The UCSB women’s tennis team is set to finish off its season with a match against conference opponent #48 Long Beach State this afternoon.
Unlike most conference games, this final match does not bear a great amount of significance, as the Gauchos (10-9 overall, 4-2 in the Big West) will most likely remain in fourth place in the Big West Conference.
“It’s not as important as other matches,” junior Charlotte Scatliffe said. “We already have our seeding set; there’s only a small chance we could move up. We’ll use [Wednesday’s match] as practice for the tournament.”
Last year, the 49ers (13-8, 5-1 Big West) defeated the Gauchos by a 6-1 score, en route to winning the Big West Tournament Championship. Long Beach has a 13-10 edge in the all-time series between the two, and has won nine of its past 10 matches against Santa Barbara.
This season, the 49ers played a tough schedule, with 12 of their opponents being nationally ranked, posting a 5-7 record in those matches. At one point in the season, Long Beach played ranked teams in five consecutive matches.
UC Santa Barbara is coming off a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Washington State. The Gauchos went 1-2 when they took the court in Pullman, Washington last weekend, also losing to Idaho, but winning against Eastern Washington.
This season, UCSB has been slightly inconsistent, with three consecutive wins being the most they could string together at once. Out of the eight teams in the Big West, Santa Barbara is in the middle of the pack with the fourth best record, and Long Beach sits in second place. If the standings remain as they are, UCSB would be set to take on Cal Poly (7-10, 3-4 Big West) in the first round of the tournament.
During the regular season, the Gauchos defeated Cal Poly, albeit narrowly, in a 4-3 decision. In that match, Santa Barbara swept the doubles matches and split the singles matches. However, two of the singles matches UCSB came up short in were fairly tight.
The Gauchos and Long Beach State are set to square off in their season finale tomorrow at 2 p.m.