VENTURA - UC Santa Cruz's men's tennis concluded their regular season at the 119th Ojai Tournament this past weekend.
In the Doubles Draw, seniors Chad Le Duff and Ryan Dugan easily won their quarterfinal against Alexis Dimanche and Dean Dulthummon of Southwestern 8-1. They were up early in the semis against top seeded and defending champions Julian Gordy and Nikolai Parodi of Claremont-Mudd. The Stags however rallied and defeated the Banana Slug duo 8-5 enroute to repeating as doubles champions. Le Duff and Dugan now wait to see if they get a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championship in one month in Kalamazoo, MI.
In the Division III Singles bracket, Le Duff was the only UCSC player in Saturday's quarterfinals, where he lost a hard-fought match to Cal Lutheran's Yahn Gawrit 0-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. He also will await NCAA selection when the Singles Championship bracket is announced in two weeks.
In the Independent Singles bracket on Saturday, Ryan Gee had maybe the weekend's most exciting win, prevailing 6-4, 6-7(3), 7-5 over Chase Brannen of Marymount. He then fell to Cal Lutheran's Jake Haffner 6-2, 6-4 in the quarters.
"It was a good weekend," said head coach Jim Soper. "Everyone fought very hard and learned a lot. Ryan Gee took out the #2 seed in the independent draw. Ryan Dugan had 3 set points and very close match against the #2 seed in the D3 draw. David Jackson also won a tough first round in the independent draw.
"There is a lot of work to be done, but everyone is motivated and knows what it is going to take."
With the season now over, the Banana Slugs look to next season. "This has been a building year. We've learned a lot," said Soper. "We're excited for next year and ready to take the next step."