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Mustangs men's tennis suffer heartbreaking loss In Big West Championship match
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Mustangs men's tennis suffer heartbreaking loss In Big West Championship match

IRVINE, Calif. — In a match that came down to a deciding third-set tiebreaker, the Cal Poly men’s tennis team fell just short to UCSB in the Big West Championship Sunday in Irvine, losing by a score of 3-4.

The Mustangs had to come back after the Gauchos (10-5) took the doubles point by winning on courts three and one.

In singles, Fernando Fonseca got Cal Poly on the board after winning his match first at the No. 5 spot over Joseph Rotheram 6-2, 6-0 for his sixth win in a row. Fonseca finishes the season with a team-best 14-7 singles record.

UCSB regained the lead 2-1 after getting a win at the No. 3 spot before Gary Vardanyan evened the dual again after winning his match at the No. 6 position over Kai Brady in three sets 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. Vardanyan ends the season with a 12-6 record in singles as well as a six match winning streak.

The Gauchos went ahead 3-2 after a three-set victory at the No. 1 spot by Joseph Guillin over Alex Stater 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. Cal Poly freshman Noah Berry then came up with a hard-fought three-set win at the No. 2 spot over Stefano Tsorotiotis 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4. Berry finishes his rookie campaign with a 10-7 record in singles.

The match came down to a back-and-forth three set battle at the No. 4 spot between UCSB’s Pablo Masjuan and the Mustangs’ Joe Leather with each set going to a tiebreaker. Leather took the first set 7-6(1). Masjuan then took the second set 7-6, winning the tiebreaker 9-7. He then won the third set 7-6(3) to seal the match for the Gauchos.

Despite the loss, 2021 was still an excellent season for the Mustangs. They finished with an overall record of 14-8, winning the program’s first regular season Big West title since 2013 after going undefeated in Big West play, and had a perfect 7-0 record at home. They also reached the Big West Tournament Championship match for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments.

- This report was contributed by Connor Leary, Cal Poly Athletics Communications

Jason Anderson is the Digital Producer for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at 805-739-2213

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