November 19, 2009

Novak Defeats No. 29 Player in Nation to Win 'A' Flight at Matador Invitational

Nov. 19, 2009

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - After a strong performance at the ITA College Regional in San Diego last month, the UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team proved that they are for real. The Gauchos had an outstanding showing at the Cal State Northridge Matador Invitational last weekend, led by sophomore Sofia Novak, who won the "Flight A" singles championship.

Novak won all four of her matches, including an impressive upset victory over Arizona's Natasha Marks, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and the 29th ranked player in the National ITA singles rankings.

"It ranks right up there in the all time efforts of any Gaucho women's tennis player," head coach Pete Kirkwood said of Novak's performance.

Along with her singles success, Novak almost won the "Flight A" doubles championship as well, but she and her partner Michelle Murphy, the No. 1 doubles seed in the tournament, were knocked off in the finals by Nevada's Florence De Vyre and Emma Verbeme. Murphy made it to the quarterfinals of the "Flight A" singles bracket, before going down to the eventual runner up Marks.

Novak was not the only Gaucho who showed up to play this weekend, as Erica Cano and Alex McIntosh overcame a first round doubles loss to win the "Flight C" doubles championship. The team lost their first match to Cal State Los Angeles' Lana Lamesic and Marine Prevost, but fought back to defeat Cal State Stanislaus' Lexy Harrington and Erin McGurty, before taking out Cal State Fullerton's team of Jerusha Cruz and Lani Agsalud in the finals.

Asagi Onaga and Bryanna Ojeda performed well both as a team, and individually. Both players made it the quarterfinals of the "Flight B" singles, and teamed up to make the semifinals of "Flight B" doubles.

Natalia Lozano rebounded from a first round loss to make it all the way to the consolation final of the "Flight A" singles, but came up short against Air Force's Christine Molina in three sets.

In "Flight D" singles, Mimi Huggins made a run through the back draw, before losing in the final to Cal State Northridge's Amira Massi in straight sets.