Looking for a rebound from last week’s losses to Washington State and the University of Washington, the UCSB women’s tennis team prepares to host Pacific University this Sunday in its second home game of the season.
UCSB (1-5) looks to gain a win against Pacific (2-2) in hopes of avoiding what would be a fourth consecutive loss. The Gauchos currently find themselves in an early season slump. Although conference play has yet to commence, a win Sunday would really boost the Gauchos’ morale and keep them from falling deeper in the losing column.
In their last match, the Gauchos endured a tough loss and were shut out by No. 41 ranked Washington University 7-0. Freshman Kaiulani Boyer had her inaugural start at first singles for the Gauchos last Sunday, but was defeated by Washington’s Grace Ysidora 6-2, 7-6. The only other match where the Gauchos put up a considerable fight was the second singles duel. Junior April Scatliffe, who has been an extensive aid to the Gauchos thus far, faced Washington’s Elianne Douglas-Miron. The entirety of the match was close, but in the end Douglas-Miron outlasted Scatliffe 7-6, 3-6, 10-6.
Washington is among the strongest teams in the Pac-12 and one of the tougher opponents UCSB will face all season. The Gauchos also had the dilemma of traveling overnight from their earlier match against Washington State on Saturday, which is nearly 300 miles from Seattle where University of Washington is located. This Sunday however, the Gauchos will be at home against Pacific, a team similar to the Gauchos in terms of skill level.
“I think it will be great to play at home,” senior Kiersten Meehan said. “I know it was a tough transition for everyone last weekend to go from here to snowy weather and having to play indoors. Pacific is always a competitive match, so I am sure the home court advantage will be a deciding factor.”
Pacific travels to UCSB winning two of its last three matches. The Tigers latest match was a shootout victory over New Mexico State 4-3. Starting at number one singles for Pacific is Iveta Masarova who handily defeated NMSU’s Ros-Polly Nguyen 6-3, 6-2. UCSB will definitely have its hands full on Sunday, and pulling off a win will involve the intensified stamina and mental capabilities that the Gauchos have been pushing for all season.
“We feel very pumped because we lost a close one to Pacific last year with a score of 4-3, so we are definitely ready to get some revenge this weekend,” Scatliffe said. “I think the energy we are going to bring and the comfort with playing at home will be key factors for us. Everyone is going to need to step it up and take care of business on their court.”
The match is set to begin this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Recreational Center tennis courts.
A version of this article appeared on page 7 of February 13, 2014’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of The Daily Nexus.