The UCSB women’s tennis team trounced rival Cal Poly 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon at the Rob Gym courts, winning its fourth consecutive Big West contest to secure the coveted #2 seed in the upcoming 2005 Big West Tournament.
Santa Barbara (13-6 overall, 5-2 in the Big West) rallied after losing the doubles point to win five of the six singles points in front of its biggest crowd this season. Four of UCSB’s five singles victories over the Mustangs (8-9, 4-3) came in straight sets.
In doubles play, junior #1 singles Marielle Gruenig teamed up with junior Chelsea Glynn to secure a come-from-behind 9-7 victory at #1 doubles, but the Gauchos dropped matches at #2 and #3 doubles to lose the point. Gruenig, a leading candidate for 2005 Big West Player of the Year, won her 16th straight match at #1 singles, and Glynn took care of Cal Poly’s Chelsy Thompson 6-3, 7-5 in #2 singles. Junior #3 singles Andrea Pintar, freshman #4 singles Charlotte Scatliffe and junior #6 singles Mio Fukushima also won their matches.
“I think we [know] that we can still win even if we lose the doubles point,” Gruenig said. “We know that we all have the potential to win at singles.”
With the victory, the Gauchos will enter the Big West Tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., on April 23 and compete against the winner of the #7 versus #10 game that will take place the day before. Santa Barbara will likely play Riverside, the probable #7 seed, for its first playoff game.
“We’re definitely looking to win the whole thing,” Glynn said. “We definitely have a lot of confidence going into the playoffs.”
Santa Barbara still has two games remaining before the conference playoffs. The Gauchos will travel to #32 Sacramento State for tomorrow’s 2 p.m. start. UCSB then faces Davis on the road on Saturday at 2 p.m. Although these nonconference games will not factor into Santa Barbara’s playoff picture, the Gauchos believe that these games are very important for their team development.
“We’re going to take them very seriously,” Gruenig said. “Sacramento State is a really good team, and I think this will be a good opportunity to get some good results heading into the tournament.”