UCSB Smothers Riverside to Advance to Tournament Semifinals

Elizaveta Volodko (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Elizaveta Volodko (Photo by Tony Mastres)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif.- The UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team was all business in its first round of the Big West Tournament as the Gauchos dispatched the No. 9 UC Riverside Highlanders with a 5-0 rout to move onto the Big West Tournament Semifinals.

In the seven decisions on the day, UCSB outscored Riverside 66-8. Under Head Coach Simon Thibodeau, the Gauchos have never lost a Big West Quarterfinal match as this marks their eighth consecutive trip to the semifinals.

No. 1 UCSB was eyeing a statement performance against the Highlanders, and after winning three straight doubles matches to start their tournament run, UCR knew it was going to be a long day.

At doubles No. 2, Elizaveta Volodko and Amit Lev Ari swamped Mahli Silpachai and Hanh Pham with a 6-0 win for the third shutout effort by the Gaucho duo in four matches. Volodko and Lev Ari are 4-0 in doubles and have outscored opponents 24-1.

From the top of the lineup, Stephanie Yamada and Juliana Valero sat down Tia Elpusan and Sara Khattab with a 6-1 stinger while Dominika Paterova and Tiffany Lagarde finished off the doubles sweep with a 6-1 win of their own against Lauren Wolfe and Tracy Van from court three.

Lagarde was locked in during singles as well. The freshman remained undefeated in the three-hole with a 6-0, 6-0 waxing of Pham.

In the second spot, Volodko overpowered Silpachai with a 6-1, 6-0 sweep to put UCSB just one point away from being the first team to advance to the Big West Semifinals.

With nearly congruent finishes, Paterova and Lise Sentenac closed out the victory with just minutes separating each finish.

Paterova swallowed Khattab 6-1, 6-2 from court four while Sentenac stomped out Lauren Wolfe 6-1, 6-1 on court five.

Both Lev Ari and Valero secured a set-one win and commanded the second set before their matches were called.

In hopes of notching its third tournament championship in the last four years, UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis will face No. 4 Hawaii in the Big West Tournament Semifinals on Saturday, April 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Indian Wells tennis Gardens in Indian Wells, Calif.

Tennis Match Results:

UC Riverside vs UC Santa Barbara

Apr 26, 2019 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden

(Indian Wells, CA)

UC Santa Barbara 5, UC Riverside 0

Singles competition:

1. Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) vs. Tia Elpusan (UCR) 7-5, 3-1, unfinished

2. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. Mahli Silpachai (UCR) 6-1, 6-0

3. Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) def. Hanh Pham (UCR) 6-0, 6-0

4. Dominika Paterova (UCSB) def. Sara Khattab (UCR) 6-1, 6-2

5. Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Lauren Wolfe (UCR) 6-1, 6-1

6. Juliana Valero (UCSB) vs. Tracy Van (UCR) 6-0, 5-2, unfinished

Doubles competition:

1. Juliana Valero/Stephanie Yamada (UCSB) def. Tia Elpusan/Sara Khattab (UCR) 6-1

2. Elizaveta Volodko/Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) def. Mahli Silpachai/Hanh Pham (UCR) 6-0

3. Dominika Paterova/Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) def. Lauren Wolfe/Tracy Van (UCR) 6-1

Match Notes:

UC Riverside 7-13

UC Santa Barbara 14-7

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

Big West Women's Tennis Tournament Quarterfinals