The UCSB women’s tennis team will play its first home Big West matches of the year, hosting UC Davis Saturday and Fresno State Sunday.

The Gauchos have hopes of gaining an important Big West victory after tough losses this past weekend to San Jose State and Santa Clara. After last weekend’s close losses, Santa Barbara finds itself with an overall record of 2-9 and a conference record of 1-1. UC Davis currently sits at 5-5 overall with a Big West record of 1-1.

“We all really want to win for each other since the Big West is our main focus,” junior April Scatliffe said. “We are not in panic mode at all right now. We’ve been playing some really tough teams and we have had injuries; yet our matches always remain so close. The previous losses just motivate us more for our future matches. Everyone needs to come together and put everything on the line for our Big West matchups, which we have done and will continue to do.”

The Gauchos indeed will have the work cut out for the match against the Aggies, a team which has won three of their last four matches. A large part of UCSB’s season has been overshadowed by injuries which have really put the team at an unfortunate disadvantage. However, in the case of this weekend’s match, the Gauchos squad looks to be healthy and ready to compete, a factor which will greatly contribute to Santa Barbara’s chances.

“Even though this past weekend’s games were definitely some heartbreakers, there are so many positives that we can take from the matches as well,” Scatliffe said. “Some of the freshman really stepped up and showed what they were made of and everyone fought extremely hard. We are going to take the positives and fine tune some of our mistakes to get this Big West win on Saturday.”

Davis has been competing well this season despite its five losses. In their last match, the Aggies faced Sonoma State and uprooted the team 4-2. Starting at first singles is senior Megan Heneghan, who was in route of defeating senior Sara Celma of SSU when Celma retired. The singles starters for Davis displayed a strong performance against Sonoma as a whole, winning four of the six matches in singles play.

Scatliffe has been the go-to starter at first singles for the Gauchos in the last two matches. Although these past two matches did result in losses for Scatliffe, she has been preforming at a highly-skilled level, illustrating the mental stamina and endurance that the Gauchos have been working for all season.

The match is set to begin this Saturday at the Recreational Tennis Courts at noon.


This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.

Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of the Daily Nexus.