SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Another day, another impressive victory for the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team who swept through Cal Poly 7-0 to claim yet another conference regular season title and have the No. 1 seed heading into next week's tournament at Indian Wells.
UCSB (16-6 overall, 5-0 Big West) has been completely dominant over the last month and a half as it has won eight straight matches, five of them being confernece games, and have only surrendered a total of eight points in that span. Against Big West foes, UCSB completely shutout its five opponents by a total of 35-0.
Coming into this match, Cal Poly (17-6 overall, 4-1 Big West) was also red hot having won 10 of its last 11 games including five straight and still was unable to match the high intesity the Gauchos have been displaying lately.
The 'Chos started hot right from the start calming down the home-court advantage of the Mustangs by stealing the doubles point thanks to wins on the top two courts. Senior captain Simon Freund and redshirt freshman Joseph Rotheram got an easy win at court two with a 6-2 win but the home team retaliated by taking the win on court three making the match come down to the winner of court one.
However, with how hot the junior duo of Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm have been playing, that would not be an issue. The No. 85 duo in the country staunchly defeated Cal Poly's top duo 6-4 to help the visitors take a 1-0 lead.
With how close the singles matches were, one could assume the singles would be just as competitive but the Gauchos made sure it wasn't. The first UCSB player to pick up a win was junior transfer Hironori Koyanagi who shut out his opponent earning his first 6-0, 6-0 win of his career over on court five.
Making his return back to court two, sophomore transfer Joseph Guillin made sure to cap off his first regular season as a Gaucho the right way earning a 6-2, 6-2 win to finish an incredible 19-2 on the year, by far the best mark on the team.
Despite being pushed to three sets, Fruend dominanted the last two making sure to clinch the match for the Gauchos. Losing the first set 6-2, the Sweden native bounced back with 6-1, 6-2 win on courts two and three, respectively.
The other Gauhco pushed to a third set was Holm and because the match was already sealed the third set was a 10-pt tiebreaker. He and Axel Damiens split the first two with Holm taking the first set 6-4 while Damiens took the second 6-1. The junior finished off the matchn in the third with a 1-0 (10-3) win in the decisive set.
Moreno de Alboran and freshman Victor Krustev finished off the sweep with New York native winning 6-4, 7-5 on court one while the Canada native won 7-5, 7-5 on court six.
For the Gauchos, today was yet another dominant display that makes people understand why this team has won 23 straight conference matches including today's impressive victory. Earlier this season, UCSB needed a big turnaround with a road win and after getting its first road win against Washington the team has not looked back.
Next on the docket for this team will be making sure they stay hot come next week because winning the conference tournament is what gets this team to the NCAA Tournament and that is always the big goal.
UCSB will be the No. 1 seed headed into next weeks' conference tournament.
UC SANTA BARBARA 7, CAL POLY 0
Hugh Bream Court; April 21st, 2018
1) No. 85 Moreno de Alboran/Holm (UCSB) def. Ortlip/Damiens (Cal Poly), 6-4
2) Freund/Rotheram (UCSB) def. Shenkiryk/Whitehouse (Cal Poly), 6-1
3) Enander/Bechard (Cal Poly) def. Guillin/Krustev (UCSB), 6-4
1) No. 80 Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Ortlip (Cal Poly), 6-4, 7-5
2) Guillin (UCSB) def. Bechard (Cal Poly), 6-2, 6-2
3) Freund (UCSB) def. Noel (Cal Poly), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
4) Holm (UCSB) def. Damiens (Cal Poly), 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (10-3)
5) Koyanagi (UCSB) def. Slater (Cal Poly) 6-0, 6-0
6) Krustev (UCSB) def. Enander (Cal Poly), 7-5, 7-5