After a tough loss to Pacific the day before, the Cal Poly men’s tennis team bounced back in a big way against UC Davis on Sunday, defeating the Aggies 6-1.
“It’s hard to get up after a heartbreaking 4-3 loss, but I’m really proud of the way our guys competed today,” Mustangs head coach Justin McGrath said.
Cal Poly (10-7, 2-1 Big West Conference) used consistent ball strokes to wear down UC Davis (8-9, 1-2 Big West) on a gusty afternoon at Mustang Courts, and the Aggies seemed to wilt as the Mustangs applied pressure and the intensity increased.
The Mustangs cruised to the doubles point, easily dispatching the Aggies in all three matches.
Rob Foy and Darryn Young defeated Daniel Elefant and Michael Reiser 8-2, Andy Gerst and Alexander Sonesson topped Nic Amaroli and Justin Garcia 8-3 and Drew Jacobs and Blake Wardman made quick work of Henri Landes and Kevin Liang 8-2.
“We were all disappointed after yesterday, but we came out, tried to be more aggressive and fought well,” Gerst said.
Cal Poly continued to roll in singles play.
In the No. 1 position, Gerst edged Landes 6-2, 7-6. A fiery Gerst used equal parts guile and power with a combination of drop shots and winners down the line to keep Landes off balance.
Young was in a back-and-forth contest before a leg injury against Reiser in the sixth game of the first set limited his mobility and chances to win the match. Its final score was 6-3, 6-0.
“I used long points to wear my opponent out, and as he got tired, he began to miss more and more,” Young said.
Upset from his performance the day before, it looked like Jacobs’ frustrations might continue, as he fell behind 3-0 early before charging back to take the first set and eventually dispatched Garcia 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.
“I felt I had something to prove to myself, my teammates and my coaches – to show that I’m better than the way I played yesterday,” Jacobs said.
In other singles action, Sonesson beat Nick Lopez 7-6, 6-3, and Wardman returned after a two-and-a-half-week absence due to injury to vanquish Tyler Lee 6-3, 6-7, 10-7.
The Mustangs’ lone loss was Foy dropping his match to Elefant 6-1, 7-5.
“It was good to see Blake back in the lineup, and I think Sonesson was a real bright spot, seeing his progression from the beginning of the year,” McGrath said.
The victory maintains the Mustangs’ hopes of capturing the No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament at the end of the month, and they emphasized the importance of building momentum in order to get the automatic NCAA regional berth accompanying a conference title.
Cal Poly will host defending Division III national champion UC Santa Cruz at 2 p.m. Thursday, and resume Big West play at 1 p.m. April 19 by visiting UC Irvine.