SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Sunday marked the final day of the annual UCSB Classic and many UC Santa Barbara men's tennis players put forth a great effort to end the tournament on the high note.
Sophomores Joseph Rotheram and Victor Krustev were amongst the UCSB athletes that earned significant wins on the final day. Krustev, after losing his first round match back on Friday, put it together these final two days running the table in the Flight A back draw and winning the consolation title after defeating Cal's Dominic Barretto easily, 6-1, 6-1.
Krustev is the second-straight Gaucho to win the consolation title in the top flight of UCSB's annual tournament.
In Flight B, Rotheram made some noise by handing Orgeon's Riki Oshima a bruising 7-5, 6-4 loss to claim the Flight B singles championship. Rotheram was the only Gaucho to win a singles championship across the three flights.
Additionally, Rotheram and Krustev were the top pair for UCSB in doubles in Flight A. Following a day one loss, the two rallied to put together a consolation run and capped it off, earning the consolation title after defeating UCLA's Connor Hance and Connor Rapp 8-1.
"Victor and Joey bounced back strong after a tough first-round loss where they had a couple match points but couldn't convert," Associate Head Coach Blake Muller said. "They definitely got better with every match and am proud of how they finished off the tournament."
Other notable wins include senior Hironori Koyanagi bouncing back after two tough losses on Saturday to earn a final win in the A Flight over Oregon's Joshua Charelton, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (5).
In the B Flight, junior Alex Soto took seventh place following an impressive 6-2, 6-0 win over Fresno State's Henrique Osorio. In Flight C, Will Saiga battled against Oregon's Ethan Young-Smith and bested him in a three-set match by set scores of 1-6, 7-6 (2), 1-0 (10-8) to claim third place in the flight.
Wrapping it up in the D Flight, freshman Luka Vukmonovic again failed to pick up a win losing 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) to LMU's Juan Brown. The redshirt lost all three singles matches he had this weekend but all of them were played extremely close with two going three sets.
In doubles, Rotheram/Krustev took the aforementioned A Flight consolation title. Flight C Championship match was between two UCSB pairs but it was the team of Vukmonovic/Saiga who bested the duo of Soto/Koyanagi, 8-4.
Overall, the UCSB Classic went really well for many of the Gaucho players who participated especially those who do not usually get the playing time they need to improve throughout the season.
While Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Joseph Guillin are some of the better, if not the best, players on the team, UCSB will need and take as much depth as they can get as they prepare for another season with hopes of not just another Big West Championship, but beyond.
"Overall I was very pleased with how our team did. It's a lot of tennis over a 48hr period and it definitely tests you both mentally and physically," Muller said. "We had several players go the distance in their final matches and they all held up and competed to the very end of the tournament."
UCSB will participate in the ITA Regionals running from October 20th until October 22nd. Follow @UCSBTennis for any and all Gaucho Tennis updates.