The No. 24 UCSB women’s tennis team fell 4-0 to No. 15 Stanford Saturday afternoon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Taube Family Tennis Center. The loss ends the Gauchos’ (21-7, 9-0) stellar season which saw the team achieve a lengthy list of accolades. The Big West Champions reached the highest ITA ranking in program history at No. 24 and won twelve straight matches, tying the longest streak in program history of 12 matches set last season. Santa Barbara also swept the Big West’s major awards for the second consecutive season and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.
The bright spot of the day for the Gauchos was Shakhnoza Khatamova and Elizaveta Volodko opening doubles by taking down the No. 19 ranked duo of Connie Ma and Angelica Blake 6-2 on court one.
The Cardinals tied it up with a win on court two, where Sara Choy and Alexandra Yepifanova beat Kira Reuter and Amelia Honer 6-4.
The doubles point was decided on court three, where Stanford’s Valencia Xu and Michaela Gordon downed Camille Kiss and Marta Gonzalez Ballbe in the tiebreaker, winning 7-6(4).
In singles, Blake was the first to earn a point with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Camille Kiss on court three.
Choy put the Cardinals on the verge of advancing with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Kira Reuter on court six.
The clinching point came on court one where No. 26 Ma finished off No. 76 Khatamova 7-5, 6-3.
Volodko was engaged in a battle with No. 23 Yepifanova on court two, leading 3-1 in the final set when the match was clinched.
The elimination from the NCAA Tournament ends the Gauchos’ 2021-22 season.
Daniel Messinger writes about sports for UCSB.