SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — For the second consecutive week, a UC Santa Barbara men's tennis player was honored with the Big West Athlete of the Week recognition. Junior Anders Holm took home the award for the first time in his career following a solid week in singles.
"I am super stoked for him, he deserved it. He is the only player in the conference to have a win over a nationally ranked player, so I love that win and I love that the coaches our conference know how good it was," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
Holm defeated San Diego's Joel Gamerov in straight sets by scores of 6-2, 7-6 (5). Making the win even more impressive is that Gamerov is ranked No. 74 in the country according to the ITA rankings. Additionally, it was his first loss of the season.
Making the victory even sweeter for Holm, the junior actually lost to Gamerov during the fall tournament schedule. In the ITA regionals, Gamerov upended Holm 6-0, 6-4.
USD hoped to take advantage of that matchup again this weekend but the UCSB athlete wasn't having any of it pulling off a big upset.
"San Diego went out of their way to shuffle their lineup and put their only ranked player down a spot to try to guess where Anders would be and he was there at No. 4," Davis said. "For them to do that and Anders to win was just wonderful. When he saw the line up and he saw what they were thinking I think he got a chip on his shoulder and player with it and I think Anders is at his best when he has that chip on his shoulder."
For Holm, the win also pushed him above .500 in singles and gave him his second consecutive win. The Denmark native is now 3-2 on the season in singles.
Despite the Gauchos losing the match against the Toreros 4-3, Holm's win was big in that it helped UCSB rally from a 3-0 deficit. The junior was part of the Santa Barbara rally that tied the match at 3-3 before ultimately losing. UCSB is now 3-2 on the year.
Two weeks ago against Fresno State, despite the match being decided in favor the Gauchos, Holm still expressed how important it was to get that win to have more confidence as the season progressed. He showed that confidence on Sunday with that win.
"Winning breeds confidence, and he knows that and he is one hell of a competitor like most of our team is," Davis said. "Whether the team match is over or not these guys have invested hours into this and they want to win. Winning that match [two weeks ago] definitely gave him confidence."
Holm and the rest of UCSB will be back in action for two matches at home this weekend. Santa Barbara will take on USF at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Rec Cen Courts and Pacific at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the same location.