The time to step up or shut up came Tuesday, and it was the Gauchos who did the stepping, walking all over Northridge in an impressive 5-2 road win. UCSB (10-5 overall) won the doubles point and four of the six singles matches to improve to 2-2 in the Big West with three conference games remaining.
“We played really well and really kept our focus for the whole match,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “It was a good, solid win.”
In their previous two matches, the Gauchos had won the doubles point and gone ahead early in singles play, only to lose those matches later. This time, there was no letdown. Last weekend’s matches had left a bad taste in the team’s mouth that no one wanted to experience again, Kirkwood said.
“It was really impressive the way we beat them up in singles; we controlled the whole way,” Kirkwood said. “After the previous two matches we played, we were really itching to get back out on the courts again. We had gotten a little frustrated, and we really took it out on Northridge.”
Juniors Marielle Gruenig, Chelsea Glynn and Leslie Damion and freshman Charlotte Scatliffe won their singles matches, all in straight sets. Gruenig’s win improved her personal record to 14-1 in #1 singles, giving her a #87 ranking nationally.
“We were just really pumped up, and we really did not want to lose for a third time in one week,” Gruenig said.
Several of the Gauchos commented on the team’s energy level before and during the game, especially during singles play.
“Singles was awesome,” Scatliffe said. “We just came out with an attitude saying we were going to go out there and get the singles points as well as the doubles.”
Despite Tuesday’s big win, UCSB is staying focused. The Gauchos need to win their next three matches to get the second seed in the Big West Tournament, and they feel anything less would be a disappointment.
“Going into today, we had four big matches in conference play to win if we want to get the #2 seed,” Kirkwood said. “Now it’s one down, three to go.”
Next up for the Gauchos is Fullerton on Friday. The game will be played at home on the Rob Gym tennis courts at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to take it very seriously,” Scatliffe said. “It’s a really important game for us.”