March 6, 2008

UCSB Squares Off Against No. 53 UC Irvine, UC Riverside in Two Key Big West Showdowns

March 6, 2008

The Schedule
Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine
at the Anteater Tennis Stadium

Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 12:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside
at the UCR Student Recreation Center

Tough Times
The UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team has been struggling as of late, dropping the last two contests. In their first match last week, No. 6 UCLA ousted the visiting Gauchos, 6-1. Sophomore Josh Finkelstein came up with the only win for UCSB in a match dominated by a talented Bruin squad. The following day, the Gauchos suffered their second straight loss and their first Big West Conference loss of the season against Cal Poly, 5, 2. Coach Marty Davis explained that the match was one of the most dismal and disappointing UCSB performances in his coaching tenure. Davis' Gauchos, who were 3-2 before Wednesday's match against UCLA, are now one game below .500 with an overall record of 3-4.

The Anteaters
The top-ranked UC Irvine squad will set its feet into Anteater Tennis Stadium with an overall record of 4-5 against the Gauchos. Senior Victor Lamm is having himself an impressive year going 5-3 in singles competition and ranking 30th in the West Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. After the Anteaters defeated UC Riverside last weekend, UCSB's opponent for this Sunday, UC Irvine will take on Rice Saturday, Feb. 7 before its match-up with UC Santa Barbara.

The Highlanders
The UC Irvine men's tennis team has also been struggling this year, posting Big West Conference record of 0-3 (3-6 overall). The last defeat came at the hands of No. 53 UC Irvine, 6-1. After the Anteaters took two of three doubles matches to post a quick 1-0 lead, UC Irvine never looked back. The only win for UC Riverside came from Ahmad Shiraz who defeated Stephen Stege 7-5, 4-6 (13-11). The Highlanders also lost Big West matches against UC Davis and the University of Pacific to open the season.

Sophomore Standing
After two disheartening losses last week, the Gauchos still have something to smile about. Sophomore Josh Finkelstein has made his way into the spotlight, leading the Gauchos in dual matches with a 5-1 record on the season. In last week's performance, the native of Hong Kong posted wins over UCLA's Jeremy Drean and Cal Poly's Blake Wardman both at the No. 5 slot. Finkelstein also boasts a 5-2 dual match record in doubles play teaming with Alexander Konigsfeldt. The duo slipped past Cal Poly's Gerst and Berger, 9-8 in Sunday's contest, but the Mustangs won the doubles point.