UCSB Makes Solid First Impression at Jack Kramer Invitational

UCSB Makes Solid First Impression at Jack Kramer Invitational



Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. – A 6-2 finish reflected the UCSB women's tennis team's dominance in day one of the Jack Kramer Invitational.

The Gauchos ended the invite's opening day unbeaten in doubles play with all three of their pairs advancing to the quarterfinals. It was the first time this fall that each of Santa Barbara's doubles teams were able to remain in the main draws and advance together.

"Overall, it was a solid day for our team," Head Coach Simon Thibodeau said. "I was really happy with our three doubles pairs. They played aggressively, and efficiently executed the fundamentals such as positioning themselves well while on the court."

Making a statement in the doubles bracket on Santa Barbara's end were Natalie Da Silveira and Amit Lev Ari. They had one of the most lopsided victories of the day with their 8-0 rout of Brigham Young University's Madeline Almeida and Katie Fitt.

Also helping set the tone for Santa Barbara was the partnership of Palina Dubavets and Elizaveta Volodko. The No. 2 seeded pair took on the University of Georgetown's Casey Marx and Risa Nakagawa. Playing as the likely favorite, the Gaucho pair rose to the occasion with an 8-3 win.

Amanda Atanasson and Stephanie Yamada didn't disappoint either, overcoming Northwestern University's Inci Ogut and Caroline Pozo 8-4.

Prior to its success within the doubles flight, UCSB nearly concluded singles play with an unblemished record but were knocked off course.

Playing in one of the team's most intense matches was Da Silveira as she participated in a three-set duel against Loyola Marymount's Yesica De Lucas.

Da Silveira experienced a slow start to the match, which resulted in a 3-6 loss in the first set. But the senior didn't overreact and remained focused to win the match's final two sets 6-4, 10-7 to wrap things up.

Yamada emerged for a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Northwestern's Caroline Pozo. Lev Ari followed in her teammates winning footsteps, emerging for a 6-3, 7-5 win against BYU's Anastasia Abramyan.

Contrary to her colleagues, Amanda Atanasson came up short versus the University of Washington's Vanessa Wong 6-2, 6-3. Enduring defeat as well was Lise Sentenac, who was defeated in a one-on-one three-set matchup against Northwestern's Ogut. 

It was a restful day for UCSB's only seeded singles players of Dubavets and Volodko, who sat out the invite's first day after receiving a bye in the Round of 32. Both will make their Jack Kramer debuts on Friday.

With the purpose of the fall season being to experiment with each player's skillset, the Gauchos' day-to-day improvements could potentially lead to them making a run throughout the invitational this weekend.

"We kept good composure in singles play," Thibodeau said. "We managed to find ways to win in three of five matches. There were a couple tough losses, but most importantly we gained more experience."

Day two of the Jack Kramer Invitational includes all three of UCSB's doubles pairs playing at 4 p.m. Dubavets and Voldoko will face Northwestern's Julie Byrne and Rheeya Doshi.  

Atanasson and Yamada are scheduled to play No. 3 seeded Helen Altick and Terri Fleming of UCLA. Da Silveira and Lev Ari will hope to sustain their momentum against Washington's Miki Kobayashi and Wong.

Excluding Volodko, whose singles match will begin at 9 a.m., each Gaucho will play in a Round of 32 contest starting at 8 a.m.