San Jose State came to Santa Barbara hoping to get a good tan, but instead SJSU got burned, becoming the most recent victim of the UCSB women’s tennis team.
The Gauchos went on their latest tear to seal a 6-1 victory against the visiting Spartans. Santa Barbara (9-11) has now won seven of its last eight matches after Friday’s victory against San Jose State, a team it was unfamiliar with before the match.
“We didn’t really know much about [San Jose], but we went in there with a lot of confidence,” junior Shiho Fukushima said. “Our team confidence is really up there, the best it has been all season.”
Santa Barbara has much to be confident about and the final score is an obvious indicator that the Gauchos are playing some of their best tennis. Individually, Fukushima blasted her way to 6-0, 6-0 win.
“There were some tough girls on that team,” Fukushima said. “But we are always out there fighting back. We really focus on the match, we focus on each point.”
UCSB came out of the blocks on fire, sweeping the Spartan doubles competition while hardly breaking a sweat. Setting the tone for the Gauchos were junior Cindy Ammann and senior Shannon Wilkins, who teamed up to shut out their Spartan opponents 8-0.
“We won the doubles point, and that’s always important,” senior Gaby Andrade said. “It gives everyone a lot of confidence going into their singles matches to already be ahead.”
Nonconference opponents and Big West opponents alike, every time the Gauchos step on the court they view the match as the ultimate practice ground for the Big West Tournament in Ojai, and San Jose State was no different.
“Each match we try to focus on that present match,” Fukushima said. “By doing that, the goal is to make everything come together for Ojai. We did a good job of focusing as a team against San Jose.”
The Gauchos are not about to look past any opponent, knowing that each match will impact their chances in the conference tournament.
“All of our matches are important to win because they can help our seeding for the Big West tournament,” Andrade said. “We are really determined right now. We are focusing on Ojai because that’s where it counts.”
Santa Barbara has two more matches to put under their belt before heading down to Ojai on April 25-28. UCSB’s game at Loyola Marymount is tentatively scheduled for Thursday at noon, before the Gauchos host hated rival Cal Poly on April 21 at 11 a.m.