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Sunday, March 12, 2017

UCSB at Pepperdine

My whole lower body still feels like lead; from toes to legs!
Due to a heavy fog couldn't do seabird watching, too bad because recently huge flock of Black-vented Shearwaters were spotted quite near the shore.
Not a bad birding though, spotted about 40 species, highlight being 2 Snowy Plovers in breeding plumage, 30 Sanderlings bunched up in 2 groups, and 3 female Red-breasted Mergansers. And Song Sparrows were ultra bold today, belting out loud prominently perched! Finding the right gal is so important that they risk their safety! Guess us males aren't totally different...lol.

Also birded Malibu Legacy Park then the University Ponds, and just managed to arrived in time(had to write my IW last day's recap at McDonald's first, hence the tight schedule).

Scores from Pepperdine;

#11 Pepperdine University 5, UC Santa Barbara 2
Mar 12, 2017 at Malibu, Calif. (Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center)

Where's the 'Pastor', don't see him much anymore.

Singles competition

Was rather impressed with the Gauchos. They could do well again at the Big West tournament, even winning it.

Didn't understand last season's #1 Stojic playing #4, and coach Thibodeau has done it before, putting Petukhova at #4 or something against USC(that got overturned. FSU won that match initially methinks?). But of course stacking is the norm, not an exception; everybody will do it, if they can lol.

Anyway the new #2 and #3 Da Silveira and Gilbertson were suitably impressive though. And Stojic's form didn't seem too good.

Dunno why Dzina isn't playing, is she injured. Pepperdine might not need her in conference play, but come April and May, against Stanford and from NCAA 2nd rd onwards, they need her. Not only because she's one of my favorite players lol. She is 'lightweight' compared to Pepperdine's current 1-3, but many teams would love to have her at upper positions, heck even #1 or #2.  And she's a proven winner, no? Defeating Katz at #3 singles in NCAA 2nd rd last season.
Laura and Dzina playing lower positions itself means that Pepperdine is Championship caliber; that they have the requisite depth to win those matches against elite teams.

Was that Segura? Did she wave at me or is it my delusion lol.

1. #6 Stefani, Luisa (PEP) def. #112 Dubavets, Palina (UCSB) 6-4, 7-5

Palina had trouble reacting to Luisa's width creation; Luisa definitely moves better. But what can you do, you DO have to attack her; if you don't, Luisa will. So bashed, and bashed quite well, hence the tight score. Both served well methinks.

2. #15 Lahey, Ashley (PEP) def. Da Silveira, Natalie (UCSB) 6-4, 6-1

Is Da Silveira the most prominent Weil product or what, after Turewicz or something. Playing #2. And played really well, was impressed. Hit so well actually. Also served well, eliciting Ashley's applause. But Ashley's aggression ultimately paid off methinks.

3. Gilbertson, Jaimee (UCSB) def. #27 Sherif Ahmed, Mayar (PEP) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 11-9

A's grunt is a consistent 'Ai'. It was a mix of Ahmed's errors and G's good defense and variety. G could handle A's aggression lots of times, and after rallies A committed errors. Sometimes was too passive as well, inviting G's attacks. G volleys quite well, too. And crucially, could pass well against A's aggressive net approaches.
A had a MTO when she trailed 5-6 or something in the 2nd(seemed serious?).
Ashley was busy walking back and forth between those two last matches, this and #5 match lol, rooting for Ahmed and Jean, did it alone when others were rooting at court 1 haha.

4. #80 Gulbe, Laura (PEP) def. Stojic, Stefani (UCSB) 6-3, 6-2

Laura in good condition, moved Stefani well. Thought it was overall a good match, both hitting solidly. But it was Stefani who usually tended to make errors after rallies, sending the balls long.

5. Atanasson, Amanda (UCSB) def. Runglerdkriangkrai,A (PEP) 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 10-4

Couldn't watch this much at first so concentrated on this match at the last moment. Amanda's bh seemed quite good. Most points ended in R's errors though.

6. Maddox, Christine (PEP) def. Lev Ari, Amit (UCSB) 6-1, 6-1

Who is this Gaucho girl, she plays over Majerle and Yamada? I first thought it was Majerle, but just watched from afar, so can't say. Anyway she wasn't that bad, but probably Christine was more powerful, including serve.

Doubles competition

Dual doubles is less fun than Fall individual doubles; because many teams tend to split their best teams.

1. #3 Maddox, Christine/Sherif Ahmed, Mayar (PEP) def. Baker, Melissa/Dubavets, Palina (UCSB) 6-4

Baker wasn't #1 level or she played poorly(but didn't she play well during the Fall with..who did she play with, G? Y?). Served solidly though(Once patiently returned A's overheads 3 times in a row, resulting in A's next overhead error). Still a tight match. Christine's 1-2 combo poaching is a classic. And Ahmed as usual shined at net.

2. Stefani, Luisa/Lahey, Ashley (PEP) def. Gilbertson, Jaimee/Da Silveira, Natalie (UCSB) 6-1

Thought the Gauchos defended rather well(in fact all 3 teams did), but still, the Waves too good. Luisa did her 'thang', sprinting back against a good lob and properly returning(so fast). Took about 30 minute to finish(which is I suspect what ITA wants; they actually want a 2-hr match; 'TV' match, 30-minute doubles and 1 hour-and a half singles. Otherwise can't explain that radical decision to shorten singles and doubles).

Interestingly, unlike other teams who tend to strengthen #3(stacking??!! Haha), they chose to strengthen #2 by pairing Ashley with Luisa. Meaning they want to win top 2 positions.

3. Atanasson, Amanda/Stojic, Stefani (UCSB) def. Gulbe, Laura/Runglerdkriangkrai,A (PEP) 6-3

UCSB split Stefani with Palina. So no surprise them winning this position.

Match Notes
UC Santa Barbara 7-7
Pepperdine University 7-4; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,2,4,1,5,3)

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