With the Big West Championships looming, the UCSB women’ts ennis team looks to close the season out on a high note with its final two regular season matches coming up this weekend. The Gauchos will take on Portland this afternoon before facing UC Riverside in an important final Big West matchup on Sunday.
“I think we have a really great chance,” senior Bryanna Ojeda said of the weekend matchups. “We don’t want to go out losing our last two matches.”
Santa Barbara, 5-2 in conference play, currently sits in a tie with Cal Poly for second place in the Big West and a win against Riverside would assure they will at least remain tied for second, with the possibility of UC Irvine sneaking into the mix if the Anteaters can win their last two conference matches. In the case of a three-way tie, UCSB would have the tiebreaker advantage.
“These last few years we’ve struggled, but this year we really have a good chance of getting second,” Ojeda said. “To have that second seed really helps with our chances in the playoffs. I really think we have a great chance this year to win the Big West.”
But before the team can focus on the importance of the Riverside match, they must direct their attention to Portland. Though it is a nonconference event, a win in this match would give the team some excellent momentum going into both its final match and the conference tournament.
The Gauchos will get a day to rest after today’s match, while Riverside will have to face Cal Poly tomorrow before traveling to Santa Barbara on Sunday. Riverside, currently 0-5 in Big West play, will have to bring their best if they want to have a shot against the Gauchos. UCSB has won six of its last eight matches and has been seeing constant improvement from its doubles lineup.
In addition, Sunday will be Senior Day for Santa Barbara and you can bet every one of the seniors will be motivated to win and will leave everything they have on the tennis court.
“[These are] my last two matches of my career and this season, so I don’t want to leave it on a bad note,” Ojeda said. “We’ve done well our last few matches so we might as well keep it up.”