Eshmade, Makiba Keep Their Squads Rolling
The winners of this week's tennis awards helped defeat two ranked opponents on the road and earn a victory in a Big West opener for the first time in 20 years.
Eshmade Slays Nationally Ranked Opponent
Senior Nathan Eshmade (Adelaide, Australia/King's Baptist Grammar School) helped UC Santa Barbara to a pair of road victories over ranked opponents to claim Big West Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week accolades.
The Gauchos defeated No. 69 Arizona and No. 38 San Diego State to win their fourth and fifth consecutive matches. Eshmade contributed to both victories, winning twice at No. 1 singles and once in No. 1 doubles with partner Miles Seemann.
Eshmade recorded a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Harry Busby of Arizona while teaming with Seemann to trounce the Wildcat duo of Trent Botha and Oliver Plaskett, 6-1, helping the Gauchos secure the doubles point and the eventual 6-1 team win.
He then dispatched the 69th-ranked singles player in the nation, Freddy Gelbrich, in UCSB’s 5-2 win over San Diego State. Eshmade came back from a one-set deficit to win, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Others nominated: None
Makiba Clinches Titan Win Over UC Davis
Freshman Masako Makiba (Matsumoto City, Nagano, Japan/Heritage Academy) helped Cal State Fullerton win its first conference opener since 1995 and posted a combined 4-0 record to secure Big West Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week honors.
Makiba’s 7-5, 6-4 victory at No. 5 singles over Tiffany Pham of UC Davis clinched a 4-3 triumph over UC Davis and extend CSF’s winning streak to four straight. Makiba also outlasted Pacific’s Sabrina Rodriguez, 7-6 (4), 6-4, helping fuel a 5-2 victory. With partner Karla Portalatin, she also won both of her doubles matches.
The Titans have won four straight matches, and their 6-1 start is the best on record dating back to 1981.
Others nominated: Maeva Razakasoa (Long Beach State); Jessie Lee (UC Davis); Sarah Gong (UC Irvine); Amanda Atanasson (UC Santa Barbara); Sarah Gealer (Hawai‘i)