Gauchos Head to Indian Wells for Big West Tournament, Will Face Davis on Friday

April 29, 2010

Santa Barbara, Calif. - After finishing the Big West conference schedule with a strong 6-2 record, and ending the season with three straight victories, the Gauchos look to build on their success with a win Friday morning. UCSB will face the No. 7 seed UC Davis in a quarterfinal matchup, after winning the first meeting 5-2 on February 26th. The Gauchos will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Head coach Pete Kirkwood knows that the seeding can be significant, even though every team has a chance to win it all.

"The seeding is important because it allows us to play the morning match on Friday," said Kirkwood. "If we advance to Saturday, we will have more recovery time than our opponent."

In the first match against Davis, the Gauchos swept the doubles point and won the Nos. 3 through 6 singles matches to take the victory. Despite the outcome of the first meeting, Kirkwood is not looking past the quarterfinal matchup.

"We expect a tough battle," Kirkwood said of the date with Davis. "You can count on the Gauchos playing with heart, determination, focus, and intelligence."

UCSB will have a different lineup than it did in the first meeting, as Jill Damion was still recovering from her shoulder injury. Damion figures to play a big role for the Gauchos this weekend in both singles and doubles.

"Jill and Tova Hausman have both come up big in the past as did Sofia Novak last year," said the Gaucho head coach. "But it will take everybody to win it all."

Luckily for the Gauchos, depth has been the strength of the team all season, especially at the bottom of the lineup. Bryanna Ojeda finished the season with a dual match record of 13-0, but she was not the only success story. Hausman finished with an impressive mark of 12-3, while Jordan Dockendorf was 11-8, and freshman Annabel Gledden was 13-7. The Gauchos will also be banking on the doubles efforts of Hausman and Ojeda, who ended the season with a record of 5-1, after taking over the No. 1 spot in late March.

If the Gauchos advance on Friday, they would then play in the semifinals at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, taking on the winner of UC Irvine and the University of the Pacific. The Gauchos won the first meeting against both teams, beating the Tigers 4-3 on March 6th and the Anteaters 5-2 on March 12th.

The championship match will be on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m.