Slug men's tennis swings through Southern California

Team returns from road trip with three solid wins

Parker Larsen
Sophomore Parker Larsen was crucial in singles play during the Slug men's tennis team's recent road trip to Southern California.
The Slug tennis team returned from a road trip to Southern California on April 15 and 16 with three solid wins under their belt. On Friday, April 15, they beat Cal Tech 9-0 and were able to play almost everyone who made the trip.

Erik Rosner and Ian Stanley won at one doubles, Bryce Bettwy and Chris Goetz won at two doubles, and Josh Mason and Jordan Randolf won at three doubles. In singles, Sam Rodgers led the singles sweep followed by Ian Stanley, Erik Rosner, Bryce Bettwy, Josh Mason, and Chris Goetz.

Next up was Pomona Pitzer Colleges, who came into the match ranked 8th in the country with a 15-2 record. The Slugs jumped out to an early lead in all three doubles. But the Hens fought hard and were able to turn around the early leads at one and two doubles to win 8-6 at one and 9-7 at two doubles to take a lead into the singles.

Erich Koenig and Sam Rodgers continued their recent strong play, winning 8-4 at three doubles.

With their backs to the wall, the team came out firing in singles. First off was Erich Koenig, who showed that he is one of the top players in the West region in defeating Chris Wiechert 6-3, 6-0.

Next off was Yushi Ayabe, who won 6-4, 6-3 at six singles, putting the Slugs up 3-2. Brian Pybas started strong in the first set, winning 6-2, and then held strong to win the second in a tiebreaker to put the Slugs within one win of clinching. After losing the first set, Parker Larsen righted the ship and iced the match with a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 win at three singles. Andre Halabi got on the board with a 6-4, 7-6 win at four singles, hitting more winners than ever and showing off his improved offense.

With the match decided, Sam Rodgers lost a very close tiebreaker for the third set against Max Sabel in a beautifully played match by both players. In exhibition matches, Chris Goetz and Bryce Bettwy posted a win in doubles, and Jordan Randolf won in singles.

Against Chapman University, the Slugs played their top three doubles teams and rolled to a 3-0 lead with Brian and Parker winning 8-4 at one, Rosner and Stanley winning 8-6 at two, and Koenig and Rodgers winning 8-2 at three.

In singles, Yushi Ayabe led the way with a straight set win at one singles to remain undefeated. At two singles, Ian Stanley bounced back from a first set loss to dominate the second and third sets in a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory. Rosner, Bettwy, Mason, and Goetz all won in straight sets, showing team strength and massive improvement throughout the lineup in this 9-0 victory.

The dual match season for men's tennis is now complete. Next up will be the Ojai Championships, April 29-May 1 in Ojai.

UCSC has submitted a bid to host the NCAA men's tennis Division III Regional Championships May 13-15. The host site will be announced May 9.