Eugene, OREGON - The No. 60 UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team made its first win of the season an exciting one as Philip Therp and the visiting Gauchos slipped past the Ducks in a thrilling 4-3 victory on Friday night.
After being down 0-2, the men of blue and yellow climbed back to knot the match at three points apiece. Then, it was all up to the No. 1 position where junior Philip Therp was matched up against Oregon's Marcos Verdasco. Therp struggled early against the Duck, dropping a 3-6 decision in the first set. However, Therp rallied back to take the second set and extend the match into a third set tiebreaker. The match had come to the peak of its excitement when Therp found himself on his heels, down 5-6 and one point away from a fourth straight Gaucho loss. Yet, the former Big West Player of the Year saves the match and wins on a massive forehand winner.
"It was the craziest match I've seen in my ten years with the program," coach Davis said. "We were one point away from defeat seven different times. You don't usually come back from a deficit like that in tennis."
At the onset of the match, the Gauchos fell behind early, dropping the doubles point for the third time this season. The pair of Marcos and Verdasco quickly handed Therp and Scott Hohenstein an 8-3 loss to give the Ducks an edge. Then, the duo of Jose and Ayton Wibow clinched the point, defeating Taylor Chavez Goggin and Nick Caledonia at the No. 3 spot.
Oregon extended the lead in singles, winning the first match at the No. 3 slot and putting the Gauchos in a 2-0 hole. Goggin was the first Gaucho to respond, downing Duncan MacDonald Korth, 6-4, 6-1.
Moments later, Konigsfeldt captured a win at the No. 2 position over Alexander Cornelissen, 6-1, 7-5.
With the match tied and the remaining three matches going into third sets, the Gauchos needed to take two to steal a win on the road. Josh Finkelstein found himself down 6-1 in the tiebreaker to Ric Mortera on court No. 5. However, the Gaucho veteran battled back to knot the match at six apiece. Finkelstein finally outlasted the Duck in a lengthy 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) victory.
The 3-2 lead would not last long for the Gauchos as Jose' Izquierdo topped Max Taylor 6-7, 6-4, 6-0.
With the match knotted at 3, Therp rallied behind an orchestra of cheers from his teammates and registered UCSB's first win of the season (1-3). It was the second loss for the Ducks this season (5-2).
"It was a miracle win for us," coach concluded. "I hope we can ride this excitement into tomorrow's match."
The Gauchos will face No. 41 New Mexico at the indoor facility in Eugene, Oregon. The match will begin at 4:00 p.m.
No. 1 UO Marcos Verdasco/Alexander Cornelissen vs. UCSB Philip Therp/Scott Hohenstein (OREGON WINS, 8-3)
No. 2 UO Ric Mortera/Duncan MacDonald-Korth vs. UCSB Alexander Konigsfeldt/Josh Finkelstein (OREGON WINS, 8-7)
No. 3 UO Jose' Izquierdo/Ayrton Wibowo vs. UCSB Taylor Chavez Goggin/Nick Caledonia (OREGON WINS, 8-6)
No. 1 UO Marcos Verdasco (3-4) vs. UCSB Philip Therp (1-2) UCSB WINS 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
No. 2 UO Alexander Cornelissen (4-2) vs. UCSB Alexander Konigsfeldt (1-3) UCSB WINS 6-1, 7-5
No. 3 UO Ayrton Wibowo (6-1) vs. UCSB Scott Hohenstein (1-3) OREGON WINS, 6-2, 6-2
No. 4 UO Jose' Izquierdo (5-1) vs. UCSB Max Taylor (0-3) OREGON WINS 6-7, 6-4, 6-0
No. 5 UO Ric Mortera (0-0) vs. UCSB Josh Finkelstein (1-0) UCSB WINS 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6)
No. 6 UO Duncan MacDonald-Korth (5-2) vs. USCB Taylor Chavez Goggin (1-2) UCSB WINS 6-4, 6-1
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