Santa Barbara, Calif. – The last time the UCSB women's tennis team lost to Hawaii, it went on a 10-match win streak.
Certainly, last season's results don't merit any guarantees, but surely the Gauchos can hope the same trend is on the rise after their 4-1 victory over long Beach State on Saturday.
The win put an end to UC Santa Barbara's slump of five consecutive losses, improving its record to 7-12, 3-1 in the Big West standings. Long Beach State is now 8-7 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
"I think today's win was very important. [Each] past loss was really tough, [but] I'm proud of us because we managed to bounce back today, especially after a really tough loss yesterday," freshman Lise Sentenac said. "Today's match was important, we needed to win to gain confidenc for conference play. We fought really hard during all of our matches and I believe that all the hard work we did will reward us for the future conference matches."
During the Gauchos' five-match losing stretch, there was one reoccurring aspect that continuously plagued their performance – losing the doubles point.
But the narrative changed on Saturday, as the Gauchos dominated the doubles point.
UCSB's strong performance in doubles play began with the ITA's No. 45 ranked pair of seniors Palina Dubavets and Natalie Da Silveira. The team's top pair took on LBSU's Natalia Munoz and Lalita Devarakonda, defeating them by a score of 6-2.
Closing out the doubles point for UC Santa Barbara was a 6-3 victory by junior Stephanie Yamada and Sentenac over Carlota Casasampere and Georgia Gulin.
With a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point, UCSB's only pressure was to find a way to close out the match while ahead.
Due to the team's wins on courts one and three, UCSB's pair of senior Amanda Atanasson and sophomore Amit Lev Ari had their match come to an end early. Although their matchup ended unfinished, Atanasson and Lev Ari possessed a 5-4 lead over Lena Pacholski and Sadaf Sadeghvaziri.
Helping ease this pressure was Sentenac, who tallied the Gauchos' first singles victory in straight sets. The first-year player defeated LBSU's Casasampere 6-3, 6-0; extending UCSB's lead to 2-0.
Adding on to Santa Barbara's winning stretch was Dubavets, as she was matched up against Pacholski. The two exchanged scores throughout the match, but it was Dubavets who emerged in the latter portion of both sets, winning each leg with a final score of 6-4, 6-4. As a result, the Gauchos were now up 3-0, nearly on their way to locking up a shutout victory.
But the 49ers did not allow themselves to be blanked. Rather, Munoz stepped up to earn LBSU's only point on the day with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Da Silveira on court No. 2, trimming its deficit to 3-1.
The 49ers' comeback hopes would only last for so long once UCSB's Atanasson earned a 7-6, 6-4 victory against Maren Helgo. The win ended the match, as it tallied the match point for UC Santa Barbara 4-1.
UCSB will have nearly two weeks off until its next set of matches on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15. The Gauchos will take a road trip for both matches as they will face UC Irvine on Saturday, and Cal State Fullerton the following day.
UC Santa Barbara - 4, Long Beach State - 2
March 31, 2018 at Santa Barbara, Calif.
(Rec Cen Courts)
1. Palina Dubavets (UCSB) def. Lena Pacholski (LBSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Natalia Munoz (LBSU) def. Natalie Da Silveira (UCSB) 6-3, 7-5
3. Amanda Atanasson (UCSB) def. Maren Helgo (LBSU) 7-6, 6-4
4. Amit Lev Ari (UCSB) vs. Lalita Devarakonda (LBSU) 6-3, 6-7, 2-3, unfinished
5. Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) vs. Sadaf Sadeghvaziri (LBSU) 1-6, 6-4, 4-2, unfinished
6. Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Carlota Casasampere (LBSU) 6-3, 6-0
1. Palina Dubavets/Natalie Da Silveira (UCSB) def. Natalia Munoz/Lalita Devarakonda (LBSU) 6-2
2. Amanda Atanasson/Amit Lev Ari (UCSB) vs. Lena Pacholski/Sadaf Sadeghvaziri (LBSU) 5-4, unfinished
3. Stephanie Yamada/Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Carlota Casasampere/Georgia Gulin (LBSU) 6-3