After earlier season losses to ranked opponents UCLA and Fresno State, the UCSB women’s tennis team was in search of their first win against a ranked opponent. Wednesday, that search ended, as the Gauchos defeated #75 Southeastern Louisiana, 5-2. With the win, the Gauchos extend their small winning streak to three matches and bolstered their overall record to 7-4 on the season.
As has been the story for the majority of the year, the Gauchos took the doubles point to start the match 1-0. The Gauchos won two out of three doubles matches. In #3 doubles, the Gaucho matchup of seniors Mio Fukushima and Leslie Damion defeated sophomores Jana Simurkova and Bonnie Phillips of Southern Louisiana, 8-0. The Gauchos are 6-1 in doubles points since starting the season 0-2.
“Winning the doubles point is big,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “It takes the pressure off the singles, knowing that you only have to split the singles to win. I was pleased with the effort, we played tough and stayed in matches.”
Since moving up to #1 doubles in the San Jose match, sophomore Charlotte Scatliffe and senior Andrea Pintar have gone 5-1 against their opponents. The duo started off Wednesday’s match with an 8-2 win against sophomores Nina Knavs and Breda Kovac.
“Charlotte and Andrea have been great,” Kirkwood said. “They are 5-1 since the move up to #1 doubles. They just play really well together. Our #3 doubles were great today as well, they won 8-0, which is fantastic.”
With the home win, the Gauchos face another ranked opponent, #60 Furman University. Furman boasts the 27th-ranked doubles duo in the nation, freshman Laura Gioia and senior Marti Morris at #1 doubles.
“Furman is a great team,” Kirkwood said. “We know that we can play better, and we are going to have to play better against Furman. But we are ready now. This win was great to get the confidence back.”
After that match on Friday, the Gauchos continue their longest homestand in the season, with a match against UC Davis on Saturday and another against Cal State Northridge on Sunday.
“[The CSUN match] is going to be tough because it will be the seventh match in 11 days,” Kirkwood said. “However, we trained and conditioned for that match all year, so we should be ready.”