The Dons gave it their all as they took down the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Sunday, Jan. 26 in Santa Barbara, Calif., ultimately winning 7-0. The host Gauchos were no match for the Dons in their season home opener, and USF (4-0) stayed unbeaten with the win, while UCSB moved to 0-2.
USF’s commanding victory came in the midst of adverse weather conditions. Heavy rain caused a delay of over an hour, but once play began, not even rain or cold weather was enough to bring down the Dons. In the doubles, there was no stopping them as sophomore Andrea Ka and junior Marina Nikolic won 6-3, as did the team of junior Milica Hadzi-Tanovic and freshman Genevieve McCloskey.
The singles matches were competitive, but USF still prevented UCSB from registering a win. Perhaps the most closely contested match of the day came between sophomore Brooke Irish and the Gauchos’ Melissa Baker, which Irish eventually took in three sets (6-3, 4-6, 10-2). Another notable singles match was between Nikolic and UCSB’s Stacy Yam, with Nikolic taking control and winning 6-2, 7-6.
The day before their match at UCSB, the Dons put forth another dominant performance that resulted in a convincing win. San Francisco fought hard and eventually defeated Cal Poly 5-2 on Saturday, Jan. 25 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
It was the opening game of the season for Cal Poly, and they made sure to give the Dons their best effort, especially in the doubles matches. Freshman Tyra Taune and sophomore Sofia Holmberg came up short against the Mustangs’ Jennifer Cornea and Ane McPike, losing 6-2. However, the Dons fared well on courts two and three, and Hadzi-Tanovic and McCloskey’s 7-6 win over Mika Padmanabhan and Sayaka Tsugai clinched the Dons’ victory. In the singles matches, Taue, Irish, Ka, and Nikolic were able to edge their competition.
Following victories against UCSB and Cal Poly, the Dons will look to continue their red-hot start to the season when they face the University of California, Berkeley Bears on Friday, Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m.