The Blue-Green Rivalry was mostly green yesterday, as the UCSB women tennis team lost to #67 Cal Poly 5-2 in its conference opener. The Gauchos fall to 5-3 overall and 0-1 in the Big West, while the Mustangs improve to 9-3 overall and 3-0 in conference.
[media-credit id=20238 align=”alignright” width=”167″][/media-credit]“Coach [Pete Kirkwood] was disappointed,” junior Jordan Dockendorf said. “He told us we need to step up our game. We thought we had a better chance at winning today. We had our chances but just didn’t execute.”
UCSB earned the doubles point despite Dockendorf and junior Natalia Lozano’s loss to Cal Poly sophomore Alexa Lee and junior Amy Mark off in the #1 slot, just their second loss of the season. Junior Jill Damion and freshman Kiersten Meehen won #2 doubles after prevailing in a tiebreaker, while junior Sofia Novak and freshman Paola Cos won at #3 by a score of 8-3. However, Novak earned the only victory the rest of the way for the Gauchos, winning the #3 singles match 6-1, 7-5.
“[Cal Poly] is really solid one through six and at doubles,” Dockendorf said. “But it’s not a good way to start conference play. I don’t like losing to them.”
Despite their disappointment, the Gauchos hope that they will be able to take some positives from the match and move on to their next opponent.
“If anything, it gives us more motivation,” Dockendorf said. “We can only get better.”
UCSB gets a chance to get back to its winning ways on Saturday as it travels to take on Long Beach State in another Big West showdown.
“They’re 4-0 in league, waiting for us to arrive,” Head Coach Pete Kirkwood said. “They’ve won the Big West nine out of the last 10 years. This is a huge match [to win] if we want to attain the #1 seed in the Big West Tournament.”
“We have to be ready,” Dockendorf added. “It’ll be a new day and a new opportunity.”
Match time in Long Beach is set for 12 p.m. Saturday at the Rhodes Tennis Center.