SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Last season, UC Santa Barbara earned seven 7-0 victories over its opponents. Friday marked the first time this season the Gauchos blanked someone completely as they swept Pepperdine, 7-0, for one of their most decisive wins of the 2019 campaign.
"We came out and played really well," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "We made a few lineup changes in doubles and we Victor [Krustev] played a tough guy at the three spot who made his first appearance of the season so overall it was a great, dominating win and I hope it gives us good momentum come tomorrow."
The Gauchos (5-4) have now won two straight after dropping its previous three matches and are now back in the plus column. As for the Waves (2-4), they fail to win back to back games for the second time this season.
In doubles, lineup changes seemed to spark a Gaucho team that had been struggling in earning that point the past few matches. Before today, UCSB had lost the doubles point in two of its last three matches, both of those matches resulted in losses.
The changes were not completely new teams, however, as Victor Krustev and Joseph Guillin, a former duo from last year, teamed up at the No. 2 spot today while Joseph Rotheram and Alex Dominguez Soto, ranked No. 80 in the country, teamed up for the first time in dual match season after playing well together in the fall.
"We really liked how Joey [Rotheram] and Victor [Krustev] played together so we were a bit hesitant to split them up but we knew we needed a spark and I would say in this very limited sample it looks like we made the right choice," Davis said.
Both pairs dominated their matches as Krustev and Guillin blanked Pepperdine's No. 2 squad and Rotheram and Dominguez Soto won 6-2 at the No. 3 court to take the point. The top duo comprised of senior standouts Nicolas Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm were close to picking up a win but were in a battle when the match was called at 5-4.
In singles, the majority of the matches were dominated by UCSB. First, senior Hironori Koyanagi played his best match of the year besting his opponent 6-0, 6-1 for his second-straight win.
Shortly after, Rotheram kept up his singles hot streak winning his fourth-straight match behind a 6-1, 6-2 victory. The sophomore is now 4-3 on the year.
Guillin, ranked No. 39 in the country, sealed the win for the Gauchos with a 6-2, 6-2 straight-set win improving to 6-3 on the year.
With the win intact, UCSB still played out the remaining matches and the next player to earn a win was Moreno de Alboran, ranked No. 13, who bested Pepperdine's Adrian Oetzback 6-4, 6-1/
Next, Holm, who has been struggling this year boasting just a 2-5 overall mark, came through. Holm won a tough match besting his opponent 7-6, 7-5 to snap his previous four-match losing streak and, more importantly, give the senior some confidence as the season continues.
"I was really happy for Anders. It's tough to win any match in college and he really stepped up and I think he needed this so he can continue improving going forward," Davis said.
Finally, Krustev ranked No. 94 in the country, improved his team-best overall record to 7-1 following a very tough win over Corrado Summaria who made his first appearance of the season and could end up being Pepperdine's best player by the end of the year. The sophomore sensation won 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2).
Overall, this was a great win for UCSB. Not only did it beat an opponent it was supposed to but it beat them thoroughly and at this point in the season every win counts, especially since the Gauchos have lost two opportunities for a win this season due to rain.
Now, UCSB will turn its attention to LMU. One would think a 7-0 win would provide good momentum headed into a match against another opponent that has had some struggles this year, but still has some nationally ranked players and will provide an exciting match.
UCSB will take on Loyola Marymount at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at the Rec Cen Courts. Follow @UCSBTennis for live updates for the match.
UC Santa Barbara 7, Pepperdine 0
March 8, 2019, Rec Cen Courts, Santa Barbara
1) No. 72 Holm/Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) susp. Oetzbach/Zeitvogel (Pepperdine) - 5-4
2) Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) def. Luque Rico/Sborowitz (Pepperdine) - 6-0
3) No. 80 Rotheram/Dominguez Soto (UCSB) def. Summaria/Jankowiak (Pepperdine) - 6-2*
Order of finish: 2, 3*
UCSB wins doubles point.
1) No. 13 Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Oetzbach (Pepperdine) - 6-4, 6-1
2) No. 39 Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. Luque Rico (Pepperdine) - 6-2, 6-1*
3) No. 94 Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Summaria (Pepperdine) - 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-2)
4) Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Sborowitz (Pepperdine) - 6-1, 6-2
5) Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Zeitvogel (Pepperdine) - 7-6, 7-5
6) Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB) def. Jankowiak (Pepperdine) - 6-0, 6-1
Order of finish: 6, 4, 2*, 1, 3, 5