GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Although the UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team opened its dual match season with two big wins to take a doubles advantage over the University of Florida, the Gauchos were halted during solo matches to drop their first dual match of the season with a 4-2 loss on Saturday afternoon.
The pairs team of juniors Amit Lev-Ari and Juliana Valero burst out of the gates with a 6-4 triumph in their first doubles match of the season over freshman pair Marlee Zein and Anastasia Kharitonova.
However, on court one, Stephanie Yamada and Elizaveta Volodko were taken care of with a one-sided 6-2 win against Florida's junior Tsveta Dimitrova and sophomore McCartney Kessler to even up doubles play at one win a piece.
After a split between Santa Barbara and Florida in the opening two matchups, the doubles point was up for grabs and the burden fell onto the shoulders of junior Dominika Paterova and freshman Anastasia Goncharova.
Paterova-Goncharova fell behind three sets to none early on, but a sensational comeback found them within striking distance.
Tied up at 6-6, the Gaucho duo ultimately came away with a 7-4 tiebreak victory over freshman Sydney Berlin and sophomore Ida Jarlskog to steal the doubles point away from the Gators and regain momentum heading into singles play.
Sophomore Lise Sentenac in the five spot kept the meter running with a confident 6-2, 6-0 two-set win against Sydney Berlin, but that was the only singles victory that UC Santa Barbara would capture all day.
Following an early 2-0 lead for the Gauchos, sophomore Elizaveta Volodko dropped a 7-5, 6-0 loss in two sets to McCartney Kessler on court two for Florida's first singles win of the afternoon.
Dominika Paterova looked to turn it around after a tight 7-5 loss in her first set against Ida Jarlskog on court one, but the momentum shifted to Florida's favor as Jarlskog grabbed set number two with a 6-0 win.
It was a similar story for Anastasia Goncharova who was unable to complete a comeback on court six after a 7-5 loss in set one as she eventually fell to Anastasia Kharitonova 6-3 in the second set.
The Gauchos final hope came down Stephanie Yamada who battled against Tsveta Dimitrova in the No. 4 hole, but after a 6-4 loss in set one, Yamada dropped a nail biter in a 4-2 tie breaker to seal the deal for the Florida Gators.
Although Amit Lev-Ari was itching for a comeback win against freshman Marlee Zein, her match went unfinished as the Gauchos let one slip away against Florida.
The Gauchos will be ready for their next match against the 2-1 Mississippi State who lost 4-1 against North Carolina State in Gainesville on Saturday.
UC Santa Barbara (0-1) will face Mississippi State on Sunday at 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Tennis Match Results
UC Santa Barbara vs. University of Florida January 26, 2019 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida 4, UC Santa Barbara 2.
Amit Lev-Ari/ Juliana Valero (UCSB) def. Marlee Zein/Anastasia Kharitonova (UF) 6-4
Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Dominika Paterova (UCSB) 7-5, 6-0
Kessler McCartney (UF) def. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) 6-1, 7-5
Marlee Zein (UF) vs. Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) 7-6, 5-5, unfinished
Tsveta Dimitrova (UF) def. Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) 6-4, 6-6 (4)
Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Sydney Berlin (UF) 6-2, 6-0
Anastasia Kharitonova (UF) def. Anastasia Goncharova (UCSB) 7-5, 6-3