SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Gauchos concluded their homestand on Thursday afternoon with a big win against visiting 49th-ranked George Washington University, 6-1. UCSB went 3-1 in their four-game homestand and improved their overall record to 6-5.
The Gauchos gained the doubles point with wins at courts 1 and 2. Benjamin Recknagel and Axel Bouillin started the Gauchos off with a victory at court 2, dropping George Washington's Zelenkov and Fomin 8-5. Andrew Riminton and Miles Seemann lost in a close 9-7 decision at court 3 but UCSB came back to clinch the doubles point with an 8-5 win by Gaucho pair Mbonisi Ndimande and Ziad Sultan, who stretched their winning streak to four matches.
Coach Marty Davis praised his team for keeping up the strong play since their difficult loss against #41 San Diego.
"After the San Diego State match the question was: could we come back and play that way again? We did against Utah and now we've played well again here today," said Coach Marty Davis. "Today's match really came down to fitness, we're much fitter than this team and that was the difference," he added.
UCSB's superior fitness helped them to win five out of their six singles matches en route to the 6-1 victory. Andrew Riminton was first off the court with a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 6 position to grab the quick 2-0 lead for UCSB. Senior Benjamin Recknagel and sophomore Ziad Sultan added wins in straight sets at courts 2 and 4, respectively. In both matches, the Colonials served at 5-4 for every set but Sultan and Recknagel broke serve and won.
At the No. 1 position, Senior Mbonisi Ndimande was down a set, before taking the second set 6-4. His opponent, Nikita Fomin, cramped up in the third set and couldn't continue the match. Sophomore Axel Bouillin also lost his first set but came back to take the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 as his opponent, Zelenkov, couldn't keep up and faded away in the third set at court 3.
The Gauchos only loss was at court 5, where Sasha Gryaznov lost 6-2, 6-4 to Thomsen.
Coach Marty Davis said of his team, "We're on track. We're winning the doubles [and] we're doing the right things."
The Gauchos will hit the books for finals week before returning to the courts on a four game road trip over Spring Break. UCSB will head to Boise, Idaho for games against Utah St. and Boise St. before traveling to Colorado to face the University of Denver in Denver and Air Force in Colorado Springs. Action is set to begin against Utah St. on Wednesday, Mar. 27 at 1:00 PM.
UCSB 6, #49 George Washington 1
1. Ndimande/Sultan (UCSB) def. van Gils/Thomsen (GW) 8-5
2. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) def. Zelenkov/Fomin (GW) 8-5
3. Dias/Lapentti (GW) def. Riminton/Seemann (UCSB) 9-7
1. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) def. Nikita Fomin (GW) 1-6, 6-4 (Ret)
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Francisco Dias (GW) 7-6, 7-5
3. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) def. Danil Zelenkov (GW) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Alexander van Gils (GW) 7-5, 7-5
5. Ulrik Thomsen (GW) def. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-2, 6-4
6. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) def. Viktor Svensson (GW) 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (6, 5, 4, 2, 1, 3)
UCSB SEASON RECORD: 6-5; Big West 0-0