Gauchos Shine: Dubavets and Volodko Stay Afloat in Singles, Have Doubles Pairs in Semifinals

The Gauchos congratulate each other following a day of practice (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
The Gauchos congratulate each other following a day of practice (Photo by Eric Isaacs)


In the midst of arguably its best tournament start this fall season, the UCSB women's tennis team will have two players in the singles quarterfinals and two doubles pairs in the semifinals at the Jack Kramer Invitational.

Representing UCSB in the doubles semifinals are the program's pairs of Palina Dubavets and Elizaveta Volodko along with Natalie Da Silveira and Amit Lev Ari.

But there's a twist. The Gauchos' partnership of Dubavets and Volodko will actually face each other in Saturday's quarterfinals.

"I'm definitely excited. I've never faced a teammate during my collegiate career in an official tournament," Dubavets said. "But it's good to know that one of us will 100 percent be in the semifinals, and it will be fun for us to play each other in an official tournament. For her as a freshman, I think it will be a good experience for her to go against a senior in myself from a team that she's likely going to lead in the future. So we'll both benefit from it."

It was another successful performance for the two during the invite's second day. UCSB's No. 2 seed didn't waste much time against Northwestern University's Julie Byrne and Rheeya Doshi. Dubavets and Volodko sustained their momentous play, advancing past the quarterfinal round with an 8-4 victory.

Da Silveira and Lev Ari added to the team's success in the doubles main draws without having to do a thing as they won by default following the withdrawal of the University of Washington's duo of Miki Kobayashi and Vanessa Wong.

The duo of Amanda Atanasson and Stephanie Yamada endured an 8-3 loss to No. 3 seeded Helen Altick and Terri Fleming of UCLA.

Earlier in the day, such commanding play had been established by both Dubavets and Volodko in singles play following byes in the Round of 64.

Dubavets had her hands full in her matchup against UCLA's Kristin Wiley. Although Dubavets managed to defeat Wiley in consecutive sets, it took nearly everything she had before winning 7-6(0), 7-6(0). Her Round of 16 assignment, Northwestern's Doshi, wasn't any less challenging as the two played three sets that eventually ended in Dubavets' favor 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

"It was a tough two rounds today. It took me about five hours in total, which took a lot of energy. But at the same time, I had a lot of courage because I wanted to win and my teammates were being very supportive," Dubavets said.

Voldoko, who also made her Jack Kramer debut on Friday after a bye, defeated the University of Oregon's Paiton Wagner with quick work in back-to-back sets 6-3, 6-1. She replicated the outcome, beating Georgetown's Nakagawa in the Round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-1 win.

Outside of Dubavets and Volodko, the only other Gaucho to win was Lev Ari, who won by default to automatically advance to the Round of 16 after USC's Alexa Corcoleotes had to forfeit the match. Lev Ari ended up having her day ended in a 7-6, 6-3 loss to Oregon's Julia Eshet.

Santa Barbara's rough patch within the singles field continued with Yamada, as she was wasn't able to avoid being defeated by UCLA's Alaina Miller. Yamada went back and forth with Miller in the first set before losing by a score of 7-6(8). She was unable to rebound from the opening set and later dropped the second set 6-2, signaling the match's ending.

The Gauchos' losing stretch continued as Da Silveira fell short against Loyola Marymount University's Siobahn Anderson 6-4, 6-4.

Despite the losses, UCSB is having its most productive tournament of the fall with its remaining players in both singles and doubles play.

"Overall, we produced good results as a team, especially with us placing two singles players in the quarterfinal and two doubles teams in the semifinal," Head Coach Simon Thibodeau said. "There were some great, inspiring moments that took place today along with us gaining more valuable experience. The team's spirit was also very high, which is a good sign as we get closer to the regular season."

UCSB will continue its run at the Jack Kramer Invitational on Saturday. Its doubles semifinal matchups with begin with Dubavets and Volodko playing at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, Da Silveira and Lev Ari are playing in one of the invite's late matches taking place at 9 p.m.

The singles match between Dubavets and Volodko will begin at 9 a.m.