January 30, 2007

No. 73 Gauchos To Open Season Against Santa Clara

Jan. 30, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
This Week
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007
No. 73 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Santa Clara University Broncos
At UCSB's Recreation Center Courts

UCSB Opens 2007 Season Ranked 73rd
The Gauchos enter the 2007 season tied for 73rd in the first team poll of the season. UCSB lost in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament in an upset to fifth-seeded Cal State Northridge

Gauchos Begin Season at Home for First Six Matches
UCSB opens the 2007 with a string of home matches. Santa Barbara begins Saturday, Feb. 3 at home against Santa Clara University. UCSB used stellar singles play to defeat the Broncos last season 5-1 after inclement weather cancelled doubles play.

Kirkwood Enters 13th Season
UCSB Head Coach Pete Kirkwood is entering his 13th season at UCSB. Last season, Kirkwood guided the Gauchos to a season-best national ranking of 60. He served as an assistant coach to the Gauchos for four years, during all of which UCSB won the Big West Championship.

Spread Out Competition
UCSB spreads out its hardest competition in the 2007 campaign. The Gauchos play four ranked teams across the course of the season, two in the first half and the other two at the end of the season. Santa Barbara takes on its first ranked opponent in No. 69 Loyola Marymount at home Feb. 10 before playing No. 55 Big West member Irvine on Feb. 18, both of which are at home. The Gauchos travel to Pullman, Wash. on March 13 to play No. 56 Washington State and down to Long Beach to take on their conference rival, the No. 29 49ers.

Scatliffe Leads Short List of Returnees
Junior Charlotte Scatliffe (San Bernardino, Calif., San Gorgonio HS) is one of four returnees for the 2007 season. Scatliffe is the only returning starter for the Gauchos and will likely start the season in the No. 3 singles spot, a move up from starting in last season's No. 4 spot. Scatliffe and junior transfer Marta Simic will team up in No. 1 doubles play. A pair of returning players junior Brittany Kausen (Irvine, Calif. (University HS) and senior Kristen Wilson (Dana Point, Calif. (Dana Hills HS) will battle for the No. 6 position in the lineup.

High Hopes for Newcomers
Although the Gauchos lost BLAnk, the new talent on the team woul dbe just what UCSB needs. Kirkwood expects freshmen Carina Bjornstrom (Espoo, Finland/Brando Gymnasium) to begin the season in No. 1 singles with junior transfer Marta Simic (Belgrade, Serbia/Broward Community College) taking over at No. 2 singles. Simic did extremely well in two years at Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she won the 2006 National Junior College singles and doubles championships and helped her team win the NJCAA team title. Freshmen Tova Hausman (Los Angeles, Calif. (Beverly Hills HS) and Asagi Onaga (El Segundo, Calif./El Segundo HS) are slated to take No. 4 and No. 5 singles spots, respectively.