LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State completed the regular season with a 4-2 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon at Rhodes Tennis Center. It was a hard-fought match between two Big West rivals, with the Gauchos pulling out the narrow win. LBSU drops to 16-5 overall and 6-2 in Big West play while UCSB improved to 13-9 and 6-1 in conference play.
Prior to the match, Long Beach State’s three seniors were honored for their fantastic careers at the Beach. Laura Eales, Julie Gerard and Maeva Razakasoa were each recognized prior to Saturday’s match, which was their last at Rhodes Tennis Center. They will go down as the winningest class in Long Beach State history with Razakasoa and Gerard currently 1-2 on the all-time singles victories leaderboard.
Long Beach State played well in doubles, claiming the doubles point with wins from the No. 2 and No. 3 pairs. Freshmen Maren Helgo and Natalia Munoz won 6-2 at No. 3, then Laura Eales and Lena Pacholski took a 6-4 win at No. 2. The top pair of Razakasoa and Gerard were locked in a 4-4 tie with the No. 42 ranked team in the country, Melissa Baker and Palina Dubavets, but the match went unfinished.
In singles, Pacholski was a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 winner for the Beach at No. 3, winning her fourth straight singles match. The victory came against Jaimee Gilbertson, who entered Saturday as the No. 124 player in the national singles rankings.
UCSB won the three singles matches at the bottom of the lineup in straight sets, with the matches at No. 1 and No. 2 coming down to the wire. Razakasoa dropped a very close decision at the top of the lineup, with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) loss against Dubavets. Gerard’s match was unfinished at No. 2, but was in the third set after she went 4-6, 7-5 through the first two games.
LBSU will now have some time to rest and prepare for the Big West Tournament, which will run Apr. 27-30 in Indian Wells, Calif.
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