Santa Barbara, Calif. – Following an underwhelming non-conference finish, the UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team seemed nowhere near being a team that could possibly three-peat as Big West Tournament champions in the latter half of the season.
Nearly four weeks later, the Gauchos are now on the verge of winning their first ever conference regular season title. UCSB is just one win away from doing so after a 4-0 shutout of Cal State Northridge in its final home match of the year.
UCSB's 'from the ground up' story has gradually gotten better in recent weeks as the Gauchos have now won four consecutive matches to improve to 10-12 overall and 6-1 in the conference to maintain their current first-place standing.
"I was pleased with how everyone fought given such an emotional senior day. I'm also glad that the match didn't last too long. The momentum will help us tomorrow," Head Coach Simon Thibodeau said.
As for the Matadors, Friday's loss marked their second-straight defeat, making them 7-10, 3-4 in conference play.
The pair earned UC Santa Barbara its first doubles win of the day with a 6-1 victory over CSUN's Monika Van de Vondel and Skyla Alcon.
Moments after the court one victory, Santa Barbara's dominance continued with a 6-2 victory by the combo of senior Amanda Atanasson and junior Stephanie Yamada against the Matadors' pair of Emma Roenholt and Arpe Bagumyan. The win secured a 1-0 victory for UCSB going into singles play.
Santa Barbara sustained its rhythmic play in singles, beginning with Yamada, who tallied a 6-1, 6-0 win over Northridge's Mari Taslagyan to extend UCSB's lead to 2-0.
The Gauchos kept things rolling with Dubavets at the forefront as she notched a win in back-to-back sets over Van de Vondel by a final result of 6-1, 6-3.
With UCSB leading 3-0, the confidence was fully in its favor and it consistently showed in each of the team's players. Utilizing this confidence in both of the narrow sets she played was sophomore Amit Lev Ari, whose 6-3, 6-4 win against CSUN's Roenholt sealed the deal for the Gauchos 4-0 match victory.
Playing in what already was a significant day, the Gauchos' shutout made Senior Day that much better as Dubavets, Da Silveira, and Atanasson left their final mark on UCSB's Rec Cen courts.
"I'm so proud of the team today and could not be any happier to have such an amazing group of girls in my life!," Da Silveria explained. "We all came out with a goal, and as a team we dominated that goal. Although it was my last home match, I know my journey isn't over yet as we have one more match tomorrow and then the conference tournament, which is the best time of the year."
UCSB will be on the road for its final regular season match of the 2018 season. It will play Blue-Green rival Cal Poly at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 21.