SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara senior standout Joseph Guillin will begin the 2019-20 season ranked 28th in the initial Oracle/ITA Division I Men's Tennis rankings, the organization announced Tuesday.
Guillin and the Gauchos will open the 2019 fall season this weekend when they travel to the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco.
Last season, Guillin debuted at No.95 but by the end of the season had climbed into the No. 56 spot. Following the year, he earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Men's Singles Championship where he defeated No.43 Gabriel Decamps of Central Florida in the first round.
As the first player in the Big West to earn an at-large bid since 2000, Guillen became the second straight Gaucho to secure a victory in the tournament after Nicolas Moreno de Alboran did so in 2018.
GAUCHOS HOPE TO CONTINUE HISTORIC RUN OF BIG WEST DOMINANCE
The Gauchos have dominated the Big West competition in recent memory. UCSB men's tennis have been crowned conference champions in six of the last seven years, including a record five straight. The last four title wins came as the No.1 seed.
Head coach Marty Davis (21st season) has guided the Gauchos to 21 straight victories in regular season conference matches, the last loss coming on April 11, 2015. Adding tournament matches to that total, the winning streak against conference opponents rises to 32 straight.
Santa Barbara's 5-0 record in conference play in 2019 earned the Gauchos a fourth straight regular season crown. The UCSB men's tennis program is arguably the most dominant in all of the Big West, across all sports, in the last decade.
UCSB LOOKS TO BUILD ON NCAA TOURNAMENT SUCCESS
UCSB has advanced to 14 NCAA Tournaments in its history, including 12 in the past 18 seasons, 10 in the last 14, six in the last seven and five in a row, all under Davis. In 2019, the Gauchos not only advanced to the tournament, but moved into the second round with a 4-1 win over No. 22 Texas Tech in the first round at Stanford.
In addition to the success of Guillin and the team in last year's NCAA Tournaments, the tandem of Moreno de Alboran and Anders Holm became the first UCSB doubles team to post a win at the NCAA Championships as they defeated Ohio State's Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert, the No. 14 team in the nation, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8.
Former team captains Simon Freund and Moreno de Alboran are finding success on the professional tour. The pair combined to win the doubles title at the 15k Futures event in Portugal, and Freund now has three doubles titles in his last four tournament appearances.
Following the win, Freund's ATP ranking in doubles rose to No. 495. He also reached the singles final and is now ranked 83 spots higher at No.737.
Moreno de Alboran earned the coveted John and Jody Arnhold award for his outstanding performance on the court and in the classroom in 2019. The award honors the student-athlete with the highest combined GPA and winning percentage on the season.
The two-time recipient posted a solid 3.33 GPA and 83% winning percentage in singles.
Moreno de Alboran has earned ranking points for every event he played over the summer, starting when he was awarded a USTA Wild Card entry into the ATP Challenger Tournament in Lexington, Ky. He defeated Tim Van Rijthoven (No.381), but fell to Duckhee Lee (No.199) in the round of 32.
Moreno de Alboran earned another Wild Card entry into the $25k Futures tournament in Edwardsville, IL., where defeated Connor Farren in two sets before losing to the eventual champion, Petros Chrysochos, in the second round.
A LOOK AHEAD
The defending Big West champions have a challenging 2019-20 schedule, with over a dozen matches against nationally ranked teams.
The home schedule will kick-off with the UCSB Classic on Oct. 11-13 at the Recreation Center Courts, Robertson Gym Courts and Stadium Courts, and it will culminate with conference dual matches against UC Irvine (April 5) and UC Davis (April 11).
Associate Head Coach Blake Muller, who won the ITA Southwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time last season, is expected to oversee the team in the Battle of the Bay (Sept. 19-22) and UCSB Classic tournaments.
The tennis program is finally getting its fair share of recognition on the UCSB campus as well with the construction of the multi-million dollar Arnhold Tennis Center expected to begin in the spring with a likely completion date of 2021.