SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team will hit the road for the first time in over a month when they travel to San Diego State (8-9) on Saturday in their final non-conference match of the season. The Gauchos (6-11; BW 1-0) will then travel to UC Riverside (2-17) on Sunday with hopes of tying Hawaii for a share of the lead in the Big West standings.
UCSB is coming off a disappointing Spring Break during which the team went 1-2 at home in the final matches of their 10-match homestand. The Gauchos started Spring Break on a positive note after posting a win against UC Irvine in their first conference match of the season but dropped matches against No. 22 Boise State and USF to cap off the homestand.
The Gauchos have only four matches remaining on the schedule before heading to the Big West tournament, beginning April 24. Three of those matches come against conference foes and are crucial for securing a good seed in the tournament. The Gauchos currently sit behind Hawaii (2-0) in the conference standings.
The UCSB men will travel to San Diego State on Saturday and will try to gain momentum as they head into the final stretch of season. The last time UCSB faced San Diego State, the Gauchos were edged at home in a 4-3 loss that came down to the last match.
The Aztecs have lost six of their last eight matches and fell out of the ITA national rankings this week (released Apr. 1) after a tough 7-0 loss against No. 2 USC. SDSU is led by Thorsten Bertsch at the No. 1 position and Freddy Gelbrich, who has a team-high 7-8 record playing primarily in the No. 3 slot.
On Sunday, UCSB will travel to UC Riverside in an important Big West match-up that could put the Gauchos in a tie at the top of the Big West standings.
The Highlanders are 2-17 on the dual season after losing their latest match against the Army in a 7-0 sweep and will take on Azusa Pacific on Saturday before hosting the Gauchos on Sunday. The Highlanders are led by Luis Gastao at No. 1 singles and Cooper Bridge, who has collected a team-leading 8-9 record playing at positions No. 1-4.
The Gauchos match against San Diego State is set for 11 a.m. at the Aztec Tennis Center and first serve at UC Riverside is set for 1 p.m. at the Andulka Park Tennis Center.