SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – After a dominating start to Big West play on Saturday against UC Riverside, the Gauchos couldn't keep the momentum going, suffering a 5-2 loss to UC Irvine on Sunday afternoon.
UCSB was narrowly edged for the doubles point and lost four of their singles matches to drop their season record to 1-1 in conference play and 8-9 overall while UC Irvine improved to 2-1 against Big West opponents and 5-15 on the season.
"We had a good win against UC Riverside yesterday and unfortunately we couldn't carry through with that today," said Andrew Riminton, who collected one of the two Gaucho points in the loss.
In doubles, the Gauchos were able to record a win at court 2 but lost in hard fought battles at courts 1 and 3. Benjamin Recknagel/Axel Bouillin posted an 8-7(12) victory against Jung/Pham at the No. 2 position. UCSB's Mbonisi Ndimande/Ziad Sultan were defeated by Irvine pair Cheung/Hammel 8-2 at court 1 and Andrew Riminton/Sasha Gryaznov, playing with each other for the first time this season, dropped a close match at court 3, 8-6.
UCSB won two singles matches to keep the score close, but ultimately fell 5-2 to the Anteaters.
Sophomore Ziad Sultan lost against Irvine's Jacob Jung at the No. 4 position, 6-1, 6-2 and junior Sasha Gryaznov was defeated by Jonathan Hammel at court 5, to give Irvine the 3-0 lead.
At court 2, senior Benjamin Recknagel posted the first Gaucho victory against Tyler Pham, 6-2, 6-2. Shortly after, freshman Andrew Riminton added a win at court 6, where he defeated Justin Agbayani 6-2, 6-3 to help the Gauchos cut the Irvine lead to one.
The Anteaters clinched the victory at court 3, where Axel Bouillin's winning streak was snapped at seven matches with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Reo Asami. Senior Mbonisi Ndimande was defeated at the No. 1 position by the same score.
The Gauchos have a busy schedule in the upcoming week, playing Pac-12 opponent Oregon to conclude non-conference play, and matches against UC Davis and Pacific on the road next weekend.
"Oregon, Davis and Pacific [are] going to be tough, they've been playing quite well," said Andrew Riminton, who added, "We're really going have to up our game if we want to challenge them."
UCSB will take on #44 Oregon on Thursday, Apr. 11 at the Rec Cen
Courts, beginning at 2:00 PM (PST). The Gauchos will then hit the
road for games against Big West opponents, UC Davis on Saturday,
Apr. 13 and #70 Pacific on Sunday, Apr. 14.
UC Irvine 5, UCSB 2
1. Cheung/Hammel (UCI) def. Ndimande/Sultan (UCSB) 8-2
2. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) def. Jung/Pham (UCI) 8-7 (12)
3. Agbayani/Hernandez (UCI) def. Riminton/Gryaznov (UCSB) 8-6
1. Ryan Cheung (UCI) def. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) 6-3, 6-4
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Tyler Pham (UCI) 6-2, 6-2
3. Reo Asami (UCI) def. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) 6-3, 6-4
4. Jacob Jung (UCI) def. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) 6-1, 6-2
5. Jonathan Hammel (UCI) def. Sasha Gryaznov (UCSB) 6-0, 6-3
6. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) def. Justin Agbayani (UCI) 6-2, 6-3
UCSB SEASON RECORD 8-9; Big West 1-1