the leaders of the team.
“We just need to have a positive attitude and that Gaucho fight,” Davis said. “We need to have the desire. Everyone will need to be on top of their game. We may have three matches in three days, so it will be grueling. But we do have a chance to win it.”
UCSB will most likely earn the #3 seed in the Big West Tournament, which starts April 22.