No. 49 UCSB Edged By No. 54 Denver, 4-3

Ziad Sultan (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Ziad Sultan (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In anticipation of rain, the No. 49 UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team battled with No. 54 Denver on Saturday afternoon and the Pioneers won the doubles point and, ultimately, defeated the Gauchos, 4-3.

After dropping the doubles point, the Gauchos came right back in the singles with Ziad Sultan posting yet

another lopsided win at the No.5 position; Sultan's eighth win in his last 9 matches.  The Gaucho men then took a 2-1 lead behind Mbonisi Ndimande's win on court three.  With Gaucho Axel Bouillin up 6-4,5-2 on court six and Mathieu Forget closing out a first set tie-break win at No. 1, things were looking pretty good for the home team. 

Denver, however, had a different idea.  Luke Manley saved two match points at the No. 6 position and rallied to take the

second set.  On the flip side, Benjamin Recknagel and Greg Scott each came back from a set down to force third sets and Forget was continuing to control play on center court.  It was a nail-biter.

Yannick Weihs prevailed over Recknagel on court two.  Denver took a 3-2 lead when Manley finished off his come from behind win over Bouillin at the No. 6 spot.  Forget tied it up again with another solid win at the No. 1 spot.

Denver 3, UCSB 3. 

The entire shebang was coming down to court No. 4  

UCSB's hopes were hanging on the racket of freshman Greg Scott.  Scott, who played the hero in the exact same situation against SMU a month ago, couldn't pull out the final win this time around, dropping the final set 6-2.

The Gauchos return to action on Sunday afternoon, taking-on Pacific in an important Big West Conference match at noon on the Recreation Center Courts.

No. 54 Denver 4, No. 49 UCSB 3

1. Bonin/Vorkefeld def. Forget/Ndimande (UCSB) 8-2
2. Bouillin/Johnson (UCSB) def. Krammer/Biasion 8-5
3. Weihs/Manley def. Sultan/Gryaznov (UCSB) 9-8

1. Mathieu Forget (UCSB) def. Enej Bonin 7-6,7-5
2. Yannick Weihs def. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) 6-3,1-6,6-3
3. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) def. Jens Vorkefeld 6-3,6-4
4. Max Krammer def. Greg Scott (UCSB) 6-3,4-6,6-2
5. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Orhar Kordsuchia 6-1,6-3
6. Luke Manley def. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) 4-6,7-5,6-3 

Order of finish: Singles (5,3,2,6,1,4)


Sunday, April 1 vs. Pacific, Rec Cen courts, Noon