No. 1 seed Long Beach State captured its fifth straight Big West women’s tennis tournament title, 11th in the last 12 years, and 12th overall, defeating third-seeded UC Santa Barbara at Indian Wells Tennis Garden Sunday.
The 4-3 victory ensured the 49ers receive the Big West’s automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament.
LBSU won its 15th consecutive match at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, dating back to 2011, and is an incredible 35-1 all-time at the facility since the conference moved its tournament home there in 2004.
The 49ers came out firing in doubles after losing the point to CSUN a day earlier in the semifinals. The No. 1 duo of Ebba Unden and Hayley Thompson defeated Luisa Ortiz Candido and Melissa Baker, 8-2, at No. 1, and Karolina Rozenberg and Laura Eales dropped Priscila Garcia and Natalie Da Silveira, 8-4, for the clincher.
LBSU continued to apply pressure in singles. Eales made the score 2-0 when she defeated Ortiz Candido, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 6. Maeva Razakasoa topped Ortiz Candido at No. 1 with a 6-1, 6-1 victory to put the Gauchos on the brink of defeat.
Stacy Yam stemmed the tide briefly for the Gauchos, winning 6-0, 6-4 at No. 5 over Rozenberg to pull UCSB within 3-1. But the 49ers closed out the match from the No. 4 draw as Hayley Thompson was a 6-0, 7-5 winner over April Scatliffe.
The Gauchos, making their first finals appearance since 1999, finished the season at 16-9. LBSU improved to 18-5.
BIG WEST TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
INDIAN WELLS TENNIS GARDEN
(1) LONG BEACH STATE 4, (3) UC SANTA BARBARA 1
Doubles 1. Unden/Thompson (LBSU) def. Ortiz Candido/Baker (UCSB) - 8-2
2. Rozenberg/Eales (LBSU) def. Priscila Garcia/Da Silveira (UCSB) - 8-4
3. Razakasoa/Gerard (LBSU) vs. Yam/Gilbertson (UCSB) - 7-1 (DNF)