Natasha Gill
San Marcos singles player Natasha Gill, the defending Channel League champion, swept three singles sets over Santa Barbara on Thursday. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos’ two-time Channel League singles champion Natasha Gill swept her three sets Thursday to help the Royals beat Channel League rival Santa Barbara 12-6.

The sweep included a 6-4 win over the Dons’ No. 1 singles player, Nicole Buist.

“Nicole did a great job at keeping the ball steady to force Natasha to make some errors, but towards the end of the set Natasha started to loosen up and started to be more aggressive and went for her shots a little bit more to close out the set,” Royals coach Jonny Sapp said.

San Marcos improves to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in league play.

For Santa Barbara, the No. 1 doubles team of Charlotte Ryan and Caitlyn Buist swept three sets.

“Charlotte and Caitlyn are dangerous in all areas of the court as they complement each other with solid strokes from the backcourt and volley skills that keep their opponents on defense,” Santa Barbara coach Danny Echt said.

Nicole Buist

Santa Barbara’s No. 1 singles player, Nicole Buist, hits a forehand in action Thursday against San Marcos. Buist won two of her sets. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

“The Royals doubles teams were well balanced throughout their lineup. Charlotte and Caitlyn got off to very impressive 5-0 leads in two of the three sets today and won 6-0, 6-2, 6-3. Their focus today was fabulous.”

Other winners for San Marcos included Stella Crawford, taking two sets at No. 3 singles, and the doubles teams of Charlotte Manion and Kate Selby and Sydney Posch and Jolie Mardiat, winning two sets each.

For the Dons, freshman Nicole Buist won her other two singles sets with consistent play through the day.

“Nicole played with a lot of composure today, especially against Natasha Gill, an experienced and older Channel league champion,” Echt said. “Nicole played against three very different styles and she adapted well and played her game, a blend of consistency and power from the backcourt.”

The Dons host the Santa Barbara High Tennis Classic Friday and Saturday. Eight teams from as far north as the Bay Area and south to San Diego will compete, with matches played at SBHS and the UCSB Tennis Center.

Noozhawk correspondent Dennis Moran can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.