Falcons Sneak Past UC Santa Barbara, 4-3
March 31, 2013
The Air Force men's tennis team won a hard-fought 4-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara Sunday at Lifetime Fitness Center in Colorado Springs. The Falcons, who won the doubles point and split the six singles contests, improved to 10-7 this season while UCSB fell to 7-8.
Air Force grabbed the doubles point, thanks to an exciting tiebreaker at the No. 1 position. Junior Alex Grubbs and freshman Jack McCullers were off the court first after an 8-6 win over Benjamin Recknagel and Axel Bouillin at the No. 2 spot. Junior Steven Young and freshman Andrew Parks then dropped the No. 3 match to Miles Seemann and Andrew Riminton, 8-6, setting up the final doubles match. Senior Lance Wilhelm and sophomore Grant Taylor rallied from a 5-2 deficit and saved two match points in the tiebreaker to defeat Mbonisi Ndimande and Ziad Sultan, 9-8(10) to clinch the point.
Parks put the Falcons ahead 2-0 by handily defeating Alexander Gryaznov, 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 5 singles spot, but the Gauchos won the next three matches to take a 3-2 lead. Bouillin defeated Grubbs, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 3, Sultan downed Taylor 7-6(4), 6-4 at No. 4 and Recknagel beat Young, 6-4, 7-6(4) at No. 2.
McCullers rallied from a set down to win the No. 6 match, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 over Seemann to even the match at 3-all, then Wilhelm, ranked 75th in the country, came from behind to defeat Ndimande 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-3 to win at No. 1 and clinch the match for Air Force.
Air Force hosts a pair of Mountain West matches next weekend, beginning on Friday, April 5 against league-newcomer Fresno State at 2 p.m.
Air Force 4, UC Santa Barbara 3
1. Wilhelm / Taylor (AF) def. Ndimande / Sultan, 9-8(10)
2. Grubbs / McCullers (AF) def. Recknagel / Bouillin, 8-6
3. Seeman / Andrew Riminton (UCSB) def. Parks / Young, 8-6
Order of finish 2, 3, 1