Gauchos Mobilize for CSUN Invitational

Lise Sentenac (Photo by Jeff Liang)
Lise Sentenac (Photo by Jeff Liang)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- Following a dominant weekend of doubles play for UC Santa Barbara women's tennis, four players will travel to Cal State Northridge for the annual CSUN Invitational and the final tournament before dual match season.

In last week's Jack Kramer Invitational, Juliana Valero and Shakhnoza Khatamova reached the semifinal round of doubles play, but fell just short against tournament No. 1 UCLA's Anette Goulak and Alexandra Vagramov.

"[Khatamova] brings a lot of firepower. Her game is aggressive and she's very competitive," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "She led SDSU in singles and doubles last year and was the freshman of the year in the Mountain West Conference. She wanted an environment where she could keep growing."

Khatamova looks to repeat another tournament run at CSUN, this time alongside Amit Lev Ari, Lise Sentenac, and Dominika Paterova.

Lev Ari, who debuted at No. 124 on the ITA preseason singles rankings, headlines the Gaucho group heading into Matador territory this upcoming weekend. The CSUN Invitational will be the seniors third tournament appearance of the season following berths to the Round of 16 in each of the last two tournaments. 

Coming off the Jack Kramer Invitational, Sentenac looks to make a deep doubles run after she reached the Quarterfinals down in Palos Verdes, Calif. last weekend. The junior was prime in her solo play, but fell short during the Round of 16 against the Jack Kramer Invitational's No. 5 seed.

Rounding out this week's Gaucho lineup, Paterova has shined during this year's tournament season. The senior has displayed versatility and resiliency alike in her battle back from an aggravating knee injury which kept her off the court for the majority of last season. 

"We use the fall to prepare for the season," added Thibodeau. "The work ethic and morale has been great. This team made great strides of improvement in the fall, and we're looking forward to what the season brings." 

UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis is competing in the CSUN Invitational from Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10. You can follow UCSB Women's Tennis all year long on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.