The No. 67 UCSB women’s tennis team will play its first match at home on Saturday against No. 64 UC Davis. The Gauchos (0-4) are looking to get on the winning track against the Aggies (2-5) in their first Big West match of the year.
Santa Barbara has yet to play in California this season, with trips to Arizona and Florida where it faced four ranked teams, including one in the top 20.
“It’s been taxing to travel so much,” senior Jordan Dockendorf said. “We were not used to the heat in Miami, so it’s good to be home where we have more at stake [against a Big West opponent].”
The teams have one common opponent thus far, No. 19 Arizona State, which beat UCSB 6-1 and UC Davis 4-3. Despite the tough nonconference schedule for both teams, the Big West will not necessarily be any easier.
“We’ve played some of the top teams, but Davis is supposed to be just as good as them,” Dockendorf said.
The Gauchos are still looking for the right combination for their doubles teams to earn the point. The No. 1 team will feature senior Natalia Lozano and freshman April Scatliffe for the first time. Scatliffe is off to a superb start as she is undefeated in singles play.
Match time is 11 a.m. at Rob Gym Courts.
As for the No. 62 men’s tennis team (4-2), it will travel north for a pair of indoor matches at No. 69 Oregon on Saturday and No. 26 Washington on Sunday to continue its out-of-conference play.
Oregon is off to a 4-0 start this season, winning each match by a 7-0 mark. Washington also started 4-0 but dropped its last two and will take on Michigan on Saturday before facing the Gauchos.
Sophomore Alexander Gryaznov talked about how not playing on outdoor courts presents a different challenge for UCSB.
“It’s gonna be tougher, we’ll be playing indoors where the ball travels a lot faster,” Gryaznov said. “Those teams have been playing indoors all year so it’s gonna be a regular match for them, but we’re gonna have to get used to the faster pace.”
The team still has high expectations and knows it has an opportunity to improve on its national ranking.
“I think we should beat Oregon; they’re ranked lower than us and we can keep our ranking up,” Gryaznov said. “Washington will be tough but we’ll definitely move up if we beat them.”
Match time on Saturday in Eugene is at 9 a.m. and Sunday’s match time in Seattle is at 12 p.m.