INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — After winning a 4-0 shortened match over UC Santa Barbara on Friday evening in the semifinals of the Big West Men's Tennis Championship, Cal Poly is one win away from reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.
The second-seeded Mustangs will face top-seeded Hawai'i in the championship match at 9 a.m. Sunday on courts 3-8 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. (Admission is free.)
In their half of the bracket, the Rainbow Warriors outlasted UC Davis in a four-hour exchange, 4-3.
UH had also earned a bye through Thursday's first round.
In Friday's win coming on courts 15-20 — a rematch of a 4-3 victory against the Gauchos to close the regular season on Saturday — the Mustangs rallied to win the doubles point.
They secured the 1-0 lead thanks to an 8-7 (4) tiebreak win from Jurgen De Jager and Ben Donovan on court No. 3 (over Teague Hamilton and Andrew Riminton), followed by an 8-6 win by seniors Marco Comuzzo and Matt Thomson (versus Sasha Gryaznov and Ziad Sultan) at No. 1.
Donovan, a freshman, then wrapped up the first singles result at the top of the lineup, 6-1, 6-2 over Sultan.
Then on the third court, De Jager moved the Mustangs to the brink of the sudden-death finish by topping Erik Johnsson 6-1, 6-3. In the process, the senior improved to 14-3 this spring.
After that, Naveen Beasley (pictured at right), a junior, clinched it at No. 6 with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Luke Steeb.
The early local forecast for Sunday is 83 degrees.