This past Friday the No. 52 UCSB men’s tennis team faced No. 19 Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos were defeated by the Red Raiders 4-2 in a match that was partially halted by the Los Angeles rainfall.
This loss caps off a successful season for the Gauchos, who went 9-0 at home and took home the Big West Championship. They achieved a final overall record of 15-10.
“We had such a great team season,” senior captain Tobias Galskov explained. “I had a lot of fun this year, especially late in the season when we were playing so well.”
Friday’s match was the last collegiate competition for both Galskov and senior Ziad Sultan.
The Gauchos found themselves down early in the doubles matches as all three courts were down multiple sets. Trailing 7-2, junior Andrew Riminton and red shirt sophomore Morgan Mays battled back to 7-6 before falling in the next set on court three. As court one stood at a stalemate 6-6, the Red Raiders took a second victory on court two over Galskov and sophomore Teague Hamilton 8-4. Texas Tech headed into singles play leading 1-0.
The Red Raiders took another big jump on the Gauchos taking the first two singles matches of the day. No. 123 sophomore Jolan Cailleau defeated freshman Cody Rakela in straight sets of 6-2. Mays nearly forced a third set against No. 117 freshman Alex Sendegeya, but was defeated 6-3, 7-5. Texas Tech went up 3-0, in need of just one more win, and play was suspended due to rainfall.
Just under an hour later, play resumed and the Gauchos began to make a stand. Sophomore Erik Johnsson put UCSB on the board taking a victory on court five in straight sets. Johnsson defeated his opponent, senior Francisco Zambon, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Junior Nathan Eshmade was the next to keep the Gauchos alive on court two. He took down junior Hugo Dojas after forcing a third set 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.
Down just 3-2, UCSB needed victories from both Galskov and Hamilton. Hamilton fought hard on court six losing the first set 6-7(4-7) to freshman Connor Curry. He found himself trailing just 4-5 in the second, looking to force a third set, but his match was called off due to the finish on court one.
Galskov took on No. 37 junior Felipe Soares and forced him to a third set as they split the first two 4-6, 6-3. The junior Red Raider solidified his team’s spot in the next round taking the third set 6-1 over Galskov.
“I know the team is very good right now and we’ve progressed so much this year,” Galskov said. “I think they can do a lot of great things next year.”
This match concludes UCSB’s season. The team’s recruiting report is soon to come.