The UCSB men’s tennis team made history Sunday afternoon, earning their 15th win of the season by defeating the No. 28 Cal Golden Bears for the first time ever, 4-3. Kai Brady’s three-set triumph on court six clinched the match for the Gauchos, improving their record to 15-1 on the season and stretching their winning streak to six.
The Gauchos came out strong in doubles play, taking 6-4 wins on the top two courts, with their 57th-ranked paring of Phillip Jordan and Kai Brady getting the job done on court one, while Pablo Masjuan and Luka Mrsic took down the nation’s No. 64 partnership on court two. Lucca Liu and Gianluca Brunkow led, 5-3, on court three when UCSB clinched doubles.
Cal was quick to tie the match back up in singles play, with the No. 46 singles player in the country taking a win on court one. In a healthy dose of drama, the other five singles matches each went to three sets. Masjuan was the first Gaucho to win in singles, putting the home team back in the lead with a victory on court two. Mrsic extended the lead on court five, bouncing back from a close first set loss. Speaking of coming back, the Bears did just that with wins on courts three and four, meaning the match would be determined on court six. Brady had taken a close first set, 7-5, then dropped the second, but controlled the third and final set, winning it 6-1 to clinch the match.
Eric Boose is assistant director of athletic communications at UCSB.