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Taylor Rallies to Lead UCSB to Win in Utah

Last match is decisive as Gauchos edge Utes for series victory.

UCSB junior Max Taylor battled back from two match-points in the third set to defeat Utah’s Timmy Allen, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, leading the No. 65 Gauchos past the No. 64 Utes, 4-3, on Friday in Salt Lake City.

“This was the first time since our second match of the season (a 4-3 loss at Hawaii) that everything came down to the last match on the court,” said UCSB head coach Marty Davis. “It was Utah’s Senior Day, so there was a big crowd and it was really exciting.”

Taylor faced match-point at 5-4 and 5-5 before climbing back to win the decider.

“Max really hung in there,” Davis said. “It was a big win for him, and for us.”

The Gauchos (13-7) needed wins in four singles matches to take the contest after losing the doubles point. They got the wins at Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6. In addition to Taylor’s win at No. 5, senior Jack Hui swept Othman Zerouali-Ouariti at No. 3, 6-4, 6-3. At No. 4, freshman Alex Konigsfeldt blasted Russ Hancock, 6-0, 6-4, and at No. 6, sophomore Josh Finkelstein defeated Jason Smits, 6-2, 7-5.

UCSB dropped matches at Nos. 1 and 2, both by way of sweep. At No. 1, Philip Therp  lost to Zack Ganger, 6-2, 6-1, and at No. 2, junior Bijan Hejazi was defeated by Miron Mann, 6-1, 6-4.

In doubles, Konigsfeldt and Finkelstein, playing No. 2, topped Taylor and Zerouali-Ouariti, 8-5, but Therp and Hejazi were beaten by Ganger and Mann at No. 1, 9-8. At No. 3, Anders Dalskov, playing just his second match of the season after returning from a knee injury, teamed with Hui, and lost to Allin and Hancock, 8-6.

The win is the second in a row for the Gauchos (13-7). UCSB plays at BYU on Saturday before completing the road trip at No. 35 Boise State on Sunday.

Utah’s record is now an even 12-12.

No. 65 UCSB 4, No. 64 Utah 3

No. 1 — Zack Ganger (Utah) defeated Philip Therp (UCSB) 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 — Miron Mann (Utah) defeated Bijan Hejazi (UCSB) 6-1, 6-4
No. 3 — Jack Hui (UCSB) defeated Othman Zerouali-Ouariti (Utah) 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 — Alex Konigsfeldt (UCSB) defeated Russ Hancock (Utah) 6-0, 6-4
No. 5 — Max Taylor (UCSB) defeated Timmy Allin (Utah) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
No. 6 — Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) defeated Jason Smits (Utah) 6-2, 7-5

No. 1 — Zack Ganger / Miron Mann (Utah) defeated Philip Therp / Bijan Hejazi (UCSB) 9-8
No. 2 — Alex Konigsfeldt / Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) defeated John Taylor / Othman Zerouali-Ouariti (Utah) 8-5
No. 3 — Timmy Allin / Russ Hancock (Utah) defeated Jack Hui / Anders Dalskov (UCSB) 8-6

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