Back to the Pac: Gauchos Return to Action Against Pac-12 UCLA

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

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- In its final matchup before conference play, the UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team will take a trip down south to No. 9 UCLA to face the 10-3 Bruins on Wednesday, March 27, at 1 p.m.

UCSB comes off a two-week break, but is currently on a two-match win streak heading into Bruin territory on Wednesday. The Gauchos are 7-5 in dual matches this season and aim to finish their non-conference slate on a strong note against one of the top teams in the country.

"UCLA will push us to play when we get chances to capitalize on their mistakes," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "We wanted to play good competition before conference play so we have to stay focused the whole match."

Amit Lev Ari has been a powerhouse for Santa Barbara with an 8-2 singles record over her last 10 matches. The junior has been the only Gaucho to consistently challenge opponents at singles two and three with four wins from each spot.

On court six, Anastasia Goncharova has caught fire lately with a three match win streak dating back to March 11 against LMU. Goncharova and Juliana Valero have teamed up to recently take over the duties at doubles one, and the pair has a 6-3 dual match mark this season.

The Gauchos are looking to repeat as Big West Champions, but before they can dive into conference competition, they'll have to face a stout Bruins squad.

Led by singles No. 18 Elysia Bolton, the Bruins have dominated all season. UCLA is coming off a win against Oregon and looks to gain some momentum with No. 4 Stanford on the horizon just two days after they play UCSB.

Bolton has an 8-4 singles record through dual match season and remains undefeated while playing on court one. She splits matches in the first spot with No. 56 Jada Hart, but the pair has chemistry to spare in doubles play too. Hart and Bolton comprise the No. 22 doubles team in the country.

Believe it or not, Bolton and Hart isn't the best duo UCLA has to offer. The Bruins also boast the No. 11 national pair of seniors Gabby Andrews and Anya Broomfield.

Although Andrews and Broomfield are 3-3 in dual matches, the pair rose to prominence when it won the ITA Regional Championships and the Jack Kramer Invitational back-to-back in late 2018.

It doesn't get any easier from there as senior Alaina Miller and sophomore Abi Altick team up as the national No. 45 doubles pair.

For its last matchup before conference play, the UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team takes on UCLA on Wednesday, March 27, with first serve scheduled for 1 p.m.