This past weekend, the No. 27 UCSB men’s tennis team played in its home opener, splitting its pair of matches on back-to-back days.
The Gauchos fell 4-3 to the No. 70 University of Pacific in a match that came down to the final set, but bounced back and dominated Fresno State the next day 7-0.
The Gauchos move to a 7-4 record overall, and are 1-1 at home.
“Saturday was a tough loss for us and it was great to see our team bounce back like we did,” Junior Co-Captain Teague Hamilton said. “We really responded well as a team.”
The first match of the weekend was a very lengthy battle for both sides as the deciding point came in the final match of the day. The No. 70 Tigers would capture that win and pull the 4-3 upset over the No. 27 Gauchos.
After gaining the doubles point, Hamilton added the first singles win of the match to put his team up 2-0. Freshman Anders Holm added a win of his own on court four, giving him his fourth straight in dual match play.
The Tigers would respond with three huge wins on the top three courts to ice the match at 3-3. The weight of the match would fall upon the shoulders of sophomore Cody Rakela and Pacific’s Jose Chamba on court five.
Chamba came out on top of the first set grabbing a 6-4 win, but Rakela would bounce back in the second taking a 6-3 win to force a third and final set to decide both the individual match and team competition. The two players exchanged games until they were held at 5-5.
Chamba would win the next game while holding serve and despite Rakela serving in the 12th game, Chamba took another win to close out the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and give his team a 4-3 edge over Santa Barbara.
After dropping a close match to the Tigers, the Gauchos would come back the next day and down the Bulldogs of Fresno State with a 7-0 sweep.
The match started out on an interesting note as the Bulldogs were forced to play to a disadvantage due to suspensions made on the roster. This caused the Bulldogs to forfeit their match on court three for doubles and court three for singles so the Gauchos started off the match with a 2-0 lead.
Heading into singles play the Gauchos were in need of just two wins to seal the match, but went above and beyond winning all five of the matches to take a 7-0 win overall.
Hamilton added his third straight win since joining the starting lineup last week, only dropping three total games on court five. He defeated Jakob Keppelmann 6-2, 6-1 and was the first player to finish for Santa Barbara.
“I’m happy about helping my team with some singles wins,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been really getting into my matches and playing some great tennis.”
Holm added his fifth straight win on court four losing a match low two games to his opponent Patrick Pech. The freshman took a win with identical sets of 6-1, 6-1.
Junior Co-Captain Morgan Mays added a straight set victory of his own defeating Jeremy Moser on court three 6-3, 6-2. Freshman Nicolas Moreno de Alboran added the seventh point for the Gauchos with a sweep on court two. He defeated Mantas Bugailiskis 7-5, 6-4 to end the match.
The Gauchos will play two more home matches this week as they host Sacramento State on Friday and USF on Saturday afternoon. Both matches are set for 1pm starts at the Rec Cen Courts.