UCSB to compete in Jack Kramer Invitational Over the Weekend

Stephanie Yamada (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Stephanie Yamada (Photo by Eric Isaacs)


SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team will travel down to Los Angeles, Calif. this upcoming weekend as the Gauchos will culminate their tournament season with the Jack Kramer Invitational. 

The Gauchos have struggled to remain fully healthy through two tournaments this year, but the two weeks separating the ITA Regionals and the Jack Kramer Invitational appear to have been enough time for senior captain Stephanie Yamada to recover. 

"I'm excited to say that we have almost everyone back in action and healthy this week," chimed first year Assistant Coach Dané Vorster. "We have seven healthy players on the court this weekend; this week we have [Anastasia] with Steph since she's back in action."

In the previous two tournaments, freshman standout Anastasia Goncharova was paired with sophomore Elizaveta Volodko as the pair championed the ITA Blue Doubles Bracket at the Cal Fall Invitation. However, with Yamada back in the lineup this weekend, the coaching staff shifted around the double's teams with hopes of a promising run for each of the three pairs.

"We will have Tiffany with [Elizaveta] and Amit with Juliana. We try to match the players up so that they best complement each other's games," said Vorster as she examined the rest of the lineup. "We're willing to use these matches to see all the different pairs; our goal is to finalize our doubles pair for the season. That's the most important thing for us right now."

In the final tournament during the opening half of the year, UCSB looks to develop stability heading into the two-month break before dual match season.

Freshman Tiffany Lagarde has delivered consecutive deep stretches in the singles bracket as she looks to break the plain for the Semifinals after she was halted at the Round of 16 at the ITA Regionals. This weekend she'll be paired up with Volodko who looks to regroup with Lagarde by her side and make a deep run in the doubles bracket.

After a first round exit from the Sentenac-Lev-Ari pairs team at the ITA Regionals, the coaching staff paired up junior Juliana Valero with Amit Lev-Ari for the Jack Kramer Invitational to explore all of their pairs options before dual match season which begins during the first week of February.

"I think they're doing a really nice job of bringing positivity, unity and encouragement," expressed Vorster. "It is extremely important to maintain our form now. The season is when we want to peak and shine; it's up to the discipline of each player to maintain their game and keep improving as well."

The Jack Kramer Invitational Tournament kicks off Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. You can follow the Gauchos as they compete over the weekend here on Instagram @ucsbwtennis. You can also follow their Twitter page for updates @UCSBWTennis.