Just like slapping an extra patty onto an already delicious hamburger, the Gaucho women’s tennis team paired together in competition this past weekend with the hopes of flame-broiling their grade-A opponents.
Santa Barbara’s number one singles player, junior Marielle Gruenig, won her first round match this weekend at the Women’s Western Regional Championships in San Diego. Later, Gruenig and freshman prodigy Charlotte Scatliffe were the only Gaucho doubles team to make it past the first round of main-draw competition, annihilating a team from UC San Diego 8-0.
“We had a solid performance this weekend and we held our own,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “Our goal was to be among the top 10 teams in the region and I think we accomplished that.”
Gruenig won her first singles match against Fullerton’s Ioana Sisoe 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, despite struggling early on.
“[Gruenig] wasn’t quite playing her best game, but she found a way to win,” Kirkwood said.
Scatliffe, who was the only Gaucho to reach the main draw through the qualifying tournament, lost both her first round and consolation singles matches. However, Gruenig and Scatliffe both lost their second round matches against top-ranked opponents from Los Angeles and Fullerton, respectively, and lost together to an Arizona team in the second round of doubles matches.
The Gaucho pair of junior Leslie Damion and sophomore Kristen Wilson lost their first-round match, along with the junior duo of Chelsea Glynn and Mio Fukushima.
“I’m really happy about the way [Glynn and Fukushima] played. All the losses were a lot closer than they looked,” Kirkwood said.
Despite wanting more than two singles to qualify for the main draw this season, Kirkwood said that the team has many quality players running deep.
“We might not have a big star like we did in the mid-1990s, but this year there is a lot more depth-wise,” he said.