April 29, 2011
Indian Wells, Calif - The fourth-seeded UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team suffered a heartbreaking, 4-3, loss to #5 seed Pacific in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament, in a match that lasted 4 hours and 52 minutes.
The Gauchos took a 3-1 lead after Paola Cos defeated Kateryna Nezhura 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6 singles, but Pacific won the remaining three matches to clinch the victory.
All the other singles matches were completed before Kiersten Meehan and Susan Te completed the first set of their decisive bout at No. 5 singles. Meehan took the first set 7-6 (3), but Te rallied back winning the final two sets 6-3, 6-1 giving Pacific a come from behind victory.
"It came down to physical fitness," said UCSB head coach Peter Kirkwood. "When Kiersten couldn't close out the second set I could see it in her body language that she was spent."
The Gauchos took the doubles point with wins at courts No. 2 and No. 3.
Pacific also defeated UCSB 4-3 in the regular season match between the two teams, but the singles matchups were only the same at courts No.3 and No. 5. Seniors Jill Damion and Michelle Murphy finished their collegiate careers with victories. Murphy teamed with Novak to pick up a win at No. 2 doubles, and Damion won her singles and doubles matches.
The depth of the Big West Conference was on display Friday, as the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds were defeated in the quarterfinals.
The Gauchos return five of the six players from their singles lineup next season.
Complete Results Listed Below:
#4 UC Santa Barbara #5 Pacific
1. Lozano/ Dockendorf (UCSB) vs. Widjaja/ Hansen (Pac) (Pacific) 8-5
2. Novak/ Murphy (UCSB) vs. Eslami/ Irvin (PAC) ( UC Santa Barbara) 8-3
3. Meehan/Damion (UCSB) vs. Gumenyuk/Te (UCSB) (UC Santa Barbara) 8-0
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
SINGLES WINNER SCORE
1. Natalia Lozano vs. Jenifer Widjaja Widjaja (PAC) 6-1, 6-2
2. Sofia Novak vs. Julia Hansen Hansen (PAC) 6-3, 7-5
3. Jill Damion vs. Olga Gumenyuk Damion (UCSB) 6-0, 6-2
4. Jordan Dockendorf vs. Shabby Eslami Eslami (PAC) 6-4, 7-5
5. Kiersten Meehan vs. Susan Te Te (PAC) 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1
6. Paola Cos vs. Kateryna Nezhura Cos (UCSB) 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 1, 6, 4, 2, 5
FINAL SCORE (#5) Pacific 4, (#4) UC Santa Barbara 3 Season Records: PAC (9-11), UCSB (13-10)