Gauchos Drop Tough Decision to Pacific

Kiersten Meehan (photo by Agapito)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team (1-6) returned home to host University of Pacific (4-2) earlier today. On the road for the past three weeks, Santa Barbara looked to add its second win of the dual match campaign against the Tigers. Despite the well played and tight matches, the Gauchos could not come on top as Pacific recorded a 6-1 win.

The Tigers got on the board first; sweeping the doubles matches in order to get the important doubles point. Earning the doubles point is a point of emphasis for the Gauchos as the team is constantly pushing hard to win the majority of the early matches.

"We have to do better in the doubles matches in order to give us a better chance," Coach Thibodeau said.

Even after facing the early 1-0 deficit, the Gauchos were still in prime position to take the win heading into the singles matches. For the day, four of the six singles contests concluded on the third set tie break. Freshmen Kaiulani Boyer, Jaimee Gilbertson and Melissa Baker all finished their matches on the tough third set. Senior Kiersten Meehan went down the wire in her singles match as she also suffered a close loss in the third set.

"We battled hard on each and every court today. On some days, we wind up winning 6-1, but with the format of the tiebreaker, we can also lose 6-1," Thibodeau stated. "Credit to Pacific as they played well on some big points; it all came down to several crucial points on each court" Thibodeau said.

The lone victory for the Gauchos came from junior Stacy Yam as she played an exceptional match; earning a 6-4, 6-3 victory. Senior leader, Kiersten Meehan returned to the court today as she missed the past couple of weeks due to an upper body injury. Her return to the court and her high energy is crucial as she is one of the top players on the squad. Not only was the team excited, but Coach Thibodeau also displayed a lot of high praise for the senior.

"Kiersten being back on the court brings a lot of positive spirit to the team. It was good that she got another match under her belt as she has not been able to play for the past three weeks."

Despite the tough loss to Pacific, UCSB will look for a fresh start as the team will begin Big West Conference Play next weekend.

"It is a new start for us and we will continue to look to build momentum for conference play and the conference championship," Thibodeau explained.

The Gauchos will begin conference action on the road next weekend against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos will play the Anteater on Saturday, Feb. 22nd at 11 a.m. and then face off against Fullerton the very next day at 11 a.m.

Pacific 6, UCSB 1
Feb. 16, 2014
Santa Barbara, Calif.

Doubles
1. Hana Ritterova/ Regina Suarez (PAC) def. April Scatliffe/Priscilla Garcia (UCSB) 6-4
2. Cristina Saenz de Buruaga Ruiz/Iveta Masarova (PAC) def. Melissa Baker/Kaiulani Boyer (UCSB) 6-2
3. Luisa Ortiz Candio/Kirsten Meeham (UCSB) def. Francis Dean/Gergana Boncheva (PAC) 6-2 

Singles
1. Iveta Masarova (PAC) def. Kaiulani Boyer (UCSB) 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 10-8
2. Hana Ritterova (PAC) def. April Scatliffe (UCSB) 6-3, 7-5
3. Cristina Saenz de Buruaga Ruiz (PAC) def. Kiersten Meehan (UCSB) 4-6, 6-4, 10-8
4. Christiana Ferrari (PAC) def. Jaimee Gilbertson (UCSB) 6-3, 4-6, 10-7
5. Stacy Yam (UCSB) def. Francis Dean (PAC) 6-4, 6-3
6. Gergana Boncheva (PAC) def. Melissa Baker (UCSB) 1-6, 6-2, 10-5

UCSB Season Record: (1-6)