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UC Santa Barbara and Pacific To Meet In Men's Finals For First Time Since 2008

Links associated with this release:
Big West Men's Tennis Championship Central


The lower seeds ruled the day at the Big West Men's Tennis Championship as No. 3 Pacific and No. 5 UC Santa Barbara advanced to the finals with upset wins against second-seeded Cal Poly and top-seeded UC Irvine, respectively.

UC Santa Barbara Upsets UC Irvine In Semifinalalt

UC Santa Barbara - UC Irvine MT Box Score

Fifth-seeded UC Santa Barbara beat top-seeded UC Irvine 4-1 in the Big West Men's Tennis Championship semifinals at Indian Wells Tennis Garden Friday.

The Gauchos advance to Sunday's 9:00 a.m. championship match against third-seeded Pacific.

UCSB, which improved to 11-13 on the year, won the doubles point with victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.  UCI was victorious at the No. 3 position.  The Gauchos clinched the point as Benjamin Recknagel and Axel Bouillin defeated their Anteater counterparts Justin Agbayani and Caryl Hernandez, 8-4, at No. 2.

In singles, the Gauchos won three of the four completed matches to earn the victory.  Ziad Sultan blanked Reo Asami 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 and Alexander Gryaznov defeated Jonathan Hammel 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 to give the Gauchos a 3-0 lead.

Jacob Jung put UCI on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 3, but any ideas of a UCI comeback were thwarted by UCSB's Recknagel.  The senior eked out a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Tyler Pham at No. 2 to clinch the match and send the Gauchos to the tournament championship match for the sixth time in the last eight years.

UCI's season ended at 9-17.


1. Ndimande/Sultan (UCSB) def. Cheung/Hammel (UCI) - 8-5
2. Recknagel/Bouillin (UCSB) def. Justin Agbayani/Caryl Hernandez (UCI) - 8-4
3. Jung/Pham (UCI) def. Andrew Riminton/Miles Seemann (UCSB) - 8-4

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1

1. Ryan Cheung (UCI) vs. Mbonisi Ndimande (UCSB) - DNF
2. Benjamin Recknagel (UCSB) def. Tyler Pham (UCI) - 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
3. Jacob Jung (UCI) def. Axel Bouillin (UCSB) - 6-3, 6-2
4. Ziad Sultan (UCSB) def. Reo Asami (UCI) - 6-0, 6-0
5. Alexander Gryaznov (UCSB) def. Jonathan Hammel (UCI) - 6-3, 6-3
6. Shuhei Shibahara (UCI) vs. Jacob Johnson (UCSB) - DNF

Order of finish: 4, 5, 3, 2

Pacific Wins 4-3 Thriller Over Cal Poly

Pacific - Cal Poly MT Box Score

In a back-and-forth affair that lasted four and a half hours, No. 3 seed Pacific outlasted No. 2 seed Cal Poly 4-3 in the semifinals of the Big West Men's Tennis Championship.

The Tigers trailed 3-2 in the match, but rebounded to win at No. 3 and No. 4 singles to nip Cal Poly at the end.  Pacific (16-8) returns to the championship match for the second time in the last three years and seeks its first title since 2004.  Coincidentally, the Tigers defeated UC Santa Barbara that year, the same school that Pacific will face in Sunday's championship.

Daniel Alameh won the clincher at No. 4 over a game Derek Klein, who battled through cramps in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 marathon.  Alameh trailed in the second set before mounting a comeback and forcing the decisive third set.

The Tigers tied the match at 3-3 with another comeback win from Denis Stolyarov at No. 3.  He lost the first set 6-2 to Jordan Bridge, but stormed back to take the second 6-1 and won a third set tiebreaker 7-6 (2).

Pacific took the early 1-0 lead with the doubles point, notching wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

The Mustangs responded with a quick 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles by Marco Comuzzo against Alex Golding.  Pacific collected a 6-2, 6-1 win by Alex Hamilton at No. 6 as he downed Matt Thomson, but Cal Poly evened the scoreline again when No. 1 player Andre Dome battled to a 6-3, 6-3 win against Sem Verbeek.

Cal Poly's Naveen Beasley gave his side the 3-2 edge when he downed Ben Mirkin at No. 5, setting the stage for the Tiger comeback.

The Mustangs fell to 14-9 with the loss.

(3) PACIFIC 4, (2) CAL POLY 3

1. Dome/Bridge (CP) def. Verbeek/Stolyarov (PAC) - 8-5
2. Golding/Hamilton (PAC) def. Comuzzo/Thomson (CP) - 9-7
3. Alameh/Mirkin (PAC) def. Gannon Daynes/Beasley (CP) - 8-5

Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

1. Andre Dome (CP) def. Sem Verbeek (PAC) - 6-3, 6-3
2. Marco Comuzzo (CP) def. Alex Golding (PAC) - 6-1, 6-2
3. Denis Stolyarov (PAC) def. Jordan Bridge (CP) - 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
4. Daniel Alameh (PAC) def. Derek Klein (CP) - 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
5. Naveen Beasley (CP) def. Ben Mirkin (PAC) - 6-2, 6-3
6. Alex Hamilton (PAC) def. Matt Thomson (CP) - 6-2, 6-1

Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 5, 3, 4