The 2008 regular season got off to a rocky start for the UCSB women’s tennis team Saturday afternoon as they fell to the #56 Sacramento State Hornets 6-1 in rain-soaked Sacramento. The Gauchos move to 0-1 in the new season while the nationally-ranked Hornets improved to 3-0 after a defeat of UC Davis later that day.

UCSB recorded their only point of the match by sweeping the three doubles games. Seniors Charlotte Scatliffe and Marta Simic held on late to defeat the Hornet pair of sophomore Katrina Zheltova and junior Luba Schifris 8-6 in top-ranked doubles. Freshman Jill Damion made her regular season debut alongside sophomore Asagi Onaga in an 8-6 win over Sacramento State’s second ranked doubles team comprised of junior Anastassia Lyssenko and sophomore Aileen Tsan.

In the third-ranked doubles game, sophomore Tova Hausman and senior Brittany Kausen defeated freshman Melissa Valenzuela and junior Joyce Martinez again by a score of 8-6, giving UCSB momentum going into singles play.

“We did extremely well in winning all three matches 8-6, which was great,” Simic said. “Overall, the match was a good beginning for us. Since it was our first match and against a good singles team, it wasn’t as solid but we will get in rhythm for the next match.”

UCSB did not fare well in singles play as Sacramento State swept the Gauchos off the court to take all six singles points and the match win. Zheltova, ranked #63 in the nation, routed Simic in two sets 6-1, 6-1 in top-seeded singles while Valenzuela handled Scatliffe 6-3, 7-5 in second-ranked singles. Damion was overmatched against Lyssenko in the third match as the Russian native swept the star freshman 6-3, 6-3.

The bottom of the Gaucho lineup fared no better than the previous three as Onaga was blanked by Schifris 7-5, 6-2, Hausman was shut-out by Tsan 6-1, 6-4 and junior Karina Jarlkaganova dominated Kausen 7-5, 6-1.

“We went into the match very excited and intense,” Scatliffe said. “In singles we were in every match but did not come up with the big points. I think we have the jitters out so I am super pumped and have nothing but confidence in this years team and I look forward to Friday’s match against Fullerton.”

The road trip continues against the Titans this Friday, Feb. 8 at 1:30pm. Following the trip to Fullerton, the Gauchos will return home on Saturday, Feb. 16 to host Texas San-Antonio.