SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - 11 games, 11 wins for the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team at home this year as after blanking UC Davis 7-0, UCSB completed one of its loftiest goals it set for itself this season; not lose a match in Santa Barbara.
"Today was tough, a really competitive match but thanks to our fans who helped us finish perfect at home and great job to all these guys especially our senior captain Simon Freund," Head Coach Marty Davis said.
Along with that, UCSB (14-6 overall, 3-0 Big West) has also won six-straight matches, its best streak of the season.
Friday's home finale also marked the end of two brilliant Gaucho careers as Simon Freund ended his two-year run at UCSB since transferring from LSU and Chase Masciorini ended his four-year stint as a Gaucho.
For senior captain Freund, his time at UCSB has been filled with plenty of big moments including being apart of the only doubles duo in Gaucho history to win the ITA Regionals and also the first doubles pair to reach the NCAA Championships since 1992. With the win today on court three, Freund posted a career 17-2 record at home including a perfect 10-0 mark this season.
"It's very bittersweet, it is sad to think this is my last home match but we ended it with a bang," Freund said. "When I look back winning the regionals with Morgan was probably one of the best moments of life."
As for Masciorini, the 2018 campaign may not have turned out the way he expected as injuries have not allowed him to take part in one dual match this season, however, the senior will be making his debut on Sunday as the 'Chos visit UC Riverside. Additionally, if the Gauchos win the Big West Tournament later this year, the Masciorini will become only the second Gaucho in program history to make the NCAA Championships in all four of his seasons.
"It's pretty bittersweet thinking of all the time spent here. It felt like it would never end," Masciorini said. "I am really going to miss all the team camaraderie and times like when over 150 people showed up for one of our matches against SDSU making the energy unreal. I am also super excited to play against UCR and get a chance to finish off my college career and it just feels right. Tennis has meant so much to me and it's been super special to be apart of this program."
"You have a captain that's been terrific in Simon and a guy that has meant a lot to this program the last four years in Masciorini who has helped with not just his play on the court but also off it helping with recruiting and fundraising," Davis added.
The seniors were celebrated after the doubles point, which Santa Barbara took with wins on the No. 2 and 3 courts. Freund and freshman Joseph Rotheram won 6-3 while sophomore Joseph Guillin and freshman Victor Krustev won 6-1 to give the Gauchos the early lead.
In singles, UC Davis (6-15 overall, 0-2 Big West) certainly put up a fight on many courts, including the top two, but Freund was able to pick up his sixth-straight win thanks to an easy 6-2, 6-1 victory on court three.
Junior Anders Holm was able to bounce back from a tough loss against LMU and earned a 6-3, 6-1 win to get some momentum back heading into the road conference matches.
Hironori Koyanagi then sealed the deal earning his first ever clinching-match win with a 6-4, 6-4 victory in his first appearance on court five. This marks the junior transfers third-straight victory since returning back to the lineup.
"Overall, I tried to focus on what I had to do to win this match and its something I have been doing for a while now that has helped," Koyanagi said. "It's always good to get these wins especially now as the season is ending and the intensity picks up."
With the match sealed, Guillin did not necessarily need to win his match on court one, but that didn't stop the sophomore from fighting all afternoon to pick up his 17th win of the year. Down 5-2 in the first set, the former Florida Gator fought his way back to get the match to a tiebreaker at 6-6.
Guillin then took the first set, 7-6, and managed to win the second much easier with a 6-3 score to pick up the straight-set victory on court one for the 'Chos.
Despite dropping down a court, Moreno de Alboran certainly had his work cut out for him being pushed to three sets. After winning the first set rather easily, 6-1, UCD's Goulak retaliated with a 6-4 win in the second.
In the third set, the junior was up 5-3 at one point, but Goulak kept fighting back to tie it at 5-5. With the push of a great crowd and Coach Davis, Moreno de Alboran eventually sealed the deal with a 7-5 win in the third set to take the match.
Finally, while Moreno de Alboran's match was finishing up, Krustev was still battling over on court six. The freshman and his opponent each tallied a 7-6 tiebreaker win in the first and second set to force a 10-point third set tiebreaker. In that third set, Krustev managed to take over and took it 10-7 to give his team the 7-0 victory.
To this point, UCSB has yet to drop a single point in conference play as it is a perfect 21-0 through three matches and has also accumulated two road victories. Point being, this team is certainly hitting its stride but it still isn't at its peak just yet and that is what is most exciting.
"I still don't think we have maxed out. After our win against LMU I thought we were only running on about 3/6 cylinders and once we get all our guys playing to their potential we are very, very good," Davis said.
"We have great team chemistry now and so much more confidence and we are all really excited for the rest of this season," Freund said.
Santa Barbara takes on UC Riverside at noon on Sunday, April 15th at the SRC Tennis Courts.
UC Santa Barbara 7, UC Davis 0
April 13th, 2018; Rec Cen Courts
1. Ivan Thamma / Everett Maltby (UCD) vs Nicholas Moreno/Anders Holm (UCSB), 4-3, unfinished
2. Simon Freund/Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. David Goulak / Tommy Lam (UCD), 6-3
3. Joseph Guillin/Victor Krustev Chethan Swanson / Arjith Jayaraman (UCD)
Order of Finish: 3, 2*
1. Joseph Guillin (UCSB) def. Ivan Thamma (UCD), 7-6, 6-3
2. Nicholas Moreno (UCSB) def. David Goulak (UCD), 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
3. Simon Freund (UCSB) def. Everett Maltby (UCD), 6-2, 6-1
4. Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Tommy Lam (UCD), 6-3, 6-1
5. Hironori Koyanagi (UCSB) def. Arjith Jayaraman (UCD), 6-4, 6-4
6. Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) def. Chethan Swanson (UCD), 7-6, 6-7, 10-7
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5*, 1, 2, 6