By Nicole Ramsey

Pomona-Pitzer, Willamette University and American River College combined couldn’t stop the UC Santa Cruz men’s tennis team last Saturday.

Only the rain could.

The Slugs hosted their first home match of the season over the weekend, only to get closed down by the rain after shutting out one of the three teams they were to compete against that day.

“We were ahead and dominating in most of our matches when the rain came,” freshman Silvio Chiba said. “We didn’t get to finish most of our matches.”

The team won its first match against Pomona-Pitzer with a score of 6-0. And while the rain proved enough to stop the remaining matches, it couldn’t put a damper on the team’s intensity, eagerness and unwillingness to give up easily.

“The rain has been challenging,” coach Bob Hansen said. “But I don’t think the rain affected everybody when it came down to the matches.”

Despite the team’s inability to finish Saturday’s schedule, the Slugs have opened their national title defense by kicking in the door of the new season.

The team had been looking to add some wins to its record after falling to Division I Santa Clara in the season opener.

The Slugs had no problem with the weather and held their own on the court.

“We came out with a lot of intensity,” Chiba said. “We were in it in every game.”

Chiba, who won his singles match helped set the pace for the rest of the matches.

But unlike the sun, the supporters were not slacking on their part.

Through the whirlwind of excitement and windy weather, family, friends and supporters cheered the tennis team on.

“We had a fair number of spectators,” Hansen said. “The women’s team showed great support. Even though their match was canceled, they still chose to show up and support us.”

This match helped raise the Slugs’ spirits and get them back into the motion of winning again.

“We lost our first two matches of the season,” junior Colin Mark-Griffin said. “So it was nice to finally see that [win] happen. It also helped us in building up for the ICA Nationals in Minnesota. But all in all, we played a good match.”

The Slugs will travel to Walla Walla, WA this weekend to take part in the Whitman Tournament.