Men's Tennis to Begin Conference Play; Host UC Riverside and UC Irvine in Weekend Matches

Sasha Gryaznov (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Sasha Gryaznov (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Gauchos are set to begin conference play starting this weekend against UC Riverside on Saturday and UC Irvine on Sunday at the Rec Cen Courts.

UCSB is coming off a difficult four-game road trip where they lost three out of four matches, including a pair of tough 4-3 losses against Denver and Air Force. The Gauchos did take away positives with improved doubles play and dominanting performances by sophomores Ziad Sultan and Axel Bouillin, who combined to win 7 of their 8 singles matches.

The Gauchos are returning home, where they have a solid 5-1 record, to face their first Big West opponents of the season beginning with UC Riverside. The Highlanders are 3-15 on the dual match season, including a 0-6 record away from home, and are 0-1 in conference play. UC Riverside won their latest match 4-3 over BYU-Hawaii but lost nine straight before that.

UCSB will continue league play against UC Irvine on Sunday. The Anteaters are also 3-15 on the dual match season, with a 0-8 record on the road, and 0-1 against Big West opponents. Irvine has had a tough non-conference schedule with eight matches against nationally ranked opponents and has gone 1-7 against those teams. The Anteaters are on a three-game losing streak, including a loss to #49 George Washington, who the Gauchos defeated in their latest home match.

Action is set to begin at 1:00 PM (PST) at the Rec Cen Courts on Saturday, Apr. 6 against UC Riverside and on Sunday, Apr. 7 against the Anteaters.