Gauchos Fare Well at ITA College Regional in San Diego

Oct. 26, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team was back in action this week at the ITA College Regional in San Diego. Head coach Pete Kirkwood was pleased with the way his team performed overall.

"It was great to compete against outside competition," Kirkwood said. "It has motivated us to keep improving and closing the gap between good and great."

Bryanna Ojeda won her first match in convincing fashion, without losing a game to Loyola Marymount's Maria Garcia-Planas. She then defeated UCLA's star freshman Stephanie Hoffpauir, who was ranked No. 4 in the nation last year in Girl's 18s. Kirkwood said this win was "the best Gaucho result" of the tournament. Hoffpauir went on to play in the consolation final.

Asagi Onaga came out victorious in her first round match with Jasmin Heckel, from Loyola Marymount, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. She started strong against Pepperdine's Marie Zalameda, but lost the final two sets, going down 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.

After a first round bye, Natalia Lozano defeated Arizona's Jane Huh, 6-2, 6-4, to set-up her third round match with No. 16 seed Julia Trunk, out of San Diego State. She would go on to lose a tough battle, 7-5, 6-2, knocking her out of the main draw. In the back draw, Lozano took on Long Beach State's Rachel Manasse and San Diego's Maria Raygada, coming out victorious in both contests.

Annabel Gledden was knocked out in straight sets in the second round by Arizona's Ariane Masschelein, the 17th-seed, before losing to Pepperdine's Tania Rice in the back draw.

Michelle Murphy was forced to withdraw from her match-up with Pepperdine's Andrea Oates due to illness.

Sofia Novak lost a tough battle in the second round to the 15-seed Juliette Coupez out of San Diego, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Novak then was taken out of the back draw by Jasmin Heckel of Loyola Marymount, 7-5, 6-3.

In doubles action, the team of Novak and Murphy, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, lost their second round match to San Diego State's Julia Wais and Julia Trunk, 8-5. Kirkwood considered the upset loss "the biggest Gaucho disappointment" of the tournament. According to Kirkwood, Murphy was battling flu-like symptoms, which affected her energy and focus. She was forced out of the remainder of the tournament.

After losing a second round match to UCLA's Pamela Montez and Maya Johansson, UCSB's Lozano and Gledden faced off with USC's Christi Andrews and Leyla Entekhabi, losing 8-2 in the back draw.

On Thursday, the team of Onaga and Ojeda defeated Justine Perl and Maja Sujica from San Diego, but then lost to Arizona State's team of Ashlee Brown and Micaela Hein, who were the No. 5 doubles seed in the tournament. The Gaucho pair would advance to the semi-finals of the back draw, before being eliminated 8-2 by San Diego State's team of Roxanne and Sierra Ellison.

The UCSB women's tennis team will be competing again November 13th through the 15th at the Cal State Northridge Matador classic.