After taking a 3-0 lead this weekend, the UCSB women’s tennis team could not hang on for the victory over the University of San Francisco in its first road match of the season.
The Gauchos (3-4 overall, 1-1 in the Big West) dropped the match 4-3, and the loss lowered their record to below .500 for the season.
Santa Barbara won two of the three doubles matches to take the doubles point and the early lead. Juniors Charlotte Scatliffe and Marta Simic, playing in the #1 position, won their match 8-5. Freshmen Carina Bjornstrom and Asagi Onaga also posted a victory at 8-3 to secure the point, but junior Brittany Kausen and senior Kristen Wilson could not make it a sweep, with a 2-8 loss.
Winning the doubles point was a highlight of the match for the Gauchos, as the team has sought improvement in that area. After its victory in doubles, however, Santa Barbara was only able to take two of the six singles matches played, picked up by Simic and Kausen. Simic, playing in the #1 spot, won the first set after a struggle 7-6, but had an easier time in the 6-2 second match. Playing in the #5 spot, Kausen was able to win her match easily with a score of 6-0, 6-3.
However, the same cannot be said for the rest of the Gaucho squad. UCSB had a 3-0 lead after its two singles victories, but dropped the remaining four matches to the Dons (3-4). Scatliffe played in a difficult three set match. The first set was pushed to a seventh point, but she eventually fell 5-7; Scatliffe fought back to win the second set 6-3, but lost the final set 6-1. The Gauchos have struggled with three-set matches this season.
In the #2 spot, Bjornstrom lost her first set 6-4 and her second set 5-7, although she showed perseverance in pushing the second set to a seventh point. The determination of the Gauchos bodes well for future matches.
Freshman Tova Hausman did not play on Saturday, and was replaced by freshman Bryanna Ojeda, who made her first start of the season. Both Ojeda and fellow freshman Onaga lost their matches with 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-3 final scores.
After the loss the Gauchos have the upcoming weekend off, giving them plenty of rest and practice time.
On March 10 the Gauchos will continue conference play against rival UC Riverside (5-3 overall, 0-1 Big West). The match is Santa Barbara’s second consecutive road contest before the squad returns home to play #2 Fresno Pacific (8-0) on March 13.