The UCSB women’s tennis team split a pair of home matches this past weekend as it heads into the final week of the regular season.
The Gauchos first welcomed the Big West’s best on Friday when they faced Long Beach State. A dominant season has been displayed by LBSU and the team extended its winning streak to five matches as they uprooted UCSB 6-1. With the loss, UCSB dropped to 5-14 on the season with a 2-3 conference record.
Long Beach’s powerful starters dwarfed Santa Barbara’s offense. UCSB came out with only a single victory in the singles portion of the match as junior Stacey Yam defeated LBSU’s freshman Hayley Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. In the doubles portion of the match, UCSB was able to pull out two match wins, but it was too late for the Gauchos, as LBSU had pulled away with a convincing win on the Recreation Center courts.
The Gauchos then faced UC Riverside on Saturday, leaving the match with an impressive 7-0 win.
“We didn’t let the loss against Long Beach get in the way of our focus and confidence. We kept our spirits up and played hard on Saturday to get the 7-0 win against Riverside,” junior April Scatliffe said.
The Gauchos led a commanding match against the struggling UC Riverside squad, which remains winless on the season. With the win, Santa Barbara improved to 6-14 with a 3-3 conference record.
Starting at number one singles for the Gauchos was freshman Jaimee Gilbertson who defeated UCR’s freshman Jasmine Almaquer 7-6, 6-0. This was one of Gilbertson’s first starts as the number one singles player for Santa Barbara; the team as a whole has started multiple players at the top spot in an effort to find and build the strongest team possible.
UCSB has only two regular season games remaining before heading into the Big West Tournament, which is set to begin April 24. Santa Barbara is currently in the sixth seed for the tournament and looks forward to its last two games, both of which are against conference opponents.
“We are definitely feeling mixed emotions because it’s always sad when the season comes to an end, but at the same time we have been working so hard for so long to come to this point nearing the finish line,” Scatliffe said. “We can’t wait to finish strong and start the Big West tournament with excitement and confidence.”
The Gauchos will next face Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on Saturday at noon and then will wrap up the regular season against Cal State Northridge at home on Sunday at noon.
A version of this article appeared on page 9 of April 7, 2013’s print edition of The Daily Nexus.
Photo by Kenneth Song of The Daily Nexus.