After visiting heartbreak city last Tuesday, the UCSB women’s tennis team looks to put the trip behind it and focus on Saturday’s matchup against conference-rival Pacific. The Gauchos (4-5 overall, 1-1 in Big West) hope to forget their 4-3 loss to unheralded Georgia State and focus on a Tiger (3-7, 0-2 Big West) squad reeling from a 7-0 shutout against #49 Sacramento State. UCSB fared a little better against the one-loss Hornets, losing to them 6-1 in their season opener.
Pacific enters Saturday’s match having lost four of its last five matches, two of them coming down to the wire in 4-3 defeats against conference opponents UC Davis and Cal State Northridge. The Tigers are 3-1 when they pick up the doubles point and 0-6 when they don’t, so the play of junior Jolanta Twarowska and freshman Olga Gumenyuk in top-ranked doubles looks to be a point of emphasis. UCSB’s own top-ranked doubles squad of seniors Marta Simic and Charlotte Scatliffe are riding a three-match losing streak in which they’ve been beaten by an average of five games. Sophomore Tova Hausman and senior Brittany Kausen will most likely reclaim their third-ranked doubles spot after being rested against Georgia State. Freshman Jill Damion and sophomore Asagi Onaga played well against the Panthers during an 8-4 victory in second-seeded doubles, and will try to carry that momentum into a probable match-up against Pacific sophomores Svenja Arens and Sasha Fisher.
“I think we’re looking good against Pacific,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “I like my team right now, we’re battlers. As long as we’re healthy and come in with focus, nobody left on our schedule intimidates us. We’re ready to battle with everybody.”
In the singles game, losing streaks need to be snapped by the Gauchos in the upper part of the rotation. Simic is currently riding a three-game losing streak, including the match-deciding loss against Georgia State, while Scatliffe is winless in her last four matches. Onaga boasts by far the team’s best singles record at 6-3 in the four spot while Hausman sits at 4-4 in the five spot.
First serve for the Gaucho’s third conference match this season is set for 11 a.m. at the Rob Gym Courts on Saturday.