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Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 11:28 pm | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Tennis

UCSB Men’s Tennis Wraps Up Undefeated Big West Dual Meet Season

UCSB clinched the Big West men's tennis regular season title with a 5-2 win over rival No. 63 Cal Poly.

The 47th-ranked Gauchos cap their dual match season with an overall record of15-6 and finish undefeated in conference play at 5-0. Santa Barbara's overall record in Big West matches played was an impressive 31-4, having beaten Hawaii and UC Riverside 7-0, UC Irvine and UC Davis 6-1 and Cal Poly 5-2.

"It feels great to finish our season on top and I owe everything to my teammates," freshman Nicolas Moreno de Alboran said. "All the work we did on and off the court paid off and we have a great group of guys here, and our work isn't over yet."

The Gauchos will now prepare for the Big West Tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where they will hold the No. 1 seed and will look to go for back-to-back tournament titles.

The Gauchos fell behind early against Cal Poly, losing the doubles point and were taken to third sets in two of their winning singles matches.

In doubles play, the veteran team of junior Co-Captain Morgan Mays and senior Andrew Riminton was off the court first taking a 6-3 win on court three. Cal Poly took its first win on court one, setting up a deciding match on two with both teams tied at 1-1.

The freshmen duo of de Alboran and Anders Holm fought until end, but eventually fell 7-6 to Garret Auproux and Tim Tan. The Mustangs went into singles play with a 1-0 lead over the visiting Gauchos.

Santa Barbara won five of the six singles matches to seal its undefeated season. The Gauchos dropped only four of the 14 total sets played.

Holm was the first to finish in singles play, sweeping Josh Ortlip 6-1, 6-1. Junior Co-Captain Teague Hamilton added another straight set win over Srevas Kolachalam, 6-4, 6-3. Hamilton protected his undefeated singles record and gave his team its first lead of the match at 2-1.

Mays set the Gauchos up for the win with a dominant performance on court three over reigning Big West Athlete of the Week, Corey Pang. Mays swept his Mustang opponent 6-3, 6-2, giving Santa Barbara a 3-1 lead.

San Luis Obispo cut the lead to 3-2 with a win on court one from Ben Donavan, and the Gauchos looked to courts two and five to seal the overall win. Both courts played to a third set.

De Alboran defeated.Auproux in the third and final set to give him the overall win 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.

The Gauchos capped off the day with another win on court five from sophomore Cody Rakela, his 10th straight victory. Rakela defeated Axel Damiens 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

As the top seeds, the UCSB men earn a first-round bye at the conference tournament and will play the winner of Wednesday's UC Irvine vs. UC Riverside match on Thursday at 3 p.m.

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