UCSB Battles Back to Win Home Finale, 4-3 Over Hawaii
April 7, 2007
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As final home matches go, this one was a doozy. After losing the doubles point, UC Santa Barbara battled back with four singles wins, including two come-from-behind three-setters, to post a thrilling 4-3 decision over the University of Hawaii on Saturday morning at the Robertson Gym Courts.
Making the result even more dramatic was the fact that Kristen Wilson, the only senior on the Gaucho roster, fought back after dropping the first set of her match at No. 6 singles, to post a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over Florence Hasko.
"This is a match that Kristen will remember forever," said UCSB head coach Pete Kirkwood. "The tears were rolling down her face at the end and that said it all."
With the score knotted at 3-3, the Gauchos needed a comeback at No. 1 singles to secure the match win. Junior Marta Simic lost the first set to Julia Hodes, but then won the second set. With the third set tied at 4-4, Simic fell behind 40-0, but battled back to break serve, taking a 5-4 lead. Simic then held serve and walked off with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
"That ninth game was about 10 minutes long," Kirkwood recalled. "But after that, Marta was very calm and she stepped-up and served out the match, sending the Gauchos into Easter Sunday as 4-3 winners."
In addition to the wins by Wilson and Simic, UCSB received singles wins from Asagi Onaga at No. 3 and Brittany Kausen at No. 5. Onaga defeated Kana Aikawa 6-3, 6-1 and Kausen topped Samanta Cappella 6-3, 6-4. Kirkwood felt that Onaga's win was pivotal.
"Asagi was the catalyst," he said. "She evened the score at 1-1 and that really gave us the impetus to keep battling."
After Onaga tied the score, Hawaii won at No. 2 and No. 4 singles to take its 3-1 lead. Brittany Kausen pushed the match score to 3-2 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Samanta Capella, setting the stage for the heroics by Wilson and Simic.
While the Gauchos dropped the doubles point, Simic and Charlotte Scatliffe, the usual No. 3 player, defeated Hodes and Sophie Kobuch, 8-4. UCSB dropped the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches, but in the end the end it didn't matter.
The victory improves UCSB's overall record to 9-7. The Gauchos remain 5-2 in Big West play. The Rainbow Wahine drops to 5-14. They are 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Santa Barbara will now travel to Pullman, Washington, for four matches. The Gauchos will play Idaho on Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. and then will take-on Eastern Washington (Friday, April 13, 1:00 p.m.), Washington State (Saturday, April 14, 1:00 p.m.) and Gonzaga (Sunday, April 15, 1:00 p.m.)
UCSB 4 Hawaii 3 Singles #1 Marta Simic UCSB def. Julia Hodes 3-6,6-3,6-4 #2 Sophie Kobuch Hawaii def. Carina Bjornstrom UCSB 7-5,6-1 #3 Asagi Onaga UCSB def. Kana Aikawa 6-3,6-1 #4 Chloe Bihag Hawaii def. Tova Hausman 6-1,6-3 #5 Brittany Kausen UCSB def. Samanta Cappella 6-3,6-4 #6 Kristen Wilson UCSB def. Florence Hasko 4-6,6-1,6-2 Doubles #1 Simic/Charlotte Scatliffe UCSB def. Hodes/Kobuch 8-4 #2 Bihag/Hasko Hawaii def. Bjornstrom/Onaga 8-6 #3 Julis Sandborn/Aikawa def. Wilson/Bryanna Ojeda 8-3