The UCSB women’s tennis team is looking for its first win of the season after being swept 7-0 by #46 Fresno State last Saturday. The Gauchos dropped to 0-2 for the season, with both losses coming on the road.
In the doubles portion of the match, the fourth-ranked doubles team in the nation, seniors Lucia Sainz and Katharina Winterhalter of Fresno State, made quick work of senior Andrea Pintar and sophomore Charlotte Scatliffe, winning 8-4. Scatliffe was filling in for senior Marielle Gruenig, Pintar’s regular partner in No. 1 doubles, who did not participate in the match.
“We played a pretty good doubles team.” Scatliffe said, “They are ranked #4 in the nation for a reason, so that’s a pretty good score”
After dispatching the Gauchos quickly in No. 2 doubles with an 8-3 win, Fresno State ran into some trouble in No. 3 doubles. Facing senior Leslie Damion and junior Kristen Wilson, who was filling in for senior Mio Fukushima, Fresno State freshmen Tinesta Rowe and Magdalena Tokarska trailed 7-3, until the Bulldog tandem scored six straight points to take the match, 9-7.
“We should have finished it. But we didn’t execute, kept falling into double faults,” UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “[Damion and Wilson] didn’t have the belief that they could finish it. We gave Fresno State just enough reason to believe that they could win.”
The singles portion of the match proceeded smoothly for Fresno State, as all Bulldog players won their matches in two straight sets. In the No. 2 singles match that pitted Pintar against Winterhalter, Winterhalter trailed Pintar 4-2 in the first set until Winterhalter scored four straight points and defeated Pintar 6-4, 6-1.
“Fresno State’s players are good. They are mentally tough,” Kirkwood said. “But we pressed them and forced them to play well. We competed really well without our No. 1 player (Gruenig) and No. 6 player (Fukushima). Because of the parity in college tennis, to be down two players, especially your No. 1 player, that is quite a hole to dig out of.”
Continuing the Gauchos five-match road trip, UCSB, ranked 69th, travels up north to face two unranked teams – playing San Jose State on Friday and Santa Clara on Saturday.
“The team goal for the next three matches, with San Jose and Santa Clara, and our conference opener with Fullerton next week is to be 3-2 and 1-0 in conference when Gruenig returns,” Kirkwood said. “The next two weeks will be big. We are just getting our confidence back. San Jose will be weaker than Santa Clara, but Santa Clara is always a tough match against us.”
Friday’s match against San Jose State is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.