Six Seniors Bid UCSB Adieu as No. 60 Gauchos Host No. 28 Long Beach State in Pivotal Big West Match Saturday

April 13, 2006

This Week
Saturday, April 15, 2006 at Noon
No. 60 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. No. 23 Long Beach State 49ers
At UCSB's Robertson Gym Tennis Courts

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its pivotal women's tennis match against Big West-rival Long Beach State on Saturday with an overall record of 13-7 and a league mark of 5-1. The Gauchos have won two straight matches, six of their last eight and nine of 12. Included in the current run are three straight wins in Big West play. The last time UCSB dropped a league contest was at Cal Poly on February 20.

UCSB Climbs In National Rankings
The Gauchos, who began the regular season ranked 69th nationally, have climbed to No. 60 in the latest poll. UCSB is one of four Big West schools ranked in the top-75. Long Beach State, Saturday's opponent, leads the foursome at No. 28. In addition to Santa Barbara and Long Beach, UC Irvine, which the Gauchos defeated last weekend, and Cal Poly, which they lost to on Feb. 20, are ranked. The Anteaters are No. 52 and the Mustangs are No. 69.

Damion Comeback Win Leads Gauchos Past Anteaters
Senior Leslie Damion's comeback win at No. 5 singles over UCI's Ali Borowicz, led UCSB to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Anteaters on Saturday. After winning the doubles point with a sweep, UCSB posted victories at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, while the Anteaters recorded wins at No. 2, No. 4 and No. 6. With the scored knotted at 3-3, Damion and Borowicz split the first two sets. The duo was tied 6-6 in the third set and Damion, trailing 4-2 in the tiebreaker, came back to win the match, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5). The win at No. 1 singles was also a key. Senior Marielle Gruenig swept No. 111 Becky Bernhard, 6-3, 6-3. The win sets up the Gauchos key showdown with Long Beach State on Saturday.

Planting The Seed
As mentioned earlier, UCSB's win over UC Irvine makes Saturday's regular season finale against Long Beach State a pivotal match in determining the seeds for the Big West Tournament, slated for Indian Wells, Calif., on from April 27-30. A victory by the 49ers would assure them the top-seed in the tourney and it would likely drop the Gauchos to No. 4. A win by UCSB would possibly make it the No. 1 seed. It seems a safe bet that the Gauchos, Long Beach, UC Irvine and Cal Poly will comprise the top-four seeds, but the order is way up in the air.

Six-Pack Of Gaucho Seniors Play Final Home Match
Saturday's match between UCSB and Long Beach State is important for many reasons. Not only is it a key match for tournament seeds, it is also the final home appearance for six senior players. Marielle Gruenig, Leslie Damion, Andrea Pintar, Chelsea Glynn, Mio Fukushima and Amy Vyhnis make up one of the biggest senior classes in school history. Four of the six seniors, Gruenig, Damiion, Glynn and Pintar, have received some level of All-Big West recognition during their respective careers. Gruenig has compiled 70 career singles wins, Pintar has piled-up 62, Damion has 54, Glynn has 35, Fukushima has 19 and Vyhnis has 14.