Feb. 7, 2013
Highlanders 7 – Tigers 0

The UC Riverside men’s tennis team swept Riverside City College 7-0 to earn its first triumph of the 2013 season. After starting their 2013 campaign with five consecutive losses, the Highlanders traveled to Andulka Park in Riverside, Calif. for their victorious home opener.

UCR (1-5) won all eight singles and doubles matches as senior Jimmy Roberts led the way defeating Jordan Gobatie, 6-1, 6-4, at the top of the singles bracket. Roberts also partnered with Simon Peters to secure the team’s first win in doubles.

Tim Downey nabbed his first win as head coach of the men’s tennis program and was elated to finally get the W. “I am glad we posted a win,” he said. “The team has been working very hard to improve. A number of guys are beginning to step up their games and make an impact for the team. We need to bring this type of effort and execution every time to post more wins on our schedule.”

In the singles matchups, UCR dominated, winning all six contests. Freshman Julian Ruffin routed Aliaksandr Pesniak, 6-3, 6-1 while Calvin Ngo downed Danny Garcia, 6-0, 6-1. Kevin Griffin faced the most trouble during the day, dropping six games on his way to a 6-3, 6-3 thumping over Gustavo Carvalho. Marcus Vizcarra and Kelly Dickson completed the sweep with straight set wins, 6-3, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-3.

Rounding out the doubles play, the duo of Rufin/Ngo steamrolled to an 8-0 win, which resulted in the second match being left unfinished as UCR clinched the title of victor.

Downey focused on improvement and positivity as the key to his team’s success. “Constant improvement is what we are all about here,” he explained to the Highlander. “More than just wins, we need to improve our games in training and matches. We can only go up from here. We have a great group of young players to complement our seniors. As long as the work ethic remains high and the atmosphere stays positive, we will excel beyond our expectations.”

UC Riverside was playing for the first time at Andulka Park as the reconstruction of the Student Recreation Center has prevented them from competing on UCR turf.

The Highlanders will remain home as they host UC San Diego on Feb. 12.