The UCSB women’s tennis team hosted three teams this weekend, pulling out wins in two of the matches. To kick off the weekend, #60 Furman University defeated the Gauchos, 4-2 in a game shortened by rain and darkness Friday.
Furman won the doubles match to start off the game, winning two out of three matches, heading into the singles portion up 1-0. In the singles portion, the Gauchos won at #1 and #2 singles, and Gaucho senior Andrea Pintar was at set point in the final set when Furman won its fourth point. Because the match was delayed for two hours and because of impending rain, head coaches of both teams decided at the start, to call the game once a team won their fourth point.
“They are a tough team,” UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “We had chances to win, but couldn’t get it done. We wanted that win; it would have done great things to our rankings if we won. They were a solid win. It was a good test for us, but we fell short”
On Saturday, the Gauchos defeated UC Davis 7-0 before hosting Cal State Northridge, a match that went down to the wire, with the Gauchos winning 4-3.
The Gauchos won the doubles point thanks to wins at #1 and #2 doubles. Sophomore Charlotte Scatliffe and Pintar defeated Northridge senior YuYu Myinttun and junior Silvia Gutierrez 8-6 at #1 doubles.
With the Gauchos leading 1-0, both teams kicked off the singles portion. The Gauchos defeated Northridge at #2 and #3 singles for what would be the smoothest matches for the Gauchos. The Gauchos would then lose at No. 1 singles in a match that would be forced to go three sets. Northridge’s Gutierrez defeated senior Marielle Gruenig, 6-3, 3-6, 0-5.
“When you play #1 singles, you have to put everything into the match,” Kirkwood said. “She was tough all throughout. I just think the seven matches in 11 days just caught up to her.”
With the score 3-2, the match went down to #4 and #5 singles. Northridge sophomore Ana Matijasevic defeated Scatliffe 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 at #4 singles to even the game at 3-3.
The tie-breaker would be determined at #5 singles with senior Leslie Damion facing off against Myinttun. Damion was trailing 1-5 in the third set, but then rallied to take the win at 7-6, 2-6, 7-6, clinching the Gauchos a 4-3 victory.
“Damion was awesome,” Kirkwood said. “She never gave up, she was in there ’til the end. We had to battle to the last point and that’s a tribute to how hard the girls were working. After to have seven matches in 11 days, to still have the alertness and mental toughness that the girls had. I’ve never been more proud of a team than I am of this one.”
The win boosts the Gauchos to 9-5 overall and 3-1 in the Big West. The Gauchos now take a few days off until hosting unranked East Tennessee State on Thursday, March 9.