INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Second-seeded UC Santa Barbara opened its quest for the 2016 Big West Tournament title with a relatively easy 4-0 sweep over No. 7 UC Davis on Wednesday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday.
The Gauchos posted an identical score against the Aggies in the regular season when the two teams met in Santa Barbara in early February.
The Gauchos (16-7) got off the fast start when they snared the doubles point from the Aggies (10-12). At No. 3, Amanda Atanasson and Lou Adler were the first off the court as they blanked Frederique Sleiffer and Kamila Kecki, 6-0. The tandem of Stefani Stojic and Palina Dubavets, ranked 24th nationally, posted a 6-1 win over Alexandra Huie and Tiffany Pham at No. 1, giving UCSB the 1-0 lead in the match.
In singles, Dubavets began the Gaucho onslaught with a 6-0, 6-1 shellacking of Kristy Jorgenesen at the No. 2 slot. Atanasson blasted past Kecki at No. 5, 6-1, 6-0, and then Jaimee Gilbertson clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Pham at No. 4.
Although the match was stopped at 4-0, Santa Barbara was only five games away from taking a 7-0 sweep over Davis. Adler had Green against the wall in need of just one game to seal a sweep at the No. 1 spot. Stojic and Natalie Da Silveira were each two games away from a win playing at No. 3 and No. 6, respectively.
The 16 wins that UCSB has recorded this season equals its total of 2015 and the most that the program has recorded in the last 15 seasons. It was also the team's sixth straight win and 10th in its last 11 matches.
The Gauchos will play the No. 6 seed, Cal State Northridge, in a semifinal match on Friday at 9:00 a.m. The Matadors were a 4-3 upset winner over third-seeded Cal State Fullerton on Thursday. The last time UCSB and CSUN met, the Gauchos took a slim 4-3 win playing at home.