The final weekend of the regular season essentially summed up the entire regular season for the UCSB women’s tennis team, as the inconsistent Gauchos could not capitalize on a emotional 5-2 Friday win over UC Davis, losing to rival Cal Poly 7-0 on Sunday. UCSB will enter the Big West Championships as the fifth seed, while the Mustangs will take the fourth seed. The Aggies (11-9, 3-5) will take the sixth seed after back-to-back losses to UCSB and Cal Poly.
Santa Barbara (9-13 overall, 4-4 in the Big West) began the weekend bidding farewell to its seniors against Davis, and the veterans came through with a match-clinching sweep. Seniors Marta Simic and Charlotte Scatliffe set the tone early with an 8-3 top-ranked doubles win over junior Randi Schuler and sophomore Herzyl Legaspi, while senior Britanny Kausen and sophomore Tova Hausman played one of their best doubles matches this season in an 8-1 win over senior Robyn Guier and junior Emma Shapiro in the three spot. The senior dominance continued as Scatliffe returned to old form in a 6-1, 6-1 beat down of Shapiro at #5 singles, while Kausen clinched the overall victory with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over freshman Sidney Brady. In the day’s final match, Simic overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third set to beat Schuler 1-6, 6-1, 7-6.
“[The seniors] all came through,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “That’s what you want on Senior Day, especially with [Simic] coming back from 5-2 in the third set. Her whole career was based on fighting and hanging in there. Just a perfect way to end it at home.”
Hausman continued to pad her singles record with a 6-0, 7-5 victory over Legaspi in the four spot, but freshmen Jill Damion and sophomore Asagi Onaga were done early in their respective matches. Damion went down 6-3, 6-3 to sophomore Desiree Stone, while Onaga couldn’t handle Guier in her 6-2, 6-1 loss. However, those two blemishes on what was otherwise a perfect match for UCSB were overshadowed by the play of the seniors, specifically Kausen, who was along with Scatliffe was moved into the front courts so all three seniors could play side-by-side.
“[Kausen] was awesome,” Kirkwood said. “If she loses that first set, then we’re going into three sets for the match if [Simic] doesn’t pull it out. She kept attacking and just was relentless. The big thing was that she held her serve the last two games to close it out because that’s been a problem for her.”
Cal Poly brought the Gauchos painfully back down to earth with a 7-0 shutout that was closer than the final score indicated. Simic and Scatliffe went down 9-8 after a bitterly contested tiebreaker against the #52 doubles team in the nation, while sophomores Diane Filip and Amy Markhoff put away Hausman and Kausen 8-4 in the three spot. In contrast to their singles play against Davis, Damion and Onaga provided the Gauchos’ only bright spot of the day in their 8-5 two-spot win over juniors Shannon Brady and Maria Malec.
The day only got worse for UCSB, as the Mustangs took all six singles matches, coming out on top in all four tiebreakers forced by the Gauchos. Though the match had long been decided, Hausman fought valiantly in a marathon three-hour match against Filip, but lost 6-3, 5-7, 11-9 in fourth-ranked singles.