After a tough loss last week, the UCSB women’s tennis team was able to come back strong with a dominating win against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The Gauchos swept Fullerton 7-0 to even their season record at 10-10, with a 5-2 mark in conference play that puts them in a tie for second place in the Big West.
“We have to keep focused because we can’t afford a loss,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “We don’t want to drop out of that second place tie.”
UCSB’s stellar doubles lineup flexed their muscles once again, dropping only four games to the Titans in all three matches. At the #1 position, senior Bryanna Ojeda and junior Tova Hausman had no problem beating Tiffany Mai and Monica Rodriguez 8-0. Continuing the strong play out of the first team, the #2 tandem of sophomores Jordan Dockendorf and Natalia Lozano defeated Jerusha Cruz and Erin Wiesener 8-2. Senior Asagi Onaga and junior Jill Damion played together for the first time, but had little trouble defeating Karina Akhmedova and Malorie dela Cruz 8-2.
“The doubles is going to be a big difference going into the tournament,” Kirkwood said. “Tova [Hausman] and Bryanna [Ojeda] have big a real big surprise at #1.”
In the singles portion of the match, the Gaucho’s were able to win every match but only one in straight sets. In the #1 spot, sophomore Sofia Novak was able to edge out Tiffany Mai by a score of 6-3, 6-7 (11-9). The remaining singles games were significantly more one-sided, with scores of 6-1, 6-1; 6-1, 6-3; 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-0 in the #2-#5 spots. Making her return to singles play, Onaga did not give up a single game to her opponent, beating Ahkmedova in a flawless 6-0, 6-0 route.
“We’re playing well right now and we’re not worried about who’s on the other side of the net,” Kirkwood said. “We’re just trying to work on our side of the net and our goal is just to play harder than the other guy.”