BERKELEY, Calif. - Despite unwelcoming weather conditions and a second half comeback, the UCSB Men's Tennis team was unable to defeat No. 6 Cal on the road Sunday afternoon dropping it's match with a 4-3 score.
The Gauchos split their weekend affair with a 1-1 record and currently sit at 5-2 on the year.
"We thought we had a pretty good chance at taking this one today," Head Coach Marty Williams said. "The game ended came down to a couple points but I think we proved to the tennis community that we can really compete."
Entering the Hellman Tennis Complex as the underdog, Santa Barbara stepped up to the challenge against their ranked opponent and gave them a run for their money.
Losing the doubles point and their first two single's matches, the Gauchos fought back as Chase Masciorini took home UCSB's first victory of the day defeating Dominic Barretto 6-3, 6-3 to give the Gauchos some much-needed momentum.
Following this, junior Cody Rakela edged out Bjorn Hoffman in a 6-4, 4-1 finish that ended early due to illness. This was Rakela's fifth single's win on the year and fourth-straight, his only loss coming to Logan Staggs of No. 15 UCLA.
"At that point we really felt like winning the game was possible," Rakela said. "We had this energy that spread like wildfire and even though we were still down 3-2 we thought we could do it."
Anders Holms then took on J.T. Nishimura finishing the match in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 for the win.
With all eyes on Court 3 and a slight drizzle for dramatic effect, the final match between Simon Freund and No. 80 ranked Billy Griffith came down to the wire. After splitting the first two sets 2-6, 6-2 Griffith pulled away with the 6-4 go-ahead win ending the game and having Cal fans storm the court. This was Freund's first single's loss of the year.
While it was not the end result they wanted, Rakela thinks Sunday's outing definitely said something about his team. "Our motto is respect all fear none. This game showed how we're not afraid to play anybody and can hold our own against ranked teams like Cal."
The Gauchos prepare for their first home matches of the season this upcoming weekend taking on LMU and No. 23 Oregon.
UCSB 3, Cal 4
Hellman Tennis Complex - Berkeley Calif.
Feb 26, 2017
1. Morgan Mays/Simon Freund (UCSB) vs. Andre Goransson/Billy Griffith (Cal), 5-3 Unfinished
2. Dominic Barretto/Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran/Anders Holm (UCSB), 6-4
3. Bjorn Hoffman/J.T. Nishimura (Cal) def. Teague Hamilton/Cody Rakela (UCSB), 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2*
*Clinched the doubles point
1. No. 20 Florian Lakat (Cal) def. Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB), 6-4, 6-1
2. No. 26 Andre Goransson (Cal) def. Morgan Mays (UCSB), 6-2, 6-0
3. No. 80 Billy Griffith (Cal) def. Simon Freund (UCSB), 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
4. Cody Rakela (UCSB) def. Bjorn Hoffmann (Cal), 6-4, 4-1 ret. (ill.)
5. Anders Holm (UCSB) def. J.T. Nishimura (Cal), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
6. Chase Masciorini (UCSB) def. Dominic Barretto (Cal), 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 6, 4, 5, 3^
^Clinched the overall match