April 20, 2006

Gauchos Earn No. 1 Seed at Big West Tournament, Host UC Santa Cruz in Regular Season Finale Friday

April 20, 2006

This Week
Friday, April 21, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs
at UCSB's Recreation Center Court

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter its regular season finale against UC Santa Cruz with an overall record 12-10. UCSB split a pair of matches last weekend, defeating UC Irvine 4-3 to secure the top-seed at the Big West Tournament, and losing to Fresno State, 5-2.

UCSB Nets No. 1 Seed At Big West Tournament
By virtue if its 4-3 win over UC Irvine last Saturday and a perfect 3-0 record against Big West opponents this season, UCSB received the No. 1 seed at the league tournament next week. Thanks to freshman Bijan Hejazi's come-from-behind 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 2 singles against the Anteaters, the Gauchos were able to post the road win. UCI was seeded No. 2 and Pacific, which Santa Barbara trounced 7-0 on April 1, was seeded No. 3.

Seniors Say Goodbye Friday
UCSB's two seniors will play their final home match on Friday at 2:00 p.m. against UC Santa Cruz. Nick Brotman and Hagen Brody will be saluted between the conclusion of doubles play and the beginning of singles play. Brotman is a four-year member of the Gaucho team, while Brody is a two-year member. As a freshman, Brotman was a part of UCSB's last Big West Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament team in 2003. Both have been a part of the last two Big West regular season titles that UCSB has won.

Brotman Ending Career On A High Note
Brotman will enter the regular season's final match against UCSC with an overall singles record of 19-10 and a dual match record of 13-7. He has also teamed with Anders Dalskov to post an 11-8 record at No. 1 doubles, both overall and duall. In addition, Brotman is 2-1 when teaming with freshman Scott Hohenstein. A two-time All-Big West selection, Brotman has won three of the last four Big West Player of the Week awards. He has won two straight matches and eight of his last nine, including a victory over Fresno State's Jakub Cech, the 47th-ranked player in the country, on Sunday.

Don't Forget The Kids
UCSB's seniors will play their final home match on Saturday, but the kids are just getting started. Several freshmen and sophomores are making their marks for the Gauchos this season and will be key factors in the Big West Tournament. Freshman Bijan Hejazi, whose three-set victory was the match-decider at UC Irvine on Saturday, has gone 17-6 overall, inlcuding 10-3 at No. 2, 4-3 at No. 3 and 3-0 at No. 4. Sophomore Anders Dalskov has gone 15-6 overall, 7-4 at No. 3, 4-1 at No. 4 and 4-1 at No. 5. Freshmen Carsten Thorstensen, Max Taylor, Scott Honhenstein and Grant Robertson have combined for 35 overall singles wins and 22 in dual matches. The first-year duo of Thorstensen and Hohenstein have also posted 11 doubles victories, nine in dual matches. Dalskov, meanwhile, has combined with Brotman and Elad Stern for 12 doubles wins.

Big West On The Horizon
The match against UC Santa Cruz is the Gauchos' final tuneup for the Big West Championships. The Big West Tourney will run Fri.-Sun., April 28-30 at Indian Wells, Calif. UCSB will have a first round bye and will play a second round match on Sat., April 29. Santa Barbara will play the winner of a first round match between UC Riverside and Cal Poly.