UCSB Wins Thriller Over Dartmouth, 4-3

March 23, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With the score tied 3-3 after the doubles point and first five singles matches had been decided, the UC Santa Barbara-Dartmouth women's tennis match came down to the No. 2 singles and sophomore Jill Damion gave the Gauchos the win with a thrilling 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4) win over Mary Beth Winningham.

After Damion took a 4-1 lead in the third set, Winningham staged a furious rally to pull ahead 6-5. She continued the run, taking a 30-0 lead and putting the Big Green two points away from victory. At that point, it was Damion's turn to push back and post the win.

"Jill fought back with true Gaucho guts," said head coach Pete Kirkwood. "It was just a great college tennis match.

The Gauchos started the day by winning what turned out to be the deciding point, taking two out of the three doubles matches. Asagi Onaga and Bryanna Ojeda improved their record to 7-0 since being teamed together at third doubles. Michelle Murphy and Sofia Novak are now 6-1 at Number 2 with their win.

Novak dominated at No. 3 singles improving her record to 13-2 with a 6-1,6-3 victory over Jesse Adler. Dartmouth narrowed the gap to 2-1 with a straight set win at No. 4. The match was tied 2-2 after a straight set win by Dartmouth's Ashley Mitchell at No. 6.

The three remaining matches were all in the third set. Asagi Onaga won at No. 5, winning 6-3 in the third set. The Big Green countered with a Molly Scott victory over Michelle Murphy at No. 1. Scott won 6-2 in the third set. That set the stage for Damion's dramatic win at No. 2.

UCSB, 11-4, returns to action on Monday afternoon when it hosts Harvard on the Robertson Gymnasium courts at 1:30 p.m.

UCSB 4 Dartmouth 3

Singles #1 Molly Scott (D) def. Michelle Murphy UCSB 4-6,6-2,6-3 #2 Jill Damion UCSB def. Mary Beth Winningham (D) 6-4,5-7,7-6 (4) #3 Sofia Novak UCSB def. Jesse Adler (D) 6-1,6-3 #4 Carley McNight (D) def Natalia Lozano 6-0,6-1 #5 Asagi Onaga UCSB def. Ryan Reickel (D) 5-7,6-4,6-3 #6 Ashley Mitchell (D) def. Bryanna Ojeda UCSB 7-6,6-2 Doubles #1 Scott/Winningham (D) def. Lozano/Damion UCSB 8-5 #2 Murphy/Novak UCSB def. Adler/Carissa King (D) 8-5 #3 Onaga/Ojeda UCSB def. Georgie Smyser (D) 8-1

In its on-going effort to draw awareness to breast cancer and to promote its research, the UCSB Athletics Department will sponsor "Pink Week" at three of its athletics events on Mar. 28, 2009. Three UCSB intercollegiate events, scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 28, have been designated "Pink Week" games. The women's tennis match, slated for 11 a.m. on the Robertson Gymnasium Courts, a softball doubleheader scheduled to start at 12 p.m. on Campus Diamond, and a 12 p.m. women's water polo match at Campus Pool will all be part of the effort. "Pink Week" is part UCSB Athletics' BE Great initiative.