SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team is back on the winning side of things following a 7-0 sweep of the University of San Francisco. UCSB (4-2) is now 3-0 at home and seemed more energetic to be back in action in beautiful Santa Barbara.
"We had to really battle today, don't let the scoreline fool you," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "We had a very helpful crowd today to help our guys rally and it was a good win."
While the Gauchos 7-0 victory looks very dominant on paper, the actual match was very close. In fact, the Dons (2-4) were very close to taking the eary doubles point and a 1-0 lead right away.
On court one, juniors Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm took the court looking to shake off a loss from last week. Unfortunately for them the duo of Zincirli and Joenhagen on the USF side proved to be too much. The Don pair broke the Gauchos couplet at 2-2 and from there rode that momentum into a 6-2 win.
"They feel like they have gotten away from their strengths recently so tomorrow we really just want them to get back to the basics," Davis said. "They just need to build off the fundamentals."
UCSB bounced back on court three as Joseph Guillin and Hironori Koyanagi got a 6-3 victory meaning the point came down to the winner on court two. Senior Simon Freund and redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram held a 6-3 (40-0) lead. The Dons would make a tiny rally to give UCSB a scare but a return from Fruend sealed the 1-0 lead for the Gauchos.
Singles play is where the match intensity skyrocketed. Two of the top three Gauchos dropped their first set, including Holm to get sweot 6-0 by Ryan Marker in the first set on cour three.
Freshman Henrik Atlevi earned his first NCAA dual-match action today on court six and he did not disappoint. Atlevi was down 2-3 in the first set, but rallied to win 6-3. Likewise, the Sweden native was down 1-2 in the second, but rallied to win 6-2 and give the Gauchos a 2-0 advantage. The victory was the first of Atlevi's career.
"I was just so excited to play and represent the Gauchos," Atlevi said. "I was just so focused on winning my match, taking it point by point and luckily I got the win. I played a solid match, didn't take any risks and I was just stoked to get the win. I just had to text my dad and tell him, it was that exciting."
"It was a nice debut for him. We have had some health issues this season and he earned his chance to play today and it was good for him to start his career with a win," Davis said.
On court four, Guillin kept up his hot streak winning his fourth consecutive match with a 6-4, 6-3 victory of Oliver Poysti. Following that, Moreno de Alboran secured a win on the top court sealing the victory for the 'Chos. The No. 75 player in the country knocked off Zincerli by set scores of 6-1, 7-5.
Despite the match being sealed, on court five, Koyanagi rallied from a 4-6 defeat in the first set and took the next two sets 6-1, 6-3 to earn another victory on the year. Additionally, Holm rallied from a 0-6 loss in the first set, to take the next two, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6).
The final match on court two between Freund and Joenhagen took the longest but certainly was one of the more exciting. Like Holm and Koyanagi, Freund lost the first set 4-6, but rallied to win the second 6-3. Heading to a tiebreaker third since the match was already decided, the two kept trading points, until Freund won 1-0 (10-8) and sealed the 7-0 blanking of USF.
As previously mentioned, the 7-0 victory of the Dons certainly looks like a dominant win, but the match certainly provided much entertainment. UCSB's win was great but now it must turn its attention to Pacific a team with just one win on the season.
"I think Pacific is slightly better, so tomorrow will be an even tougher match," Davis said. "We barely beat them last year so we think it will be another close match."
UCSB takes on Pacific at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Rec Cen Courts. Fans who wear their yellow shirts supporting the Gauchos can get free pizza during the singles matches. Shirts are also sold for 10 dollars apiece
UC Santa Barbara 7, University of San Francisco 0
February 17, 2018; Santa Barbara, Calif.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
(1) Moreno de Alboran def. Zincirli; 6-1, 7-5
(2) Freund def. Joenhagen; 4-6, 6-3
(3) Holm def. Marker; 0-6, 7-5
(4) Guillin def Poysti; 6-4, 6-3
(5) Koyanagi def. Giraud; 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
(6) Atlevi def. Marinelli; 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 4, 1*, 5, 3, 2