IRVINE, Calif. – The Gaucho veterans continued their hot start to the season as Benjamin Recknagel, Axel Bouillin, and Mbonisi Ndimande all won their matches Friday to continue on into the Round of 32 at the ITA Southwest Regionals.
After grabbing the top spot in the B Flight singles last weekend in the UCSB Classic, senior Benjamin Recknagel had another successful day at the courts. Recknagel, who is seeded 15th in the tournament, received a first round bye into the second round where he posted a routine 6-2, 6-2 win over LMU's Sebastian Bustamante. Recknagel will face Cal Poly's Jordan Bridge, who placed seventh in the top flight of singles in the UCSB Classic, on Saturday.
Mbonisi Ndimande, ranked 12th, and Axel Bouillin both received first round byes and won to advance into the third round of the tournament. Ndimande defeated Ciaran Fitzgerald of San Diego 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 and Bouillin swept Hawaii's Dymitri Kovalyav 6-4, 6-4. Ndimande will compete against Cal Poly's Gannon Daynes, who finished second in C Flight singles last weekend and Bouillin will play Clarke Spinosa of San Diego Saturday afternoon.
Sasha Gryaznov reached the third round after a first round bye and a walkover in the second round. He will face UCLA's Marcos Giron who is the fifth seed in the tournament.
Several other Gauchos were in action on Friday but failed to make it into the third round. Veteran Ziad Sultan defeated Julian Ruffin of UC Riverside 6-3, 6-2 but then dropped his second match to third ranked Roberto Quiroz 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 of USC in the second round. SBCC transfer Miles Seemann lost a close match 6-4, 7-6 to UCLA's Ryoto Tachi and Jacob Johnson was topped by sixth ranked Mousheg Hovhannisyan of Pepperdine 6-0, 6-3 in the second round after a first round bye. Sultan, Seemann, and Johnson will all play in the consolation bracket.
In doubles play, the tandem of Bouillin and Gryaznov won in a tight 9-7 victory over UC Irvine's Hammel and Poon and will face the sixth seeded pair of Bertsch and Nicholas on Saturday. The duo of Ndimande and Sultan received a first round bye and will begin their doubles action in the second round against Hawaii's Okamoto and Schuhmann. Seemann and Recknagel will play LMU's Northcott and Simko in the second round.
The tournament will continue tomorrow beginning at 9 AM.
Singles Round 1:
Ziad Sultan - UCSB def. Julian Ruffin – UCR, 6-3, 6-2
Ryoto Tachi – UCLA def. Miles Seemann – UCSB, 6-4, 7-6
Singles Round 2:
Benjamin Recknagel (15) – UCSB def. Sebastian Bustamante – LMU, 6-2, 6-2
Mbonisi Ndimande (12) – UCSB def. Ciaran Fitzgerald – SDSU, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Axel Bouillin – UCSB def. Dymitri Kovalyav – Hawaii, 6-4, 6-4
Roberto Quiroz (3) – USC def. Ziad Sultan – UCSB, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Mousheg Hovhannisyan – PEP def. Jacob Johnson – UCSB, 6-0, 6-3
Doubles Round 1:
Bouillin/Gryaznov – UCSB def. Hammel/Poon – UCI, 9-7