The UCSB women’s tennis team traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the Lady Rebel Classic held at UNLV over the weekend, and came out with the consolation title. UCSB was first defeated by Oklahoma State, 5-2, but rebounded to blank both Montana and Northern Arizona to pick up the consolation prize.
In its first match against the Cowboys, despite winning the doubles point to start off the match, the Gauchos lost five out of six of the singles matches to lose the overall match 5-2. Senior Andrea Pintar gave the Santa Barbara its only singles win at #4 singles, with her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Oklahoma State sophomore Yawna Allen.
“One positive about the tournament has been Andrea’s play,” UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “She was in a little slump, but she came out of it and won the second set and then blasted away her opponents in the last two matches”
The doubles portion of the Oklahoma State match went smoothly for the Gauchos. With an 8-5 win over Cowboys sophomore Iryna Tkachenko and junior Marta Tsvika, sophomore Charlotte Scatliffe and Pintar are 4-1 after being moved to #1 doubles.
“Charlotte and Pintar have improved at #1 doubles,” Kirkwood said. “They were put in that spot because of [senior Marielle Gruenig’s] absence and they just played so well there, I kept going with them. They play well together.”
In the next match for UCSB, the Gauchos shutout Montana 7-0 to start off the quest for the consolation title with a win, and defeated Northern Arizona in the shortened game, 4-0 for the consolation title.
“We wanted to win against OSU and stay on that side of the bracket and get a shot at UNLV and Fresno State,” Kirkwood said. “But when we played in the consolation bracket, we played at a higher level than the opponents and at the same level of the teams in the winner’s bracket.”
In the Montana and Northern Arizona matches, the Gauchos swept all the doubles and singles matches played, to finish with an 11-0 record in the final two matches.
“We are starting to click at doubles,” Kirkwood said. “We won eight out of the nine doubles matches played at UNLV, and that is a good sign. The doubles point makes a big difference in matches.”
Next up for the Gauchos is the longest homestand of the season, with 10 of the remaining 12 matches to be played at home on the Rob Gym courts. The Gauchos kick off the homestand with a match scheduled for Wednesday against #75 Southeastern Louisiana. Out of the four games scheduled for this upcoming weekend, the Gauchos face two ranked opponents, with #61 Furman scheduled for Friday.
“It is a good opportunity to play two ranked teams. We need to beat ranked teams; the next four matches are for just that,” Kirkwood said. “We need to show that we can win against ranked teams, we are 6-4, but our six wins are not over strong programs. This homestand is about showing that we can beat ranked opponents. We can give them good matches, but we need wins. We know we are as good as teams like Fresno State. But as they say, talk is cheap – we need to prove it on the court.”
The match against Southeastern Louisiana is slated for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.