The UCSB Gauchos women’s tennis team will be hosting the Harvard University Crimson (9-5) on Saturday, March 18, at 11 a.m. PST at home.
With two weeks until the beginning of conference play, UCSB is looking to keep the momentum they had going before the end of their three-game winning streak, caused by the No. 11 Pepperdine Waves. The Gauchos have played well at home as they hold a 5-1 record and have not dropped a game since the first match of the season against USC on Jan. 19.
The Harvard Crimson are currently on a five-game winning streak and will be embarking on a three-game road trip, starting with Texas State, then Cal State Northridge and ending with UCSB.
Harvard has benefitted from a schedule that has left the Crimson at home for a majority of the season, giving them a 9-1 home record.
However, Harvard has struggled to win away from home as the Crimson are 0-4 in games played at away or neutral sites. The Crimson have not had to leave the friendly confines of home for their trip to Ohio for ITA Kickoff Weekend on January 29, 2017.
Nevertheless, Harvard is hoping to get their first away victory on the road trip as they look to gain more away experience for the three conference games that are at away sites.
UCSB has been playing well as of late, going 2-1 over this past weekend. The Gauchos have been able to find success in both singles and doubles play and will look to continue that success against the Harvard Crimson.
The doubles play for UCSB has been excellent lately as the pair of junior Amanda Atanasson and senior Stefani Stojic has earned three doubles set victories since being paired up for the first time since their game against the New Mexico Lobos on March 5.
The tandem of junior Palina Dubavets and senior Melissa Baker has also performed well since being paired up, holding a 2-1 record in doubles play so far. Both tandems have helped UCSB secure doubles points in three of their last four matches.
Harvard Crimson duos have also done well this season as Freshmen Irene Lu and Natasha Gonzalez lead the Crimson in doubles record at 8-2, along with the pair of senior June Lee and sophomore Erica Oosterhout who hold an 11-7 record. The efforts in doubles play from the Crimson has been successful, with the team currently on a five-game streak of earning the doubles point.
The doubles play from both teams has been strong recently, and the matchup between the two looks to be fairly even, as the teams each have reliable tandems that have found their winning ways.
In singles play, UCSB has been able to string together multiple winning streaks against their most recent opponents.
In their games against the University of San Diego Toreros and the University of Denver Pioneers, the Gauchos stormed for four consecutive wins in their respective sets; the efforts were a significant factor in UCSB leaving with two 5-2 victories.
Although the team suffered a tough loss to No. 11 Pepperdine 5-2, the result in singles play against the Harvard Crimson should be much more even, especially if the Gauchos can find the winning rhythm that allowed them to dominate singles play just a weekend ago. It should be an exciting match as both teams prepare to enter conference play next week.
UCSB will host Harvard University on Saturday, March 18, at 11 a.m. PST at the Rec Cen Courts.