All Smiles for UCSB with 7-0 Sweep of Riverside

Stephanie Yamada (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Stephanie Yamada (Photo by Tony Mastres)

RIVERSIDE, Calif.- It was a 7-0 cakewalk for first place UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis who demolished last place UC Riverside in the Gauchos' first sweep of the year.

"We're looking at every match trying to get one win at a time," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "We felt comfortable today, but our goal is to make it to the NCAA Tournament. To get there, we have to play flawlessly, and one win won't change that."

Amit Lev Ari didn't allow a point against from singles one, and UCSB thrived in every facet of every match against Riverside to remain perfect against Big West competition.

The Gauchos started off red-hot in doubles on court one when Stephanie Yamada and Tiffany Lagarde walloped Tia Elpusan and Sara Khattab with a 6-0 victory to get off on the right foot on Thursday morning.

Playing together for the first time since winning the Cal Fall Invitational in late September, Elizaveta Volodko and Anastasia Goncharova remained undefeated in doubles play with a 6-2 win over Mahil Silpachai and Tracy Van from the two-spot to secure the doubles advantage in favor of UCSB.

Despite an already decided doubles point, Lev Ari and Juliana Valero tacked on another win with a 6-4 finish against Lindsey Gelinas and Lauren Wolfe.

In singles, Lev Ari picked up her fifth win in as many decisions with a text book 6-0, 6-0 defeat to topple Gelinas. The junior is a unbeaten 2-0 from court one, and holds a 10-3 dual match singles record which is the best on the UCSB roster.

Volodko handily dealt with Silpachai from court three win a 6-2, 6-3 win to give the Gauchos a convincing three-point lead over the Highlanders.

At singles No. 6, Anastasia Goncharova delivered the win for Santa Barbara with a 6-1, 7-5 two-set sweep against Khattab for her first career clinch in a Gaucho uniform.

Tiffany Lagarde kept her win streak alive with a 7-6 (3), 6-1 win to down Elpusan on court two, and Valero followed up with a 6-2, 7-5 win of her own to knock off Natalie Shamma.

Closing out the day strong, Yamada took care of Hanh Pham in a 6-2, 7-6 (4), 10-4 thriller in her first singles match since March 9.

Riverside's team singles record declined to 6-45 against conference opponents following the sweeping loss against the Gauchos who sit atop the Big West.

Lev Ari and the Gauchos look to double-down on Saturday, April 6 when they take on No. 62 Petra Melounova and 6-9 Hawai'i who only has two more matches left on its schedule.

Tennis Match Results:

UC Santa Barbara 7, UC Riverside 0

April 6, 2019

Singles Competition:

1. Amit Lev Ari (UCSB) def. Lindsey Gelinas (UCR) 6-0, 6-0

2. Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) def. Tia Elpusan (UCR) 7-6 (3), 6-1

3. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. Mahil Silpachai (UCR) 6-2, 6-3

4. Juliana Valero (UCSB) def. Natalie Shamma (UCR) 6-2, 7-5

5. Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) def. Hanh Pham (UCR) 6-2, 7-6 (4), 10-4

6. Anastasia Goncharova (UCSB) def. Sara Khattab (UCR) 6-1, 7-5

Doubles Competition:

1. Stephanie Yamada/Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) def. Tia Elpusan/Sara Khattab (UCR) 6-0

2. Elizaveta Volodko/Anastasia Goncharova (UCSB) def. Mahil Silpachai/Tracy Van (UCR) 6-2

3. Amit Lev Ari/Juliana Valero (UCSB) def. Lindsey Gelinas and Lauren Wolfe (UCR) 6-4

Match Notes:

UC Santa Barbara 9-6, 3-0

UC Riverside 5-9, 0-4

Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2, 3) Singles (1, 3, 6, 2, 4, 5)