SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- UC Santa Barbara Senior co-captain Joseph Guillin defeated the No. 1 players from Cal and Wake Forest to advance to the semi-final of the All-America Championship 'back draw' in Tulsa, OK, and the rest of the Gauchos stormed to eight wins to start the UCSB Classic in Santa Barbara.
Guillin played brilliant tactical tennis to dismantle CAL's hard hitting ace, Yuta Kikuchi, 6-4, 6-1, and then came back an hour later to beat the 15th ranked player in the country and Wake Forest No. 1 Bar Botzer 7-6, 6-2 in a very competitive, well played match to finish a perfect day. Joe, who starts the season ranked #28, will play Notre Dame No. 1 Richard Ciamarra, ranked #43, tomorrow in a semi-final match at 11am at the University of Tulsa Tennis Center. The winner of the consolation draw earns an automatic invite to the ITA Fall Nationals in Newport Beach next month, the third college 'major' championship of the year. Joseph reached the quarter-finals of the nations first 'major', the ITA Oracle Masters in September.
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HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The Gauchos back home won eight of their nine matches played on Friday at the UCSB Classic, going a perfect 3-0 in doubles play. The UCSB men powered on, winning both singles matches in the 'A' flight, splitting the 'B' flight contests, and winning the lone 'C' flight matchup.
Juniors Joseph Rotheram and Victor Krustev were matched against a tough Oregon duo, and they fell down an 0-4 hole early, but a change in strategy propelled the duo to an 8-7 (4) victory. It was a gutsy win for the pair and they are now set to face Kolasinski/Kopczynski (Stanford) on Saturday at the Rec Cen Courts.
"[Krustev and I] just wanted to get into our flow of things and most importantly stay composed," said Rotheram after the thrilling win. "We let them get to us and they just weren't missing for a while, but we just knew we had to get it together some way."
Co-Captain Alex Dominguez and sophomore Alejandro Vedri moved past their opponents from LMU 8-3, dominating from the start. The match was delayed due to an injury, but once play resumed the Spaniards picked up right where they left off. At the Stadium Road courts, the pair of Josh Williams and Luka Vukmanovic collected their first doubles win of the season in an 8-5 victory.
Williams then picked up his second win in his college career in a singles match, 6-1, 6-2 against Fresno State's Bailey Gong. Dominguez won 6-4, 6-3 in his match, keeping control of the pace for the majority of the match.
Sophomore Willhelm Saiga battled valiantly against Fonseca (Cal Poly), but was defeated in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. He joined the rest of his teammates in support of the remaining flight 'A' matches, where UCSB eventually came out on top in all three.
Krustev advanced with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory, followed by Vedri's 6-1, 6-2 triumph. The final match of the evening turned into a marathon battle between Rotheram and Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA). Joey exemplified his poise, staying cool even on a hot afternoon when he had to battle back from set and match points to eventually claim a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) victory in the most compelling match of the day.
The 2019 UCSB Classic continues on throughout the weekend, with the doubles matches slated to start at 9am on Saturday. You can check the updated draws at this link: http://ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-tennis/2019-20/files/2019ClassicDay1.pdf