SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team started its four-game road trip the right way earning a hard-fought 4-1 victory against the University of Denver (7-8 overall).
With the win, UCSB (9-5 overall) has now won three straight and six of its last seven matches. More importantly, the Gauchos also earned an indoor tennis victory, something this team has not done in a couple of years.
"The fact it was an indoor road victory really makes it more gratifying," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "I am really happy with how everyone is playing up and down the lineup in singles and doubles and I think we are a dangerous team."
For the third consecutive match, the Gauchos were able to kick off the match by winning the doubles point but unlike the previous matches, UCSB had to really fight for it.
In fact, Denver's No. 3 duo comprised of Daniel Krulig/Eric Morris was the first off the court with a win beating UCSB's Alex Dominguez Soto /Joseph Rotheram 6-2.
In order to get the point, however, UCSB's No. 2 duo of Victor Krustev and Joseph Guillin would have to fight back in a tiebreaker. The pair would eventually win the match 7-6 (10) to improve to a team-best 6-0 in dual-match play and give UCSB a 1-0 lead.
In singles, Holm began the rally for UCSB and he has really hit his stride as of late.
The senior earned his third consecutive win beating his opponent 6-3, 6-4 to give his team a 2-0 advantage. Holm is now 6-7 overall, but more importantly, he is 5-2 in the No. 6 hole.
From there, senior Hironori Koyanagi was the next off the court. The senior moved up a spot in Sunday's match and played at the No. 4 spot for the first time this season. He made a good first impression earning a 6-4, 6-3 victory to improve to 7-6 overall and break a two-match losing skid.
Up 3-0, UCSB needed one more point to clinch but the remaining matches on court were very close with some even favoring Denver.
In fact, the next win on court came from a Pioneer as Mattia Ros defeated No. 48 Joseph Guillin 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 2 spot.
Yet again, however, No. 12 Moreno de Alboran came up clutch for his team earning a tough three-set victory, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, to improve to 9-3 on the year, and 8-2 at the No. 1 spot. His win also clinched the Gauchos 4-1 victory.
His win also came at a good time as UCSB was wrapping up a win over on the final courts. Over on the No. 3 court, No. 103 Krustev was up 5-2 in the third while over at the No. 5 court, Rotheram found himself up 3-2 in the third.
Regardless of the score, UCSB proved itself yet again in Sunday's win showcasing a team that can go on the road, even indoors, and earn a win. The Gauchos are now 3-3 away from home and will have three more opportunities to continue showing its road savvy beginning with the start of Big West play.
UCSB will face UC Davis for the start of conference play at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 at the Marya Welch Tennis Center.