SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Before heading out on a four-game road trip, the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team wanted to finish a great home stretch with a match against the University of Washington and did so in winning fashion with UCSB earning a 4-1 victory over its Pac-12 opponent.
"This team is better than their record indicates and we are pumped to come up with this win. Anytime you beat a team from a power conference it feels good," Head Coach Marty Davis said. "Overall, are really putting forth a great team effort right now."
With the win, UCSB (8-5 overall) has now won five of its last six games with all five of those triumphs coming at home. Their only loss during that stretch was at then-No. 20 UCLA. As for Washington (5-11 overall), it has now lost two straight matches and remains winless on the road with an 0-8 mark.
One common point in the Gauchos last few wins is the fact that they have won the doubles point in each of those matches. That continued on Tuesday as UCSB took the doubles point rather easily.
"I think we have found our teams for the rest of the year and it is exciting. Everyone is playing at a high level and for Nic and Anders it's hard to come up with wins at No. 1 so having two good teams at 2 and 3 really helps us," Davis said.
First, Joseph Rotheram and Alex Dominguez Soto improved to 3-1 on court three with a 6-1 victory. Then, sophomore sensation Victor Krustev and junior Joseph Guillin sealed the point with a 6-3 win on court two.
The pairing of Krustev and Guillin continues to be a wonderful decision as the duo improves to 5-0 in dual match play including being the only couplet to pick up a win against UCLA.
With the win on courts two and three, the match on court one involving Moreno de Alboran/Holm and ranked UW duo Davis/Foley was called at 3-4 with advantage to the Huskies pair.
In singles, the Gauchos showed a lot of strength across the board but it would be the Huskies who struck first.
Over on court five, Washington's Ewen Lumsden bested senior Hironori Koyanagi in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 to tie the match at 1-1.
UCSB countered with three straight wins, however, to take the victory. First, No. 103 ranked Krustev defeated his opponent 6-4, 6-0 to improve to 10-2 on the year. He is the first Gaucho to earn the double-digit win mark this season and holds the best dual match singles record on the team.
Later, No. 12 senior co-captain Nicolas Moreno de Alboran improved to 8-3 in dual-match play with a tough 6-2, 7-5 victory over Enzo Sommer and put UCSB up 3-1.
Finally, the other senior co-captain, Anders Holm (who also recently was awarded UCSB's Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year Honor) sealed the match with a three-set win by set scores of 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
This is the first time Holm has been able to string together two straight wins this year and he also improves to 5-7 this season. He is also now 4-2 on the No. 6 court.
The match was decided to not be played out until the end but No. 48 Guillin was en rout to a win being up 5-0 in the third set on court two. Over on court four, Rotheram was down 1-0 in the third.
For UCSB, this is another good win. While Washington has struggled this season, wins against Pac-12 opponents should not be overlooked. Additionally, the Gauchos are now 2-2 against Pac-12 opponents this season with one game still remaining, against No. 40 Cal on Monday, March 8.
Also, Santa Barbara is now catching fire at the right time. Winning all five of its home matches was huge, but now UCSB needs to earn those road victories to keep this momentum going beginning with a trip to Denver.
"We are focused on winning out. We think we can go the rest of the season without losing and that is where we want to be. Figuring out our doubles teams and seeing some of our guys step up in singles really shows how much everyone has improved so I am happy where we are," Davis said.
UCSB faces off against the University of Denver (6-7 overall) at 11 a.m. pacific time on Sunday, March 31 at Denver Tennis Park.
UC Santa Barbara 4, University of Washington 1
March 26, 2019, Rec Cen Courts, Santa Barbara
1) Holm/Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) vs. No. 41 Davis/Foley (UW) - 3-4 unfinished
2) Guillin/Krustev (UCSB) def. Lam/Sommer (UW) - 6-3
3) Rotheram/Dominguez Soto (UCSB) def. Lumsden/Torocsik (UW) - 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 2
UCSB wins doubles point.
1) No. 12 Nicolas Moreno de Alboran (UCSB) def. Enzo Sommer (UW) - 6-2, 7-5
2) No. 48 Joseph Guillin (UCSB) vs. Piers Foley (UW) - 7-5, 2-6, 5-0 unfinished
3) No. 103 Victor Krustev (UCSB) def. Jack Davis (UW) - 6-4, 6-0
4) Joseph Rotheram (UCSB) vs. Ernesto Turegano (UW) - 2-6, 7-6, 0-1 unfinished
5) Ewen Lumsden (UW) def. Hironori Koyanagi - 6-1, 6-2
6) Anders Holm (UCSB) def. Sebastian Hawken (UW) - 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
Order of finish: 5, 3, 1, 6*