Gauchos Travel to 11th-Seeded Pepperdine for May 10 NCAA First Round Match

Ziad Sultan (Photo by Steve Chen)
Ziad Sultan (Photo by Steve Chen)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team, which on Sunday became the first No. 5 seed to win the Big West Conference Tournament, will travel to Malibu on Friday, May 10 to play 11th-seeded Pepperdine in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, it was announced Tuesday.  The match will start at 1:00 p.m.

UCSB head coach Marty Davis was pretty sure that his Gauchos would go to one of three sites for the first round: Pepperdine, USC or UCLA. 

"This is the best draw," Davis said.  "This is the draw we were hoping for, not because it is an easy draw, but because the other options were the No. 1 seed (UCLA) or a team that has won the last four championships (No. 4 seeded USC).  We haven't seen Pepperdine in a couple of years, but I'm encouraged by the fact that they were pushed by BYU, a team we beat last year, so this is best case scenario."

The Gauchos' march to the Big West title last weekend at Indian Wells, included three upsets in four days.  In the opener, they defeated fourth-seeded Hawaii by a score of 4-2.  In the second round, UCSB knocked out the top-seeded team, UC Irvine, 4-1, and in Sunday's championship match handed third-seeded Pacific a 4-2 defeat.  Each of the three teams that the Gauchos defeated in the league tournament had beaten them in the preceding two weeks.

Santa Barbara, which has won eight Big West Conference crowns, will be appearing in its 10th NCAA Tournament and first since 2009.  It will be the seventh time that a Davis-led Gaucho team will appear in the postseason.

UCSB will enter NCAA play with an overall record of 12-13.  Pepperdine is 24-5.

The winner of the match between the Gauchos and Waves will play a second round match against the winner of LSU-Stanford on Saturday, May 11.