The UCSB women’s tennis team hopes to go out with a bang in the final three matches of the 2004 regular season this weekend.
The Gauchos, 8-11 on the season and 3-5 in Big West, will take on UC Davis at home Thursday, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Friday and close out the regular season by hosting Northern Arizona University on Sunday before heading to the Big West Championships next week.
Even with their April 9 loss to Long Beach State, it was a battle to the end before the 49ers took the match 4-3. Since then, the Gauchos have been working on their doubles.
“We need to play to win and not to lose. They may have beaten us but we didn’t lose,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said.
The seeding for the playoffs will be determined prior to these last three matches, which will serve as good practice for the Gauchos. All three of this weekend’s opponents have won their latest matches and are looking to end their seasons on a high note. All Davis (11-6 overall) doubles teams won their matches in the Aggies’ last home win. LMU (8-11 overall) boasts strong players and will be playing on their own court, while Northern Arizona (9-11 overall) swept their last opponent 7-0.
“These are our last three chances to get it together before the Big West Championship,” Kirkwood said.
Not only will it be the Gauchos’ final matches of the year, but this weekend’s play will also mark the culmination of the college tennis careers of seniors Chelsea Dillon, part of the #3 doubles team, and Jen Kuhle, #4 singles and #1 doubles. Dillon played doubles for the Gauchos all four years while Kuhle is a two-year member of the team after transferring from the University of Southern California.
“They have been great leaders,” Kirkwood said. “We hope to send them out with a win.”
Dillon and Kuhle would both like to end on a high note with some wins this weekend.
“We’re ready to win, we have been working so hard,” Kuhle said.
UCSB needs to take the doubles points and work together to dominate this weekend before beginning their Big West trek April 22 in Indian Wells, Calif.
“I’d like nothing better than to win Big West” Dillon said.
The matches on Thursday and Sunday will take place at the RecCen Courts.