#14 UW 7, #72 UCSB 0

In their final tuneup before hosting the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors Tennis Championships, the 14th ranked Husky men rolled to a 7-0 blanking of the 72nd ranked UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

At the outset it did not look like the match would become so one-sided in the Huskies' favor as the Gauchos got off to a great start in doubles, stunning the partisan Husky crowd. The duo of Scott Hohenstein and Carsten Thorstensen beat Andy Gerst and Klaus Jank 8-4 at the second position. At third doubles, the Huskies' Jean-Noel Insausti and Mike Ricks evened the doubles at a match apiece as they prevailed over the Gauchos' Grant Robertson and Elad Stern 8-3.

With a split in two matches, the doubles point came down to the duel at the top position between the Huskies' Daniel Chu and Alex Slovic and the Gauchos' Nick Brotman and Anders Dalskov. The match remained on serve with the Huskies leading 7-6 and Brotman serving to extend the match. Chu and Slovic had triple match point at 0-40 against Brotman's serve, but the Gauchos rallied back to deuce with three winners, a Brotman backhand half volley followed by a Dalskov forehand volley and then a service winner. After another deuce the Gauchos tied the match at 7-7 on a Brotman forehand volley winner and a Slovic unforced error. Slovic held serve to give Washington an 8-7 lead and the doubles point finally went to the Huskies when they broke Dalskov by winning the last four points of the match.

The Huskies had a much easier time in singles than in doubles, as they won five of the six matches in straight sets. Pierre Metenier improved his singles record in dual matches to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Stern at second singles. Jank gave Washington a 3-0 lead with a 7-5,6-0 win against Max Taylor at the fifth position. Chu then clinched the match for the Huskies when he beat Dalskov 6-4,6-2 at the fourth position.

Insausti beat Bejan Hejazi 6-3,6-3 at third singles to put the Huskies up 5-0 and Ricks capped the shutout with a 6-3,6-4 win over Thorstensen at the sixth position.

Only the featured singles match between Slovic and Brotman went to three sets, with Slovic prevailing 6-0, 3-6, 6-0. Slovic broke Brotman in the opening game of the match and cruised to an easy first set victory. In the second set, the players remained on serve until the eighth game, when Brotman broke Slovic at love to take a 5-3 lead and then served out the set.

In the third set Slovic won eight of the first nine points to take a quick 2-0 lead. He had a chance to put the match away on his serve when he got a quick 40-0 lead, but Brotman came up with a pair of winners to even the game at deuce, and when Slovic netted a forehand volley Brotman had a chance to break and get back into the match. However, Slovic erased the break chance with a service winner and six points later finally held for 3-0 when Brotman sliced a backhand into the net. Brotman trailed 0-5 and had a pair of chances to put a game on the board, but on the first he dumped a forehand volley into the net and on the second Slovic drilled a backhand passing shot winner. Slovic had match point when a volley by Brotman sailed long, and he finally put the match away when he drilled a backhand winner right at Brotman.

With the win the Huskies improved their unbeaten record to 6-0, and will put that record on the line when they return to Nordstrom Tennis Center to host sixth ranked Virginia in the Round of 16 in the Team Indoors on Friday, February 17 at 5:30 p.m.

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