Whether it was due to the home court advantage, departing seniors or practice paying off, the UCSB women’s tennis team finished out its regular season with a bang.
The Gauchos defeated visiting UC Davis on Friday, 5-2, and Northern Arizona, 6-1, yesterday, finishing the season 10-11 overall and 3-5 in the Big West.
Santa Barbara came out strong and won the doubles points both Friday and Saturday before dominating in the singles matches both days as well.
The #1 doubles team of sophomore Marielle Gruenig and senior Jen Kuhle lost their doubles match 8-6 to the Aggies on Friday. The #2 team of sophomores Andrea Pintar and Leslie Damion and the #3 team of sophomore Mio Fukushima and senior Chelsea Dillon won both of their respective matches 8-3 and 8-6 to secure the doubles point. UCSB took four of the six singles matches to earn the nonconference win over Davis.
Saturday’s match against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles was canceled due to rain and will be made up later in April.
Kuhle and Gruenig finished out the regular season winning their doubles match, 8-1, and both of their singles matches against Northern Arizona, as well. The Gauchos took the early lead 1-0 after Pintar and Damion won the #2 doubles match and UCSB took five of the six doubles matches in all.
“It was exactly what we were hoping for,” UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “It couldn’t have been a better weekend.”
The Gauchos said goodbye to senior co-captains Dillon and Kuhle on Sunday. Dillon had contributed four years of service to UCSB, while Kuhle had played two years after transferring from USC, where she did not compete.
“It was Seniors Day so there was lot of emotion,” Kirkwood said. “We played with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity. It was the best match of the year.”
Santa Barbara will begin its quest for the Big West Championship on Friday against Long Beach State in Indian Wells, Calif.