Loyola Marymount never stood a chance as UCSB men’s tennis annihilated the Lions’ lineup from top to bottom in a 6-1 thrashing on Friday. The #75-ranked Gauchos improved to 8-12 on the season (3-2 Big West), and gained a big boost of momentum as they head to the Big West Championships this week. Head Coach Marty Davis emphasized the timeliness of his team’s improvement.
“We’re peaking right when we need to,” Davis said. “We’ve had two good wins, and the match against LMU was a real momentum builder for us. We actually dominated the doubles too, which was a big step for us.”
That domination came in the form of sweeping all three doubles matches to begin the last home match of the season. In singles, only senior Max Taylor was unable to edge out his opponent, losing 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. For Taylor, though, there is still plenty of tennis to be played.
“Hopefully, playing on center court in front of a crowd of friends and teammates will be the memory that lasts,” Davis said. “Besides, Max always saves his best tennis for the Big West tournament.”
Junior Scott Hohenstein was able to find the rhythm early, destroying his singles opponent at #3, giving up only a single game. This was the second straight win for Hohenstein, who was also named UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week last week.
“I think I have gotten a lot better as the season progressed,” Hohenstein said. “I was definitely happy with the results that I had.”
Despite taking the last two matches of the season, UCSB finished fourth in the Big West behind Pacific, UC Irvine and Cal Poly. It was the first time in four seasons that the Gauchos did not win the regular season title. Junior captain Josh Finkelstein was not completely satisfied with the team’s record, but was still able to see potential for overall success.
“Honestly it’s a little disappointing that we didn’t win the league,” Finkelstein said. “But I still think we have a good shot at winning the conference tournament. If we can win that, it’ll still be a successful season.”
Coach Davis saw room for improvement as well, but he knows that the real season still has not even begun.
“I thought there were a couple 4-3 matches that I thought we should’ve won that we didn’t,” Davis said. “Aside from that, I’m very happy with the way the regular season has gone. We play a very, very tough schedule, and I think it’s been a great regular season and perfect preparation for us going into the tournament.”