The fourth-seeded UCSB women’s tennis team ended its season Friday, losing to fifth seed Cal Poly 4-0 in the Big West Tournament Quarterfinals in the first upset of the championships.
To begin the match, the Mustangs (9-12 overall, 3-4 in the Big West) secured the doubles point by wining two of the three doubles matches. Juniors Charlotte Scatliffe and Marta Simic were victorious in the #1 doubles position, recording the lone win of the match for UCSB (10-11 overall, 4-3 Big West). In the third spot, senior Kristen Wilson and junior Brittany Kausen played a tight match but could not close it out, losing in a tiebreaker 9-8 (5). Freshmen Bryanna Ojeda and Asagi Onaga were the #2 pairing and lost their match 8-4, securing the doubles point for Cal Poly, despite that previous to the match doubles play was a point of emphasis for the Gauchos.
“It was tough to go back on the court again to play singles [after losing the doubles point],” Scatliffe said.
After taking the 1-0 lead, the Mustangs won three singles matches with considerable ease to capture the victory and extend their season. Freshman Carina Bjornstrom, who typically plays in the second spot, did not play for Santa Barbara due to injury. To compensate, each of the players moved up one spot.
“We try not to think about [the injury],” Scatliffe said. “People just need to be prepared.” Scatliffe, who took Bjornstrom’s place in the second slot, lost her match 6-4, 6-1. Onaga was out-dueled 6-3, 6-1 in the third position and freshman Tova Hausman, the only player in the lineup that did not suit up against Cal Poly earlier this year, was defeated 6-3, 6-1 at #4 singles.
Simic, Kausen and Wilson did not finish their matches because the Mustangs had secured the win upon the completion of the first three singles matches. Despite their early exit, the Gauchos have earned valuable experience for the future and Wilson will be the only player leaving the UCSB court for good.
“We are a very young team; we put forth our best effort.” Scatliffe said. “I’m excited for next year; we will have the same lineup.”
After the victory, the Mustangs went on to face #1 UC Irvine, owners of the best record in the league play and the #1 seed in the tournament. Cal Poly pulled off another upset in the semifinals with its 4-3 victory over the Anteaters before Long Beach State swept the team in the finals. With the win, the 49ers captured their fourth consecutive Big West title.