SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Just days removed from yet another road loss, this time to Arizona, the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team will host unranked Boise State on Sunday. Originally, the 'Chos were supposed to play No. 36 LMU on Saturday but the match has been postponed until Tuesday, April 10th due to poor conditions.
"Boise state is a fun match because they are coached by a great guy who used to be here at UCSB so its always sort of a homecoming for him," Head Coach Marty Davis said. Overall, we hope we can keep our home streak alive and continue getting better going forward."
The Gauchos (6-5) will look to avoid dropping two matches in a row being .500 on the season for the first time since starting the season 1-1. Boise State (3-8), like Santa Barbara, is winless on the road at 0-3.
For UCSB, senior captain Simon Freund returned to action following a one-game abscence and was solid in both doubles and singles picking up wins in both.
"I liked that he battled through his injury and his game is just so good, it is always nice to have him out on the court for us," Davis said.
Playing on the No. 3 court for the first time this season, Freund bested Arizona's Aaro Pollanen in three sets with scores of 6-7, 6-4, 10-6. In doubles, he and his usual partner, redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram, earned an easy 6-1 victory in their usual spot at the No. 2 court.
With Freund back in the lineup, hopefully for the foreseeable future, the Gauchos can go back to relying on the Sweden native in both doubles and singles.
Playing at the No. 2 court the past two outings for UCSB, sophomore transfer Joesph Guillin is, and has been for a while now, on fire. With nine straight wins in singles, Guillin sports the best record on the team with a 10-1 mark, with his only loss coming to USC's Laurens Verboven. The former Florida Gator has easily become the most consistent player in the Gauchos lineup and if he can keep up this high play then it will only be a matter of time before UCSB can earn the quality win it has been starving for all season.
"Joe has just been so good we have to keep him at a high spot and see how he keeps performing. We are excited to watch him continue growing," Davis said.
Another key player includes, obviously, the No. 108 ranked player in the country, junior Nicolas Moreno de Alboran. Moreno de Alboran earned a huge win against Arizona defeating Trent Brotha 6-3, 6-0 win in the No. 1 court in singles to pick up his first road win of the season. For the season, the New York native is sporting a 6-4 record with all 10 matches being play at the top sport.
Junior Anders Holm will look to recover from a tough loss at the No. 4 hole in singles. The Denmark native lost 6-0, 6-3 and was the first player to lose his singles match on Tuesday. Holm has had some tough losses this season, but has usually bounced back wonderfully.
Freshman Victor Krustev will also hope to recover from a tough loss while the Gauchos will continue to try to find someone to fill in admirably at the No. 6 spot. Junior transfer Hironori Koyanagiheld the spot for the longest but struggled and seems to have lost his grip on the job.
"It's going to be up for grabs for quite a while, we have a lot of good guys competing and eventually one will step up but until then we have a competition," Davis said.
Overall, this weekend is another opportunity for the Gauchos to build upon the continual success it has built for itself when it plays at home. Road matches are on the slate for UCSB so a good, solid win at home could be what the doctor ordered.
Santa Barbara takes on No. 36 Loyola Marymount at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10th at the LMU Tennis Center. The Gauchos will then host Boise State for a 10:30 match on Sunday, March 11th at the Rec Cen Courts.
Follow @UCSBtennis on twitter to keep up to date with the team.