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Countdown: Alves to the Gauchos
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Matthew Alves finally succumbed to the peer pressure.

During Alves' college search, some of his friends and family members were pushing him to consider attending UC Santa Barbara.

But the blue chip recruit remained skeptical about the Big West Conference program.

"They all told me it is amazing down there and I had to come down and visit," Alves said. "I was never really thinking about it very much because it is kind of a smaller school and the tennis program isn't ranked. But I went and had a perfect weekend where everything just worked out. The location is perfect, the guys on the team were great and the tennis facility is right on the beach. There was nothing I didn't really like about it."

Having committed to UCSB, Alves is already dreaming big about what the Gauchos can achieve. His friend, Greg Scott, a Blue Chip recruit from 2011, is a freshman on the team this season, and he can't wait for Alves to join.

"He keeps telling me I can come down there and we can start something," Alves said. "We can get this team back in the rankings and we can put them in the tournament. I think in a couple of years we can make them a pretty good team."

Before visiting UCSB, Alves was confident he was heading to the University of Washington. The Gold River, Calif., resident made his first official visit to the school and liked the team and the campus.

But once he returned home, his parents gave him some advice.

"I was a few days away from committing, but they said I should not be putting all my eggs in one basket," Alves said. "They wanted me to look at other options and talk to a few other schools. I was thinking about Boston College, Duke and Northwestern. But then Santa Barbara came up and it worked out perfectly."

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Page updated on Thursday, April 02, 2015
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