GAINESVILLE, Fla.- The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team came away victorious with a 4-3 win over Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon to tally its first dual match triumph of the year.
Despite UCSB playing short handed with two of its top players, junior Dominika Paterova and freshman Tiffany Lagarde each on the sideline, the two doubles victories and three singles wins on the afternoon improved the Gauchos to 1-1 on the season in dual match play.
"We battled numerous uncontrollable elements this weekend," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "We pushed a tough No. 11 team to the limit and defeated another SEC foe despite a couple of our top players sitting out."
Although this was the first contest in which they paired together, both Valero and Goncharova remain unbeaten through each of their two respective doubles matches.
Mississippi State quickly retaliated as freshman Tamara Racine and junior Sara Lizariturry bested Santa Barbara's junior Amit Lev-Ari and sophomore Lise Sentenac with a 6-3 win to make the doubles point up for grabs.
Yamada and Volodko took down sophomore Magda Adaloglou and junior Janina Braun with a 7-5 victory for to secure a decissive doubles win.
Mississippi State bounced right back behind Anastasia Rentouli who defeated Stephanie Yamada with a 6-4, 6-0 two set sweep.
Yet, sophomore Elizaveta Volodko had an answer from court one. Volodko shut down nationally ranked No. 56 Magda Adaloglou with a 6-3, 7-6 two-set tie-break victory to put UCSB back on top once again for her first singles victory of the year.
Following wins from No. 55 Emma Antonaki over Amit Lev Ari and Tarama Racine over Lise Sentenac, Mississippi State took a 3-2 lead and needed only one more singles victory on either court five or six to clinch the win over UCSB.
A critical win from Anastasia Goncharova tied the match back up at 3 points a piece as she sent Sara Lizariturry packing with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win on court five.
With Paterova and Lagarde sidelined, Juliana Valero stepped up big for an enormous 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over Janina Braun in the sixth spot to clinch the victory and deliver the first Gaucho win of the season for UCSB.
"We worked as team today and it was sensational playing with these girls," smiled Valero after her clutch win. "Getting the win in crunch time was a thrill but we have to keep rolling."
Watch freshman Anastasia Goncharova detail the 4-3 win over Mississippi State here:
The Gauchos will head home and shift their focus to the University of Alabama as matches are set to kick off on Friday, February 1st at 10 a.m.
Tennis Match Results
UC Santa Barbara 4, Mississippi State 3
Singles Match Results
Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. #56 Magda Adaloglou (MS) 6-3, 7-6 (5-0)
#55 Emma Antonaki (MS) def. Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) 3-6, 7-6 (2-0), 6-4
Anastasia Rentouli (MS) def. Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) 6-4, 6-0
Tamara Racine (MS) def. Lise Sentenac (UCSB) 6-4, 6-1
Anastasia Goncharova (UCSB) def. Sara Lizariturry (MS) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
Juliana Valero (UCSB) def. Janina Braun (MS) 7-6 (3-0), 6-2
Order of finish: (3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6)
Doubles Match Results
Tamara Racine/ Sara Lizariturry (MS) def. Amit Lev-Ari/Lise Sentenac (UCSB) 6-3
Order of finish: (2, 3, 1)