This weekend the UCSB women’s tennis team travels to Arlington, Texas for a pair of out-of-conference matches against Stephen F. Austin and the University of Texas-Arlington.

The Gauchos are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 6-1 thrashing of conference rival Cal State Northridge last Saturday. The win pushed the Gauchos’ record to 6-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big West Conference.

Thanks to its strong performance against Northridge and its quick start to the season, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked UCSB No. 54 in its weekly rankings.

This is the highest ITA ranking the Gauchos have achieved in over 20 years, showing the profound impact new Head Coach Simon Thibodeau has made in his first season.

UCSB has won three of its last four matches and has a good chance of further improving its record against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks and the UT Arlington Mavericks.

The Ladyjacks have had a rough start to their season, evidenced by their 2-6 overall record. UCSB will be the highest-ranked team the Ladyjacks have faced so far this season, and they are coming off a 0-7 loss against No. 55 ranked Missouri.

The Mavericks, on the other hand, have not yet been tested nearly as much as the Gauchos or the Ladyjacks. UT Arlington is 1-2 on the year, and its meets against Stephen F. Austin and UCSB will only be its fourth and fifth meets of the season, respectively.

Despite going into the weekend as likely favorites for both of its meets, one aspect that UCSB will look to improve is its performance in doubles competition.

Despite sweeping the Cal State Northridge in singles, the Gauchos struggled against the Matadors in doubles. Sophomore April Scatliffe and freshman Priscilla Garcia lost their doubles match 8-1, while senior Erica Cano and junior Paola Cos lost 8-3.

On Saturday Scatliffe, UCSB’s No. 1, will look to improve on her 3-3 record against sophomore Malena Gordo of the Ladyjacks, whose record stands at 2-5. The following day, Scatliffe will take on junior Giado D’ortona of the Mavericks, who is 1-1 so far this season.

Saturday’s matches are set to begin at 10 a.m.

A version of this article appeared on page 4 of March 1st, 2013’s print edition of the Nexus.