UCSB’s men’s tennis team celebrated its first week in the national rankings by extending its winning streak to four matches in a row with a 5-2 decision over visiting Dartmouth.

The Gauchos, who entered the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings at No. 69 this week, were also celebrating the end of final exams, and head coach Marty Davis was particularly pleased with his team’s effort for that reason.

“I thought that for the most part we played well,” Davis said. “This was a good win coming off of finals. They (Dartmouth) pushed us hard, but I thought our guys really competed well.”

UCSB won the doubles point with victories at Nos. 2 and 3. At No. 2, Alex Konigsfeldt and Josh Finkelstein comfortably defeated the Big Green’s Ari Gayer and Dan Freeman, 8-3. At No. 3 doubles, the going wasn’t quite as smooth, but Bijan Hejazi and Nigel Barton squeezed out an 8-6 win over Dave Steinberg and Rob Lim.

The Gauchos’ No. 1 doubles duo of Philip Therp and Jack Hui lost to Mark Brodie and Jeff Schechtman, 8-4.

UCSB and Dartmouth divided the first two singles matches. At No. 2, Therp made quick work of Freeman, 6-2, 6-0. At No. 5, Schechtman gave the Big Green their first point with a 6-4, 6-4 sweep over Finkelstein.

At No. 1 singles, Brodie defeated Hejazi, 6-3, 6-2. In that one, each time it looked as though the Gauchos junior was going to get back into the match, Brodie answered.

Playing at No. 6, Max Taylor put UCSB back in front with yet another sweep, 6-4, 6-2 over Stephen Greif.

Konigsfeldt, a freshman from Denmark, locked-up in a see-saw battle with Dartmouth’s Justin Tzou at No. 4. Konigsfeldt won the first set, 6-4, and seemed to have the second set well in hand at 3-1, but Tzou stormed back to win the second set, 6-3. In the decisive third set, the Gaucho jumped out to a 4-1 advantage, but again Tzou fought back. Tzou held serve to tie the score, 5-5, but was then forced to take a medical timeout because of leg cramps. When the match resumed, Konigsfeldt held his serve to take a 6-5 lead. Then, trailing 0-30, Tzou’s legs cramped again and he was forced to retire, earning UCSB the match.

Meanwhile, at No. 3, Hui had mounted an outstanding comeback of his own. Trailing Gayer 5-2 in the first set, Hui clawed back to reclaim 6-5 lead, only to lose the next two points and drop the first set, 7-6. The Gauchos senior, however, regained the momentum, winning the second set 6-4, and then blowing Gayer off the court in the third set, 6-0.

The win improves UCSB’s overall record to 7-4. The Gauchos have now recorded consecutive wins over UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Yale and Dartmouth. They will continue their run of matches against Ivy League opponents Tuesday when they host No. 43 Harvard in a 1 p.m. match at the Recreation Center Courts.

“The match with Harvard will be a great opportunity for us to see where we are,” Davis said.  “It will also continue a very busy, and important week for us.”

In addition to the match against the Crimson, UCSB will host Santa Clara at 1 p.m. Thursday in a match at the Tennis Club of Santa Barbara and nationally-ranked San Diego State at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Recreation Center Courts.

UCSB 5, Dartmouth 2

No. 1 — Mark Brodie / Jeff Schechtman (Dartmouth) defeated Philip Therp / Jack Hui (UCSB) 8-4
No. 2 — Alex Konigsfeldt / Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) defeated Ari Gayer / Dan Freeman (Dartmouth) 8-3
No. 3 — Bijan Hejazi / Nigel Barton (UCSB) defeated Dave Steinberg / Rob Lim (Dartmouth) 8-6

No. 1 — Mark Brodie (Dartmouth) defeated Bijan Hejazi (UCSB) 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 — Philip Therp (UCSB) defeated Dan Freeman (Dartmouth) 6-2, 6-0
No. 3 — Jack Hui (UCSB) defeated Ari Gayer (Dartmouth) 6-7, 6-4, 6-0
No. 4 — Alex Konigsfeldt (UCSB) defeated Justin Tzou (Dartmouth) 6-4, 3-6, 6-5 (Retired)
No. 5 — Jeff Schechtman (Dartmouth) defeated Josh Finkelstein (UCSB) 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 — Max Taylor (UCSB) defeated Stephen Greif (Dartmouth) 6-4, 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles: 2, 1, 3
Order of finish: Singles: 2, 5, 1, 6, 4, 3

Bill Mahoney is UCSB‘s assistant athletics director.