On Mar. 5, the UC Irvine Men’s Tennis team defeated the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs 7-0 in a Big West Conference game at Anteater Tennis Stadium.
The victory couldn’t have been more convincing as the Anteaters won five of their six singles matches in straight sets.
In the last match to be completed, and the only one that went into a third set, UCI sophomore Mustafa Ulukan defeated Cal Poly’s Adrian Mardyks to seal the shutout. Earlier in the afternoon, the Anteaters took the lone doubles point up for grabs by winning two of those three matches.
The first came from the tandem of seniors Brian Morton and Ryusuke ‘Rye’ Kashiwabara, UCI’s top two players, who were able to cruise to an 8-2 win over Cal Poly’s Travis Crawford and David Jones on court one.
Morton and Kashiwabara broke the Mustangs’ serve several times. On one point, after a long rally, Kashiwabara lobbed a pinpoint shot over the heads of Crawford and Jones, which landed just inside the baseline and gave the Anteaters a 7-2 advantage in the match. This play seemed to break the Mustang’s spirit and Morton was able to serve out the match.
The second doubles win came on court three where junior Peter Surapol and sophomore Aaron Ellis defeated Cal Poly’s Fred Dewitt and James Powers. Surapol and Ellis were both able to make some nice shots as Ellis showed good skill at the net.
‘I think we played well,’ Ellis said. ‘I hadn’t played with Peter before. I just tried to work the net.’
Although the Anteaters were able to get the only available doubles point for winning two of the three matches, UCI Head Coach Steve Clark was disappointed with the team’s overall doubles effort.
‘We are known for our doubles prowess,’ said Clark. ‘I don’t really care about winning. I care about how we win and we didn’t dominate today the way we are capable of