The #69 UCSB men’s tennis team made winning look easy on Tuesday with a dominant 6-1 victory over Princeton.
After losing 2-1 in doubles, the Gauchos (4-1 overall) swept through singles play, winning each match in straight sets. The home win was key as Santa Barbara plays its next four matches on the road.
“This was very important because we head out now on two very difficult road trips,” UCSB Head Coach Marty Davis said. “We’ll play three Pac-10 teams, we’ll play in altitude, we’ll play indoors, so we needed to hold serve at home.”
For the third consecutive match, UCSB lost the doubles point, losing two out of three matches. The #1 doubles team of senior Nick Brotman and sophomore Anders Dalskov scored the only doubles win for the Santa Barbara 8-2. Down 1-0, the Gauchos needed to win four out of six singles matches to secure the win.
“There was definitely no sense of panic [after losing the doubles],” Davis said. “There weren’t a lot of heads down, they realize that it’s just one point and that was their attitude.”
Dalskov was the first to quickly dispose of his singles opponent, 6-2, 6-2, followed shortly after by junior Elad Stern, who won his match 6-3, 6-2.
“You have good days and you have bad days and this was just one of those good days where I felt good and played better,” Dalskov said.
The freshmen for UCSB continue to make solid contributions in singles. Carsten Thorstensen, who scored the only singles point in UCSB’s loss to USC last week, was again impressive, defeating his Princeton foe 6-4, 6-2. Max Taylor – who lost a tough three-set match against the Trojans – clinched the match for Santa Barbara with a 6-4, 5-7 win.
“Our freshmen are off to a great start, particularly [Thorstensen] and [Bijan Hejazi],” Davis said. “Overall I’m impressed and they’re only going to get better.”
After Brotman closed out his opponent in the #1 spot 6-4, 6-4, Hejazi wrapped up the 6-1 victory for the Gauchos, winning his match 6-2, 7-5.
“This match was a dominant win here and it was definitely important for our morale,” Hejazi said.
The Gauchos will next travel to the state of Arizona where they will face a pair of ranked Pac-10 teams – #58 Arizona on Friday and #57 Arizona State on Saturday.
“It’s always harder to play on the road,” Dalskov said. “We’re very confident going to Arizona since we’ve done well so far.”
A win over either of those teams would be a definite confidence booster for UCSB, which just broke into the national rankings. The schedule gets even more difficult Feb. 10, when the Gauchos face #14 Washington.
“We’re looking forward to playing the ranked teams,” Stern said. “It’s going to be a tough away match but if we fight like we’ve done so far anything can happen.”