LOS ANGELES, Calif.- The No. 59 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos came close to an upset as they fell to the No. 2 University of California Trojans by a score of 4-3 at Marks Stadium.
The Gauchos first match of 2016 came down to the very last singles match on court six as USC sophomore Meredith Xepoleas was able to fight off UCSB freshman Stephanie Yamada in three sets for the win.
The day began with UCSB walking away with the doubles point. The first Gaucho duo off was junior Melissa Baker and junior Jaimee Gilbertson as they fell to Jessica Failla and Zoe Katz 6-4 after leading 4-2 on court number two. However, the two other Gaucho pairs were able to clinch the doubles point as #21 junior Stefani Stojic and sophomore Palina Dubavets were able to take down #4 Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith by a final result of 6-4 on the top court, and sophomore Lou Adler and sophomore Amanda Atanasson took care of Madison Westby and Meredith Xepoleas by a score 6-4.
In singles, all of the matches were neck and neck. Three of the matches took three sets to decide, and the other three exhibited intense tie breakers.
USC's #76 Fallia was able to get her team's first point after defeating Gilbertson 7-6, 6-1 on court four. Next off was Atanasson who took down #114 Zoe Katz after a 6-3, 7-6 score over on court five. #49 Westby for the Trojans had the next victory, as she took down Adler on court three by a score of 6-0, 4-6, 6-0. Right after, USC took a 3-2 lead when #42 Olmos defeated Stojic by a final score of 7-5, 7-6, but Stojic's doubles partner Dubavets was able to level the score at three a piece after defeating USC's Smith in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Full attention was on court six as Yamada attempted to fight off Xepoleas for the win. In the end, Xepoleas came out victorious as she defeated Yamada in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 to take the 4-3 win for USC.
The Gauchos come home on Friday, Jan 22 at 1:30 PM to take on Utah.