History repeated itself for the Cal Poly Men’s Tennis team once again when they lost 4-0 to UC Santa Barbara on April 20.
This was the Mustangs (13-9, 4-1 Big West) first lost in Big West Conference play. The Gauchos (14-6, 5-0) have not lost a Big West game in the past four years. Last year the Mustangs lost 4-0 to the Gauchos in the Big West Tournament championships.
“We’ve fallen short these last couple years to Santa Barbara, but we’re ready,” head coach Nick Carless said. “We’ve prepared as well as we can, especially this last month, now we’re just ready to go play.
Cal Poly earned second place in the conference and will have a first-round bye in the Big West Tournament, which starts Thursday, April 25.
Cal Poly’s senior doubles duo, Josh Ortlip and Dominic Bechard lost their match 6-4 to the No. 72 nationally ranked UC Santa Barbara duo. The No 3 pairing of sophomores Andrew Whitehouse and Roman Shenkiryk lost their doubles match 6-2. The Mustangs’ No. 2 dynamic duo of freshman Gary Vardanyan and Junior Antoine Noel, had their 5-4 loss against the Gauchos’ Victor Krustev and Joseph Guillin called before it could finish.
In singles, Ortlip lost to Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s No. 15 ranked singles player in the nation, Moreno de Alboran, by 6-0, 6-1. Sophomore Alexander Slater, who broke his nine-match winning streak at the Santa Clara game, was in a 5-7, 0-4 losing battle to Victor Krusev was called before it could finish. Vardanyan fell 6-1, 6-4 to UC Santa Barbara’s Hironori Koyangi. Noel, who finished the season with a 12-4 overall, had a 1-6, 7-5 battle against Joseph Guillin that was called as well.
The Big West Tournament starts Thursday, April 25 and finishes Sunday, April 28. Cal Poly has made it to the championship match seven of the last eight seasons.