After a rough 6-1 defeat at the hands of #57 Sacramento State last Saturday, the UCSB women’s tennis team looks to rebound against Big West Conference rival Cal State Fullerton Friday. The Gauchos (0-1 overall) dominated the Hornets in doubles, but were unable to translate that success into singles victories.
“In singles they hit the ball really heavy off the court with forehanded or backhanded ground strokes along with big serves,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “We just couldn’t cover enough ground during singles like we were able to in doubles.”
Freshman standout Jill Damion was one of the many Gauchos unsuccessful against a powerful Hornet lineup, losing to junior Anastassia Lyssenko 6-3, 6-3.
“In my singles match, I feel like I was outplayed and wasn’t able to play my game as well as I wanted to,” Damion said. “I think as the season goes on everyone is just going to get better and better. It was definitely a good first college dual match experience for me.”
Cal State Fullerton (0-4, 0-1 in the Big West) enters Friday’s match winless after losing 7-0 to #37 Long Beach State in its conference opener. The Titans were only able to win a combined 11 sets during all six singles matches and six doubles sets against the 49ers. This latest loss was the third shutout this season for Fullerton, the other two coming against San Diego and #50 San Diego State.
Anchoring the third singles spot for Cal State Fullerton is veteran Shelly Injejikian, a junior who is one of only two Titans to win a singles match this season. Her lone victory came against Azuza Pacific’s Casey Wetzig 6-1, 6-2, in a losing effort. Fullerton also starts freshman Erin Wiesener at the top singles spot, who has yet to win a collegiate singles match.
“We usually beat Fullerton, but we’re not taking anything for granted this season,” Kirkwood said. “We match up pretty well against Fullerton in all of the games, but I think it’s a question of them stepping up to beat us because we’re favored against them.”
First serve for the Gaucho’s conference opener is at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Fullerton. UCSB returns home Saturday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. to host the University of Texas San Antonio.