April 30, 2013

Recknagel, Mbonisi Garner First-Team All-Big West Recognition

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Seniors Benjamin Recknagel and Mbonisi Ndimande were each named First Team All-Big West Conference in singles while Ndimande and sophomore Ziad Sultan were selected first team all-league it doubles, the conference announced Tuesday.  For Recknagel, it was his fourth straight first team honor in singles.

In addition to the first team honorees, sophomore Axel Bouillin was named Second Team All-Big West in singles while he and Recknagel were selected second team in doubles.

The Gauchos, who became the first fifth-seeded team to win the Big West Conference Tournament on Sunday, also learned on Tuesday that they would travel to Malibu to play 11th-seeded Pepperdine in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 10.

"Benny has been a consistent performer at the top of our lineup," said UCSB head coach Marty Davis.  "I'm also not surprised that Bo made it, he has had a very good season."

Recknagel enters the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 21-11, including 13-9 in dual matches.  He was 3-6 at No. 1, 8-3 at No. 2 and 2-0 at No. 3.  Mbonisi is 17-13 overall, including 11-9 in dual matches.  He went 6-6 at No. 1, 4-3 at No. 2 and 1-0 at No. 3.  For his part, Bouillin is 16-16 overall and 12-12 in dual matches.  He holds an 11-7 record at No. 3, 1-4 at No. 2 and 0-1 at No. 1.

While he was happy with the three singles selections, Davis was even happier that two of the Gauchos' doubles teams were recognized.

"I am very pleased that we got two teams in doubles," he said.  "Considering the way we started the year, that's very impressive."

UCSB won the doubles point in each of their doubles matches.  On the season, Sultan and Mbonisi went 14-10 overall and 11-7 in dual matches, all at No. 1.  Overall, Sultan has piled-up 16 doubles wins while Mbonisi has 15.  Recknagel and Bouillin are 10-6 overall and 9-5 in dual matches, including 9-4 at the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

The league's Player of the Year, for the second year in a row, is Cal Poly's Andre Dome.