Feb. 19, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009 at 1:30
No. 61 UC Santa Barbara vs. University of Utah Utes
at the UCSB Rec. Center Courts
After a weekend of rainfall in Northern California and two postponed matches, the No. 61 UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team is ready to hit the ground running on Friday when they face No. 68 Utah.
The University of Utah men's tennis team will find themselves far from home on Friday afternoon at the UCSB Recreation Center courts. The Utes, a team who plays their home matches indoors, will face off against the Gauchos in windy Santa Barbara. The Utah men might be at a disadvantage playing in outdoor conditions and compiling 0-2 road record. However, the Utah men might just have something up their sleeve. First, they boast a 5-2 dual record this year combining for a 15-4 doubles record. The Utes are also coming off two emphatic sweeps at home over Idaho and Northern Arizona.
The Good News and the Bad News
The good news for the Gauchos is that they pulled out a 5-2 win against Big West rival UC Davis to post their first Big West win and put them atop the conference standings put them on top of the Big West standings. On the day, sophomore Alex Konigsfeldt notched his first win at the No. 1 position. Josh Finkelstein and Taylor Chavez Goggin also jumped in the mix, grabbing victories one position above their usual singles slot. The Gauchos also got to rest their weary road legs after a rainy weekend denied them of two tough matches
The bad news is that the Gauchos are not weathering the storm quite well. Last week, Konigsfeldt had to step into the No. 1 roll because last year's Big West Player of the Year was sidelined with a hip injury. Furthermore, the Gauchos' sole senior, Max Taylor, has yet to post a victory in dual competition. The native from Fresno, Calif., is struggling in the middle of the line-up, dropping to 0-6 after his loss to UC Davis's Nick Lopez. Last year, Taylor stole the show for the Gauchos, posting a team best 13-5 dual match record and received most improved player accolades from his teammates.
Rainy Day Blues
Three matches have been either postponed or cancelled this year due to rain. The latest two came this past weekend when the UCSB men were seen racket-less and huddled in-doors in stormy Northern California. Their match against Santa Clara is likely to be postponed later this year while the match with Cal will probably be cancelled.