SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara made history Sunday morning thanks to a 4-0 win over Cal Poly (14-10 overall, 5-2 Big West) which gave the men's tennis team a record fifth-consecutive Big West Tournament title.
"Winning these never gets old and everyone played really well today. I am happy for our seniors, especially Nic and Anders who won a Big West title during their entire tenure here. Now, we will see where we get seeded and where we get a chance to win an NCAA Tournament match," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
The victory also gives the Gauchos (16-6 overall, 7-0 Big West) their 32nd-straight Big West win, including tournament matches. Santa Barbara also extends its current winning streak to six and it has won 10 of its last 11.
Under coach Davis, UCSB has won 10 of the 16 tournaments in Indian Wells. It was the program's 13th tournament title overall which all came after 1998.
Davis has won 12 Big West titles in total during his 20-year career at UCSB. The win also means UCSB earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
UCSB was able to secure its 12th appearance at the NCAA Tournament under coach Davis thanks to another strong start in doubles. Before Sunday's championship match, Santa Barbara had not lost the doubles point to any Big West team.
It kept that streak up on Sunday with wins on the one and three courts.
Cal Poly countered with a win on court two besting UCSB's Joseph Guillin and Victor Krustev handing the pair only their second loss this year. Luckily, Joseph Rotheram and Alex Dominguez Soto were able to give Santa Barbara the 1-0 advantage with a 6-3 win on court three.
In singles, Hironori Koyanagi was the first off court with a dominant 6-1, 6-3 straight-set win to give the senior his fifth-straight win. He is also 5-1 when playing on court four.
Next, Guillin, ranked No. 58 nationally in singles, put away his opponent 6-0, 7-5 to give UCSB a 3-0 lead. Guillin is now 10-6 in dual-match play and 8-4 when playing on court two.
Finally, sophomore Victor Krustev, ranked No. 115 nationally in singles, slammed the door on the Mustangs with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph at No. 3 against Alex Stater. Krustev is now 14-4 on the year and 13-4 when playing at the number three court.
Overall, UCSB has successfully attained one of its biggest goals this season: win a conference title. Despite this being the Gauchos fifth-straight Big West title, the accomplishment is not diluted for any of these players or coaching staff.
That being said, there is still work to be done as the team will be looking for its first NCAA Tournament win since it defeated Oregon in the Round of 64 in 1998.
Even with everything coach Davis has accomplished in the past 20 years, he knows an NCAA Tournament win is the biggest goal he would like to check off his list.
"We are playing well and we'd really like to take it to the NCAA's and win a match there and represent this conference well in the NCAA Tournament," Davis said. "This is a special group of seniors leading this team and they want to get it done, for this program, for themselves, for our fans, everyone."
UCSB clinched a spot in the NCAA Team Championships which will run through May 16-25. The draws will be announced on Monday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
Follow @UCSBTennis to stay up to date with the team.