RIVERSIDE, Calif. - There truly are no words to describe the level of confidence the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team was playing with even before Sunday's match against UC Riverside, so one could describe how great they all feel now after another 7-0 win bringing their overall streak to seven straight wins.
"Just another impressive victory by the guys and I couldn't be happier. There were a lot of cool moments and it was overall a great day for UCSB tennis," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
UCSB's (15-6 overall, 4-0 Big West) seven straight wins include two wins over nationally ranked opponents, three road victories where it was previously winless before the streak, and four conference victories. In those seven matches, Santa Barbara has also only surrendered a total of six points.
For UCR (16-16 overall, 0-3 Big West), despite having lost today to UCSB and remaining winless in conference play, it managed to rebound and defeat Arizona Christian 7-0 as part of its doubleheader Sunday.
Adding another doubles point win to their record, the Gauchos came out strong despite not playing juniors Anders Holm and Nicolas Moreno de Alboran at the No. 1 court. Instead, senior captain Simon Freund and redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram played at the top court but were unable to finish their match thanks to wins at two and three.
Moving up a spot, sophomore transfer Joseph Guillin and freshman Victor Krustev won easily on court two 6-1. With both duos moving up a spot that meant that the No. 3 court would be made up of a new pair. Senior Chase Masciorini got that call alongside freshman Ajai Shekhera and both did well earning their first win, a point-clinching win at that, defeating UCR's pair, 6-3.
In singles, Santa Barbara again sat Moreno de Alboran and Holm and also Shekhera. Guillin, however, still made a reappearance at the top court for UCSB and picked up his fifth-straight win improving to 18-2 on the year after securing a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
On court two, Freund also extended his win streak as he defeated UCR's Kyle McCann 7-5, 6-1. The Sweden native has now won seven straight matches and improves to 14-5 on the dual match season.
Surprisingly enough, however, both Guillin's and Freund's wins came after the match had already been sealed away.
Picking up the first win of the afternoon actually came from Masciorini over on court No. 6 as he made his first appearance of the season after dealing with an injury for most of the year. The senior won 6-1, 6-1 over the Highlanders' Filip Engstrom.
"It was really quite a moment and I could not be happier for Chase to first get the win in doubles than in singles in front of his family and girlfriend who were able to make the trip down," Davis said.
Making his first appearance at the No. 3 court, Koyanagi managed to pick up a 6-2, 6-2 win while Krustev on court four tallied the match-clinching victory with a 6-1, 6-2 win on court No. 4.
The final match of the day came down to Rotheram over on court five as he was the only athlete pushed to three sets by UCR's Gilbert Chung. Rotheram won the first set 6-3, before losing the second, 7-5 setting up the 10-point final set tiebreaker. Down 6-1 in the third, Rotheram rallied to win an impressive nine straight points, and take the set 10-6 to give the Gauchos the 7-0 win.
"Joey really battled and it was a great thing to watch. He kept our streak alive of not surrendering a point and he did so playing well," Davis said.
Now 4-0 in conference play, UCSB has yet to lose a single conference match since the 2015 dual match season, a streak that is not only impressive but dominant. Just like last season, it seems that the winner of Blue-Green Rivalry will head into the tournament as the No. 1 seed as both boast 4-0 marks in conference play. If it is anything like last year, it will be one hell of a match to watch.
Santa Barbara concludes the regular season against Cal Poly at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the Cal Poly Tennis Courts.
UC Santa Barbara 7, UC Riverside 0
SRC Tennis Courts; April 15th, 2018
1) Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. Pawel Jankowiak (UC Riverside), 6-3, 6-0
2) Simon Freund (UCSB) def. Kyle McCann (UC Riverside), 7-5, 6-1
3) Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB) def. Nabil Abdallah (UC Riverside), 6-2, 6-2
4) Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Vignesh Subramanyan (UC Riverside), 6-1, 6-2
5) Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Gilbert Chung (UC Riverside), 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6)
6) Chase Masciorini (UCSB) def. Filip Engstrom (UC Riverside), 6-1, 6-1