INDIAN WELLS – Second-seeded UC Santa Barbara opened its Big West Conference title defense with a 4-0 win over seventh-seeded Cal Poly in the quarterfinals of the 2017 tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Friday.

Gauchos (15-9) won the doubles point as No.1 Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic defeated Mustangs’ Seriana Saltzen and Molly Reed 6-2. The tandem of Stephanie Yamada and Natalie Da Silveira posted a 6-4 win over Susanne Boyden and Abigail Bacharach at No.2, giving UCSB the 1-0 lead in the match. No.3 Jaimee Gilbertsonand Melissa Baker did not have a chance to finish their match.

In singles, Amit Lev-Ari defeated Abigail Bacharach 6-0, 6-3 at No.6. Gilbertson continued the team’s momentum with a win against Saltzen 6-4, 6-4 at No.3 and Baker closed out the match with a 6-0, 7-5 sweep of Celine Gruaz at No.5. 

“It was a good first match,” said the head coach Simon Thibodeau. “I’m proud of the way the team fought while resting a few starters. We are looking forward to our next match.”

Gauchos, who have now won eight matches in a row, will play the No.3 seed, Long Beach State, in a semifinal match on Saturday.