SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 61st-ranked UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team recorded one of its biggest wins in a decade on Thursday afternoon, defeating No. 22 Texas Tech, 4-3 in dramatic fashion.
Ziad Sultan and Sasha Gryaznov came back from 3-7 down at the No. 3 doubles position, winning six straight games to steal the match 9-7 and the opening doubles point for the Gauchos.
Lifted by the dramatic doubles comeback, the Gauchos jumped out to a quick start in singles, posting first set wins on four of six courts. Freshman Axel Bouillin was the first off court, putting UCSB ahead 2-0 with a win at No. 6. Bouillin defeated Francisco Zambon, 6-4, 6-4. Freshman Greg Scott was next off court, posting a 6-2,6-4 win at the over Vitor Manzini at the No. 6 position, getting the Gauchos within a match of the upset.
The perennial top-25 Red Raiders fought back.
Texas Tech won a tie-break on court No. 1 as Gonzalo Escobar defeated Mathieu Forget, 7-6, 6-3. The Red Raiders won the second set to split sets on court No. 2, pulled ahead on court No. 3, and fought from a break down to take a 6-5 lead in the second set on court No. 5
It was not going to be an easy road for the Gauchos, but Ziad Sultan proved strong at No. 5 to hold and force a second set tie-break. Sultan was outstanding in the tie-breaker to close the door on Texas Tech and seal the upset for UCSB. He defeated Gabriel Wanderley, 6-3, 7-6. Complete results are below.
The Gauchos will now take a break for final exams before resuming their
homestand on March 29th against UC San Diego.
No. 61 UCSB 4 - No. 22 Texas Tech 3
1. Escobar/Carvalho def. Forget/Ndimande (UCSB) 8-2
2. Bouillin/Johnson (UCSB) def. Garcia/Manzini 8-6
3. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Bryan/Pfister 9-7
1. Gonzalo Escobar def. Mathieu Forget (UCSB) 7-6,6-3
2. Raony Carvalho def. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) 2-6,6-3,6-3
3. Rafael Garcia def. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) 6-4,6-0
4. Greg Scott (UCSB) def. Vitor Manzini 6-2,6-4
5. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Gabriel Wanderley 6-3,7-6
6. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) def. Francisco Zambon 6-4,6-4
Order of finish: Singles (6,4,3,5,1,2)
SEASON RECORD: 9-6
BIG WEST RECORD: 2-1