The UCSB women’s tennis team split its past two games, dropping an important conference match and winning its final home game of the season.
On Thursday, the Gauchos (9-7 overall, 5-2 in the Big West) lost to Cal State Northridge (9-5, 5-1 Big West) 5-2, dropping the team to fourth place in the Big West Conference. The two points scored for Santa Barbara were logged by freshmen Asagi Onaga, who won 6-2, 6-1, and Tova Hausman, who was victorious at 7-6, 6-4.
The Gauchos then returned home for the final time this season, winning a close 4-3 decision against University of Hawaii. UCSB lost the doubles point, putting the team in an early hole. Senior Kristen Wilson’s singles play was crucial in the victory; she took down her opponent in three sets. After losing the first set 4-6, she battled back to win big in the last home game of her UCSB career, posting scores of 6-1, 6-2 in the second and third sets.
“Winning that last match with all my teammates right alongside made all the sacrifices of these four years completely worth it,” Wilson said. “I knew that I had to lay everything all on the line since it probably was the last competitive match [at home] of my tennis career. I knew, after all the blood, sweat and tears of being a Division I athlete, that I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a win.”
After Wilson’s victory, Santa Barbara’s fate was left in the hands of junior Marta Simic, who played a tough opponent and also came from behind to clinch the match for UCSB. Simic lost the first set 3-6 but managed to take the second 6-3. The third set featured spectacular play by both Simic and her opponent, freshman Julia Hodes.
Simic was up 2-1 early in the set, but had her serve broken by Hodes when she took a 3-2 lead. With the set tied 4-4, Simic fought through five deuces to finally take a 5-4 lead, and had the chance to serve out the set. With the final game of the match tied at 30-30, Simic put the game away with a tough serve that Hodes could not return.