Gauchos Lose in Heartbreaking 4-3 Match to #43 Oregon

Mbonisi Ndimande (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Mbonisi Ndimande (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Men's tennis hosted the Pac-12's #43 University of Oregon in an exciting Thursday afternoon marathon match that ended in a 4-3 loss by the home team. The Gauchos swept doubles but fell in four of their six singles matches to drop their record to 8-10 on the season.

To begin the match, UCSB won all three doubles matches against an Oregon team that has a 45-9 record in doubles matches overall as a team.

"We started off really good [by] winning the doubles point," said senior Benjamin Recknagel.

At court 1, Gaucho pair Mbonisi Ndimande/Ziad Sultan defeated nationally ranked duo #56 Mullen/Cambier, 8-7. Benjamin Recknagel/Axel Bouillin added a win at the No. 2 position with an 8-4 triumph over Sardu/Clissold and at court 3, Andrew Riminton/Miles Seemann were victorious against Maasland/Rovello, 8-2 to clinch the doubles point for the Gauchos.

The Gauchos battled hard but dropped four of their singles matches in the close loss. UCSB seniors Mbonisi Ndimande and Benjamin Recknagel led the Gauchos with wins in singles play at courts 1 and 2, respectively, to momentarily put UCSB in the lead at 2-1 and 3-2.

At court 3, Oregon's Alex Rovello defeated Axel Bouillin 6-1, 6-3 to tie up the match at 1. Mbonisi Ndimande came back with a win at the No. 1 position in straight sets over Oregon's Cambier. Jacob Johnson returned to the lineup at court 6 but retired in the third set due to injury, knotting up the match at 2.

Senior Benjamin Recknagel fought back from a one set deficit and down 4-2 in the third set to take his match 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 at the No. 2 position to put the Gauchos ahead.

"We have a lot of fight, we don't give up," said Benjamin Recknagel about his team's performance.

With the score at 3-2, freshman Andrew Riminton was defeated at court 5 by the Ducks' Sardu and the match came down to court 4, where sophomore Ziad Sultan took on Daan Maasland. After splitting the first two sets, Sultan nearly came back from a 3-0 deficit in the third set but was edged by Maasland 6-3.

"We actually played a really good match today," said Benjamin Recknagel and added, "[It was] really unfortunate that we couldn't pull it off."

The Gauchos will head on the road to continue Big West play, beginning with a match against UC Davis on Saturday and #66 Pacific on Sunday. Action is set to begin in Davis, CA at 12:00 PM (PST).

#43 University of Oregon 4, UCSB 3


1. Ndimande/Sultan (UCSB) def. #56 Mullen/Cambier (UO) 8-7
2. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) def. Sardu/Clissold (UO) 8-4
3. Riminton/Seemann (UCSB) def. Maasland/Rovello (UO) 8-2


1. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) def. Robin Cambier (UO) 6-3, 6-3
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Jeff Mullen (UO) 6-7, 6-3, 7-5
3. Alex Rovello (UO) def. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) 6-1, 6-3
4. Daan Maasland (UO) def. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
5. Daniel Sardu (UO) def. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
6. Lova Randriamampandry (UO) def. Jacob Johnson (UCSB) 3-6, 7-5, 4-0 (Ret.)

Order of Finish: 3, 1, 6, 2, 5, 4
UCSB SEASON RECORD: 8-10; Big West 1-1