February 20, 2009

No. 61 UCSB Trumps Utah, 5-2

Feb. 20, 2009

UC Santa Barbara, Calif. - UCSB Trumps Utah, 5-2

The No. 61 UCSB men's tennis team bounced back from a heart breaking doubles loss to down No. 67 ranked Utah at the Recreation Center courts Friday afternoon.

In doubles, the Utes managed to climb back from a 2-6 deficit, saving triple break point at one stage and a match point later, to steal the opening doubles point with a 7-5 tie-break win at No. 1 doubles.

"It was a depressing start for us," coach Davis said. "We got pushed hard in doubles, but then we responded well to it."

The Gauchos responded well indeed, taking five of six singles matches and giving the young squad an emotional lift in the middle of the season.

The Utes made it a little uneasy for the Gauchos, taking the first singles match at the No. 2 slot and expanding the Utah lead to 2-0. However, that was the last victory the Utes would see as the Gauchos sunk their teeth in.

"Utah is a very aggressive team," coach Davis said. "They like to run to the net and we tried to elicit some errors by feeding them balls into the back court."

Alex Konigsfeldst started at the No. 1 slot for the second time this year and managed to outlast Phillilp Eilers, 7-5, 6-3. On court three, Max Taylor slipped past Othmaun Zerouali-Quariti in the first set and was looking to knot the game at two apiece. Running back over to his right, the lone Gaucho senior hit a forehand winner down the line on match point to post his first victory of the year. The win gave the Gauchos some breathing room and a much needed confidence boost.

"It was really good to see Taylor get his first win of the year." Coach Davis expressed. "It's really important for him to get going and for our veterans to make some plays when we need them to."

Josh Finkelstein put the Gauchos ahead with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win over John Taylor on court four. Taylor Chavez Goggin and the UCSB men finally clinched the win at the No. 5 slot with another close three set victory.

The Gauchos continued the onslaught at the No. 6 position where Devin Nerenberg came from behind to top Corbin Benson, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

All in all it was a great day for us," coach Davis expressed. "It is perfect preparation for next weeks Big West showdown with rival UC Irvine. The Anteaters have been tabbed to win the conference this year so we definitely hope to show them up."

UCSB improves to 3-4 on the season (1-0 in Big West). Next up for the Gauchos are UC Irvine (2/27) and UC Riverside (2/29).

Singles
1. Alexander Konigsfeldt (UCSB) d. Phillip Eilers 7-5,6-3
2. Wes Hancock def. Scott Hohenstein (UCSB) 6-3,6-0
3. Max Taylor (UCSB) def. Othmaun Zerouali-Quariti 7-5,6-3
4. Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) d. John Taylor 6-2,1-6,6-4
5. Taylor Chavez Goggin (UCSB) d. Stephen Jacobs 4-6,6-3,6-1
6. Devin Nerenberg (UCSB) d. Corbin Benson 4-6,7-6,6-3

Doubles
1. Hancock/Eilers def. Finkelstein/Konigsfeldt (UCSB) 9-8
2. Allin/Taylor def. Scott Hohenstein/Evan Jurgensen (UCSB) 8-3
3. Caledonia/Goggin (UCSB) d. Suriano/Jacobs 8-5