After four out-of-state matches to start the season, the No. 67 UCSB women’s tennis team enjoyed staying at home and earned its first win of the season on Saturday, defeating conference rival No. 64 UC Davis 4-3. The Gauchos are now 1-4 on the year and 1-0 in the Big West, as Davis drops to 2-6 and 0-1.
“It doesn’t matter who we play now,” Assistant Coach Charlotte Scatliffe said. “Now that we got the monkey off our back we can beat anyone.”
With new combinations for the doubles teams, the No. 2 and 3 pairings won 8-4 and 8-3 to clinch a 1-0 start for Santa Barbara.
“Winning doubles was big; that was the first time we’ve won the point this season,” senior Sofia Novak said. “We’ve been playing a lot of tough schools, so the fact that everybody came out here and had a ton of energy was huge for us.”
UCSB did what it needed to the rest of the way, splitting the singles matches 3-3. Senior Natalia Lozano won at No.1, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2; Novak swept her match 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3; and junior Erica Cano secured the win at No. 6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
“During the second set it was really windy … but when the third set started I really wanted it more [than Dahra Zamudio],” Lozano said.
Scatliffe talked about the importance of holding momentum throughout the day and hopes to carry that over to the rest of the season.
“I told them to stay focused for singles,” Scatliffe said. “Sometimes after winning a tough doubles point, you come out flat the rest of the way, and we made sure that didn’t happen.”
The Gauchos start another road trip this weekend as they travel to No. 34 St. Mary’s, San Francisco, and No. 73 Santa Clara.
The No. 62 men’s team had a tougher weekend, losing two indoor matches 7-0 at No. 26 Washington on Sunday and 4-3 at No. 69 Oregon on Saturday. UCSB is now 4-4 while Washington is 6-2 and Oregon remains unbeaten at 5-0.
The Huskies swept all six singles matches, led by the No. 15 ranked player in the country, junior Kyle McMorrow, who defeated senior Mathieu Forget in the No. 1 spot, 6-2, 6-4. UCSB came closest in the No. 3 doubles match, where freshman Ziad Sultan and sophomore Alexander Gryaznov forced a tiebreaker before falling 8-7 after Washington already won the point by winning the first two doubles.
At Oregon, the Gauchos played a much closer match but were ultimately hurt by not getting the doubles point, losing on all three courts. The team fared better in singles, winning three of the six matches. Forget stayed undefeated in the No. 2 spot with a 6-4, 7-5 win; junior Mbonisi Ndimande won at No. 5, 7-6, 2-6, 10-1, and Sultan won 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6.
Next up for Santa Barbara is a home match against Southern Methodist University this Saturday.