The UCSB women’s tennis team has been maligned for its youth. However, in yesterday’s match against Saint Mary’s College, it was the young players who won their matches, but despite their efforts, the Gauchos fell to the Gaels 5-2.
The two points were won by freshmen Tova Hausman and Asagi Onaga, who won their matches 6-4, 6-3 and 6-1, 6-4, respectively. The one doubles victory came at the hands of Hausman and freshman Carina Bjornstrom at 8-6. The match was dominated by the young Gauchos (1-1 overall) as they took a 4-1 lead, but unforced errors allowed senior Aude Lambert and junior Jessica Hoath back into the match. Nevertheless, UCSB managed a victory.
The other two doubles matches were lost by junior Charlotte Scatliffe and senior Kristen Wilson 8-2, and junior Brittany Kausan and Onaga 8-3. The Gaels (2-2) hit well-placed shots that Santa Barbara could not return.
Scatliffe credited the loss to a lack of unity and confidence.
“We need to be one as a team. Like [Head Coach] Pete Kirkwood says, we need to be like a fist,” Scatliffe said. “We need to believe that we can beat anyone.”
Scatliffe lost her singles match 7-5, 6-4 to Hoath. It was a slow start to the match for Scatliffe, but she battled from behind to force a seventh point. Scatliffe showed extreme perseverance in both sets despite the loss, which is a good sign for future matches.
Two of Santa Barbara’s losses came in three sets. Wilson lost her match to freshman Femke Strijbis 6-4, 4-6 and 6-1. Kausan lost to sophomore Marah Calvo in a 10-5 tie-break.
“They just played better than us; they were more prepared,” Kirkwood said of the loss.
The team will continue to work on its passing shots, overhead shots and volley shots, incorporating a mixture of shots and overall execution. Also, the team was without the presence of junior Marta Simic. She said that she is still hopeful for UCSB’s next match tomorrow.
“You have to be ready for that sort of thing,” Scatliffe, who was Simic’s doubles partner, said. “I know we could have won this match today. I wouldn’t use [Simic] as an excuse for our loss.”
Kirkwood agreed with Scatliffe about the absence of Simic on the court.
“Everyone else has to step up. Make no mistake, not having Marta is not the reason we lost,” Kirkwood said.
The Gauchos have their next opportunity when they host #67 Loyola Marymount this Saturday at 11 a.m., the first of four ranked opponents UCSB will play this season.