Rain was king against UCSB men’s tennis this weekend as matches against UC Berkeley and Santa Clara — two of three on the schedule — were cancelled. The weather, however, could not stop the #58 Gauchos from taking their first Big West win, defeating unranked UC Davis 5-2. With conference play the priority, Santa Barbara was lucky to snag the clear weather.
“We were lucky to get to play the one match in between the showers,” Head Coach Marty Davis said. “But it was the most important match to get in since it was a big confidence match for us against a conference team.”
UCSB opened the match well, sweeping the doubles matches to take their first point. For junior Scott Hohenstein, the wet weather made for a much tougher outing.
“It was a little difficult to play because of the weather,” Hohenstein said. “It was rainy and cold and windy, which is just not good for tennis. It makes the ball a lot bigger, and makes everything move slower, which wasn’t good for me.”
Despite the strong start, the Aggies crept back into the match with wins at the number two and six slots. However, the Gauchos were able to hold them off with convincing wins from junior Josh Finkelstein and sophomore Alex Konigsfeldt.
“It turned out to be really important that I won, because the match turned out to be pretty close,” Finkelstein said.
Sophomore Taylor Chavez Goggin clinched the match for UCSB at the number four position, defeating Tyler Lee in two sets, including a perfect 6-0 second set. The Gauchos will play their first home match since Jan. 24, when they suffered a 6-1 loss at the hands of Boise State. This week, they take on Utah. For Davis, having his team play on dry UCSB courts will be a welcome change.
“We’ll be looking forward to getting some dry courts at home,” Davis said. “We were good in the doubles at Davis, but Utah is going to be a much tougher opponent since they’re a nationally ranked team. We’ll work on knocking the rust off our game, and continue working on doubles.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to playing at home,” Finkelstein added. “It feels like we haven’t played at home in a long time.”
The Gauchos will take on #67 Utah in Santa Barbara this Friday.