The UC Santa Barbara men’s tennis team saw their second straight blowout on Saturday against the University of Minnesota. This loss, which marked the team’s fourth in a row, will push the Gauchos down to a 2-7 overall record.
Minnesota’s fate, however, looked a little different as they carried over the same momentum and success from last weekend’s spotless 7-0 win over Yale. The Gophers executed an all-around takedown of the Gauchos, sweeping them in a 7-0 dual match on their home court. Looking ahead, the Maroon and Gold are now just eight games away from hitting their 100th since the fall.
In the last match of the day, #85 Stefan Milicevic delivered a nasty upset when he beat Santa Barbara’s #8 Joseph Guillin — his first victory over a top-10 opponent — in two 7-6(3),7-5 sets at the No. 1 spot in singles competitions. These past two weeks have set Milicevic on an upward slope, looking now at 12 wins on the season and a two-game win streak. For Guillin, time has done the opposite and rocked him out of his early dominance.
Retrospectively, the match culminated an entire day’s worth of frustration from the Gaucho’s perspective.
UCSB dug themselves into a hole early on, starting the day by losing two crucial points in doubles competition. Senior co-captain Guillin and sophomore Alejandro Vedri, a pair that has been arguably the sole consistent force in SB’s doubles play, fell first to Minnesota’s Vlad Lobak and Siim Troost in a swift 6-2 match. The partners now lead their team in both dual match and overall records — together, they have seen just one loss out of a total of nine matches.
Junior partners Victor Krustev and Joseph Rotheram took the next defeat on the No. 2 court, facing first-time duo Milicevic and Jackson Allen. For Minnesota, Allen has proven to be a dynamic doubles partner. The junior has now appeared on the court with three different starters. Despite the inconsistency, Allen’s personal doubles record has floated above the rest at 13-5 overall.
In singles play, the Minnesota Gophers dominated even further, disallowing all but Guillin — who pushed a set to 7 points — to even touch the 5-point mark. On courts two through five, UCSB players were taken out in two swift sets by their Minnesota counterparts. Lobak clinched the match for Minnesota in two identical 6-2 sets against Krustev.
Lobak and Troost, who had earlier picked up a doubles win, each added wins to their already impressive records. Both of them now boast 13 wins on the season and eight and seven in the dual-match season, respectively.
At this point, the Gauchos’ track record for away games has spoken for itself. Winning just one of six of its past away matches, Santa Barbara is in dire need of a change of scenery and is not far from it. UCSB will leg through just one more road match against Indiana before heading back home.