SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Two home matches are on the slate for the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team who will be looking to get over the 4-3 loss it suffered at the hands of San Diego last weekend.
"The team is looking well, we have had some solid practices and we are excited to bounce back this weekend against two underrated teams," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "Overall, it's just good to be back home and I hope we can keep the streak alive."
UCSB (3-2) will be hosting matches against San Francisco (2-3), losers of two straight, and Pacific (1-7) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Coming in hot into the weekend match-ups, junior Anders Holm was recently named Big West Conference Athlete of the Week after downing nationally ranked Joel Gamerov of the University of San Diego last weekend. It was the first loss of the season for Gamerov.
Anders outlasted Gamerov, ranked No. 74 in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, by set scores of 6-2, 7-6 (5) avenging a loss to the Torero this fall at the ITA Regional Championships.
Speaking of hot, sophomore transfer Joseph Guillin has also been on a roll as of late. The Paris native has won three consecutive singles matches and is now 4-1 on the season, the best mark of anyone on the team.
Guillin has split time on both courts three and four but seems to be thriving on either. The former Florida Gator will look to continue his hot streak this weekend.
"His tennis IQ is really high, and he sees the game better than most athletes in college tennis," Davis said. "He is great at figuring out what he needs to do to beat a specific opponent. The best part is that he is only a sophomore."
Junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and senior Simon Freund will look to bounce back following a tough outing against USD. Both players lost in straight sets last week and also suffered losses in their respective doubles matches thus resulting in the team losing the point.
"Anytime you lose in a close match it really puts a dent in your confidence," Davis said. "But they are both mature enough to bounce back and I think they will because they really need to put last week behind them."
For Moreno de Alboran and Holm, doubles will not get any easier against USF as the Dons boast a duo comprised of Paul Giraud and Johan Joenhagen which have gone 3-0 this season.
Freshman Victor Krustev is still questionable due to a wrist strain.
Unfortunately for the Dons, success in doubles has not translated to singles as currently only one athlete has an above .500 record, Ryan Marker with a 2-1 mark in the No. 3 court.
USF has already faced one Big West opponent this season, UC Davis, and was bested by a final score of 4-2 just a couple of weeks ago. Last week, however, the Dons put up a great challenge against No. 8 USC losing 5-2.
Without a doubt, UCSB will get the best that the USF team has to offer so it cannot afford to take anything so easy.
The next day, the Gauchos will be facing off against Pacific who has been decimated by injuries up to this point in the season.
The Tigers have already lost to two Big West opponents this season and also lost to Fresno State 4-1, the same team UCSB beat 6-1. Pacific has currently lost four straight matches and their only win this season has been against George Washington University.
Last season's match with the Tigers was very close as the Gauchos got out of Stockton with a narrow 4-3 victory. The Tigers feature the No. 24 doubles team in the country, Adram El Sallaly and Bernardo Oliveira who also play primarily out of the No. 1 court. They are currently 4-1 on the year.
One of the biggest goals UCSB has for this season is staying perfect at home, and while these two teams are no pushovers, the home team is certainly in a position to pick up two more wins to add to their total.
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.
Fans who wear their yellow shirts supporting the Gauchos can get free pizza during the singles matches. Shirts are also sold for 10 dollars apiece.