April 18, 2009

No. 2 Seed UC Irvine Edges No. 6 Seed UCSB in Big West Semi-Finals

April 18, 2009

Indian Wells, Calif. - The No. 6 seed UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team loses a heartbreaking 4-3 semifinal match against No. 2 seed UC Irvine, 4-3, to drop the Gauchos out of the Big West Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Senior Heidi Kaloi won her match at No. 6 singles to give the Anteaters the clinching point against Bryanna Ojeda.

Kaloi outlasted UCSB's Bryanna Ojeda 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 to conclude a tightly contested match that lasted over four hours.

The Gauchos sprinted out to a 1-0 lead thanks to solid doubles play. The Gauchos won 8-0 at No. 2 and 8-3 at No. 3, capturing the doubles point after Ojeda and Asagi Onaga defeated Brooke Bartlett and Rebecca Kwan 8-3 at No. 3.

UC Irvine quickly knotted the match at 1 apiece as Stephanie Hammel won 6-2, 6-0 against Michelle Murphy in the No. 1 singles slot. Kwan gave Irvine a 2-1 lead with her 7-5, 6-1 triumph over Onaga at the No. 2 position. However, UCSB re-tied the score 2-2 when Sofia Novak downed Bartlett 6-3, 7-6 (8) on court three.

The three remaining matches all went to a third set. Senior Clare Fermin allowed the Anteaters to retake the lead with her 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 trumping over Natalia Lozano. However, Jill Damion responded for the Gauchos, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) against Courtney Byron at No. 2 spot. From there on, Kaloi took over for Irvine to trounce the Gauchos out of the Big West tournament and end their season with a 16-7 overall record.

The Anteaters will move on to take on top-seeded Long Beach State in the championship match at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.

DOUBLES
1. Hammel/Kaloi (UCI) vs. Murphy/Novak (UCSB) - DNF
2. Damion/Lozano (UCSB) def. Fermin/Miranda Young (UCI) - 8-0
3. Ojeda/Onaga (UCSB) def. Bartlett/Kwan (UCI) - 8-3

Order of Finish: 2, 3

SINGLES
1. Stephanie Hammel (UCI) def. Michelle Murphy (UCSB) - 6-2, 6-0
2. Jill Damion (UCSB) def. Courtney Byron (UCI) - 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3)
3. Sofia Novak (UCSB) def. Brooke Bartlett (UCI) - 6-3, 7-6 (8)
4. Clare Fermin (UCI) def. Natalia Lozano (UCSB) - 7-5, 1-6, 6-1
5. Rebecca Kwan (UCI) def. Asagi Onaga (UCSB) - 7-5, 6-1
6. Heidi Kaloi (UCI) def. Bryanna Ojeda (UCSB) - 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2

Order of Finish: 1, 5, 3, 4, 2, 6