Santa Barbara, Calif. – Following its first weekday match of the season on Tuesday, the UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team returns to the courts this Friday and Saturday. The Gauchos begin their road trip to Arizona with a matchup against the University of Arizona, then will face No. 33 Arizona State the next day.
UCSB enters its pair of away matches at 5-7 overall, 2-0 in Big West play. It will attempt to end its last slump against non-conference opponents. The Gauchos are 0-4 in their last non-conference matches and will look to earn their first win against a ranked team when they play the SunDevils.
The Wildcats have dropped their last two consecutive matches, and sit at 7-4 overall. They should present a tough challenge in their return to Arizona as they are 6-1 in home matches. Arizona State has also lost its last two, leading to the SunDevils being 5-3 overall. ASU is 4-0 in home matches.
UCSB possesses a 1-3 all-time record against Arizona. The Gauchos and Wildcats faced each other last year, in which UCSB ended Arizona's undefeated, 6-0 start to the 2017 season with a 4-3 victory.
Santa Barbara last played the SunDevils on Jan. 22, 2012, and were defeated 6-1.
Heading into the pair of matches, it is likely that UCSB's sophomore Amit Lev Ari is on the radar of both opponents.
Coming off earning her first Big West Athlete of the Week honor earlier this week, Lev Ari has shown signs of improvement. She came off a weekend in which she went a combined 4-0 in singles and doubles play. Lev Ari enters the remainder of this week's matches at 5-3 in singles and 3-4 in doubles.
The senior tandem of Palina Dubavets and Natalie Da Silveira remain at No. 57 in the ITA doubles rankings.
UCSB will play the Univ. of Arizona this Friday, March 2 at 12 p.m. at the Lanelle Robson Tennis Center. The Gauchos will face No. 33 Arizona St. the following day, Saturday, March 3 at 12 p.m. as well at Whiteman Tennis Center.