Last Thursday, Feb. 12, the UCSB women’s tennis team traveled up Highway 101 to face rival Cal Poly. Looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Mustangs in the Big West semifinals, the Gauchos dropped a 6-1 decision at Mustang Courts.
#4 ranked singles player Jen Kuhle won the lone point for the Gauchos, defeating Cal Poly’s Sheila Lewis 7-5, 3-6 (10-3). The #56 nationally ranked Mustangs upped their record to 6-2 and 2-0 in the Big West. Meanwhile, the formerly #75 ranked Gauchos dropped their record to 1-3 and 1-2 in the Big West.
Although the 6-1 defeat seems lopsided, the end result was somewhat misleading.
“All of the individual matches were really close and could have gone either way, it didn’t hurt our confidence,” UCSB sophomore Amy Vyhnis said.
Three out of the six singles matches were decided by a final tiebreaker sets and Vyhnis lost a close match to Mustang opponent Noelle Lee 6-3, 7-6.
On Saturday Feb. 14, UCSB looked to even up their Big West record, and sent Cal State Northridge off with a Valentine’s Day present, annihilating them 7-0. UCSB defended their home court in a dominating manner by shutting out the Matadors to even their Big West mark at 2-2.
Sophomores Andrea Pintar and Kuhle won the Gauchos’ first match at #2 doubles, defeating Northridge opponents Olga Yepremian and Brittany Bierman 8-3. From that point on, the Matadors were reeling.
UCSB was unstoppable in their first home match of the young season. The Gauchos swept the singles points. #1 singles player, sophomore Marielle Gruenig, slammed Matador counterpart Ana Matijasevic 6-1, 6-1. Freshman singles netter Kristen Wilson clinched the shutout when she defeated her #6 seeded opponent Sonya Kumar 6-4, 5-7, 7-6. The Gauchos pulled their Big West mark back up to .500 at 2-2 and upped their overall record to 2-3.
Santa Barbara next travels to Boise, Idaho next weekend to take on opponents Boise State, Montana State and Colorado State. The Gauchos won’t hold another home match until March 7 when they face Big West foe UC Irvine.