MTen: Gauchos remain unbeaten at home

The No. 60 Gauchos used an excellent start in doubles and strong play in the singles competition to down Big West opponents UC Riverside, 6-1, on Easter Sunday. The win gives the UCSB men their fourth consecutive victory and keeps their home unbeaten streak intact at 8-0.

UCSB grabbed the early 1-0 lead after sweeping the doubles competition. Senior Ziad Sultan and sophomore Teague Hamilton combined to down Julian Ruffin and Sina Sharifi 6-2 at No. 2 doubles before junior Nathan Eshmade and sophomore Erik Johnsson dropped Cooper Bridge and Michael Carella 6-1 at the No. 1 position to clinch the doubles point. At No. 3 doubles, sophomore Morgan Mays and junior Andrew Riminton led 5-2 before play was suspended.

“The doubles has looked very good and it sure helps to get off to a good start,” said head coach Marty Davis.

The Gauchos didn’t let up in the singles competition as they won five of their six matches en route to the 6-1 victory.

Playing at No. 4 singles, Erik Johnsson was first off the court with a quick 6-0, 6-2 victory over Sina Sharifi. Morgan Mays gave the Gauchos the commanding 3-0 lead after defeating Luis Gastao at the No. 2 spot to extend his winning streak to seven. UCSB clinched the victory at 4-0 after Andrew Riminton posted a 6-2, 6-2 win against Calvin Ngo at No. 6 singles.

Play continued after the Gauchos secured the match victory and UCSB added two more wins at No. 1 and No. 3 singles to make the final score 6-1.

Nathan Eshmade continued to impress in his debut season for the Gauchos as he defeated Julian Ruffin 6-4, 6-3 at center court to win his fourth straight match.

“Nathan has done the extra work and put in the extra effort,” said Davis of the Gaucho junior. “He worked his way through a slow start and now he’s playing the tennis that he’s capable of playing,” added Davis.

At No. 3 singles, freshman Cody Rakela came back after dropping the middle set of his match to defeat Cooper Bridge 6-0, 1-6, 6-4. UC Riverside was able to avoid the sweep with a win at No. 5 singles in a 10-point tiebreaker.

The victory improves the Gauchos overall record to 10-7 and 2-1 in the Big West while UC Riverside drops to 3-13 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

The surging Gauchos, who have now won seven of their last eight matches, will head on the road next week for matches against UC Davis, Pacific, and Fresno State.

The first of the matches is against Big West rivals, UC Davis on Saturday, April 11 beginning at 12:00 pm.

Follow the Gauchos on Twitter @UCSBTennis.

UC Santa Barbara vs. UC Riverside
April 5, 2015 at Santa Barbara, Calif.
(Rec Cen Courts)

UC Santa Barbara 6, UC Riverside 1


1. Nathan Eshmade/Erik Johnsson (UCSB) def. Cooper Bridge/Michael Carella (UCR) 6-1
2. Ziad Sultan/Teague Hamilton (UCSB) def. Julian Ruffin/Sina Sharifi (UCR) 6-2
3. Morgan Mays/Andrew Riminton (UCSB) vs. Luis Gastao/Sean Robles (UCR) 5-2, unfinished


1. Nathan Eshmade (UCSB) def. Julian Ruffin (UCR) 6-4, 6-3
2. Morgan Mays (UCSB) def. Luis Gastao (UCR) 6-3, 6-1
3. Cody Rakela (UCSB) def. Cooper Bridge (UCR) 6-0, 1-6, 6-4
4. Erik Johnsson (UCSB) def. Sina Sharifi (UCR) 6-0, 6-2
5. Michael Carella (UCR) def. Teague Hamilton (UCSB) 6-4, 3-6 (13-11)
6. Andrew Riminton (UCSB) def. Calvin Ngo (UCR) 6-2, 6-2

Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1); Singles (4, 2, 6, 1, 3, 5)
UCSB Season Record: Overall (10-7); Big West (2-1)