The UCSB women’s tennis team is set to take on Cal Poly in the first round of the Big West Tournament.
The Gauchos (10-10 overall, 4-2 in the Big West) are the fourth seed in the tournament, just one spot ahead of the fifth seeded Cal Poly (7-11, 3-4 Big West).
Santa Barbara narrowly beat the Mustangs 4-3 during the regular season. The Gauchos swept the doubles matches, which proved to be the deciding factor in the matchup, as the singles matches were split between the two teams.
“We expect to win,” junior team captain Charlotte Scatliffe said. “We beat [Cal Poly] earlier in the year, and some of the matches we lost I’m hoping we can turn around.”
In preparation for the match, the Gauchos have been working on doubles play.
“Winning the doubles point would give us a lot of confidence,” Scatliffe said. “I feel more pressure in singles when we’ve lost the doubles point.”
The team also looks to get off to an aggressive start in the match.
Last year in the Big West Tournament, the Gauchos were also the fourth seed and faced CSU Northridge, who was able to come from behind to force a 4-3 upset. In that match, the Gauchos won the doubles point and took a 3-0 lead, but then went on to lose the final four singles matches.
“I’m really hoping to win the first round and get over the hump,” Scatliffe said.
If Santa Barbara is victorious, the team will move on to face top-seeded Irvine (20-3, 6-0 Big West) in the semifinals. Irvine beat UCSB 6-1 in the teams’ lone match this season.
If the Gauchos make it to the semifinals, Scatliffe feels her team has a chance against the Anteaters, and is excited for the potential match.
Santa Barbara kicks off the tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. in Indian Wells, Calif.