Gauchos Breeze by UC Irvine in Paterova's Return

Elizaveta Volodko (Photo by Felipe Garcia)
Elizaveta Volodko (Photo by Felipe Garcia)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- In an overpowering win, the UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team blew past UC Irvine with a 5-1 triumph to down the Anteaters on Saturday afternoon.

"We fought hard for this one today," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "I'm proud of their resiliency today, but we can't linger on the win. With Fullerton coming to town tomorrow we have to be sharp."

Amit Lev Ari swept both her doubles and singles matches, and continues to thrive at the first spot in the lineup to lead this deep and talented Gaucho squad.

The Gauchos upgraded to 10-7 in dual matches and remain in second place in the Big West Conference with a 4-1 league record.

At doubles No. 1, Tiffany Lagarde and Stephanie Yamada blanked Stephanie Hazell and Arianna Tillbury with a 6-0 to set the tone for UCSB early.

In her first match since January 28, Dominika Paterova made her return to the court and teamed up with Amit Lev Ari to collapse Stephanie Nguyen and Danielle Garrido with a 6-3 win to deliver the doubles advantage for Santa Barbara.

"[Dominika Paterova] can go out there and out-compete anyone on the opposite side of the net," said Juliana Valero. "Not everyone can sit out three months, come back, and stay consistent. She pushes us every day to be better and is an example for the entire team. I'm filled with pride."

From singles court four, Juliana Valero was nearly unstoppable with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Jacqueline Tsodikova as Valero improved to 4-0 in conference singles play.

Lev Ari tacked on another point with a 6-3, 6-1 rout of Stephanie Hazell on court one to win her sixth singles match in her last seven tries.

To drive it home, Elizaveta Volodko and Lise Sentenac finished almost simultaneously.

Volodko bested Jessica Tsukiji with a 6-4, 6-2 victory on court three, and Sentenac put the brakes on Alyssia Fossorier with a 7-5, 6-0 shutdown from the five-spot.

The sole Irvine point came because of a forfeit on court six after Anastasia Goncharova tweaked her knee in doubles and was unable to return. Goncharova and Volodko were leading 3-0 on Tsukiji and Fossorier at the time of the injury.

UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis gets right back on the court tomorrow with a match against first place Cal State Fullerton at 10 a.m.

Match Results:

UC Santa Barbara 5, UC Irvine 1

Apr. 11, 2019 at Santa Barbara, Calif.

Doubles Competition:

1. Tiffany Lagarde/Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) d. Stephanie Hazell/Arianna Tilbury 6-0

2. Jessica Tsukiji/Alyssia Fossorier (UCI) d. Anastasia Goncharova/Elizaveta Volodko 3-0 ret.

3. Dominika Paterova/Amit Lev Ari (UCSB) d. Stephanie Nguyen/Danielle Garrido 6-3

Singles Competition:

1. Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) def. Stephanie Hazell (UCI) 6-3, 6-1

2. Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) v. Stephanie Nguyen (UCI) 7-5, 2-2, unfinished

3. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. Jessica Tsukiji (UCI) 6-4, 6-2

4. Juliana Valero (UCSB) def. Jacqueline Tsodikova (UCI) 6-0, 6-1

5.  Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Alyssia Fossorier (UCI) 7-5, 6-0

6. Arianna Tilbury (UCI) def. no player, forfeit

Match Notes:

UC Santa Barbara 10-7 overall, 4-1 Big West

UC Irvine 14-9 overall, 2-4 Big West

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