SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team battled Long Beach State, the top team in the Big West Conference, for nearly five hours on Saturday, before dropping a tough 4-3 decision.
The marathon match began with doubles. While the 49ers claimed the doubles point with a sweep, it was the long contests at No. 2 and No. 1 that epitomized Saturday's match. At No. 2, Long Beach's Klaudia Malenovska and Anais Dallara defeated Gauchos Erica Cano and Sofia Novak, 8-5, clinching the doubles point.
The No. 1 doubles match was a classic. UCSB's Natalia Lozano and Jordan Dockendorf had match point against the 75th-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Rachel Manasse and Laura Bernard, but the 49er duo fought back to record a tiebreaker win, 9-8 (7).
While three of the singles matches were decided in two sets, some were as tense as the No. 1 doubles match.
Dallara swept Novak at No. 1, 6-1, 6-3. Gauchos Lozano, Scatliffe and Dockendorf swept their matches at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 6 respectively. The match, overall, was decided at No. 4 and No. 5.
At No. 4, Sarah Cantlay split the first two sets before tying the team score at 3-3 with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win.
Long Beach claimed the team victory with a tight win at No. 5. Malenovska defeated UCSB's Paola Cos, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. The victory assures the 49ers the No. 1 seed at the Big West Tournament, to be played at Indian Wells, Calif., on April 19-21.
UCSB travels to Cal Poly on Tuesday to take-on the Mustangs in a 1:30 p.m. match. The contest was originally slated to be played in March, but the threat of rain caused it to be re-scheduled.
Long Beach State 4, UC Santa Barbara 3
No. 1 - Manasse/Bernard (LBSU) d. Lozano/Dockendorf (UCSB) – 9-8 (7)
No. 2 - Malenovska/Dallara (LBSU) d. Cano/Novak (UCSB) – 8-5
No. 3 - Luzar/Cantlay (LBSU) d. Scatliffe/Meehan (UCSB) – 8-2
No. 1 – Anais Dallara (LBSU) d. Sofia Novak (UCSB) – 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 – Natalia Lozano (UCSB) d. Rachel Manasse (LBSU) – 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 – April Scatliffe (UCSB) d. Laura Bernard (LBSU) – 6-0, 6-4
No. 4 – Sarah Cantlay (LBSU) d. Kiersten Meehan (UCSB) – 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
No. 5 – Klaudia Malenovska (LBSU) d. Paola Cos (UCSB) – 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
No. 6 – Jordan Dockendorf (UCSB) d. Julie Luzar (LBSU) – 6-2, 6-2