On the Road Again, Gauchos Take on Pepperdine and LMU

Juliana Valero (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Juliana Valero (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- Following a powerful win over UC Davis in its conference opener, the UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team will travel down south for a match against No. 23 Pepperdine on Saturday, March 9 before making its way to Loyola Marymount University on Sunday, March 10.

UCSB has impressed as of late to improve to 5-3 in dual matches this season and has competed well against some of the best teams in the country. Two of the three Gauchos defeats this season have been dealt by national top 15 teams.

Junior Juliana Valero has emerged as a dual threat with a 4-1 singles record and 6-0 doubles record in dual matches this season including a tremendous triumph against Cal's No. 28 doubles pair comprised of Hana Mraz and Julia Rosenqvist.

Valero's doubles partner, freshman Anastasia Goncharova, has been terrific in pairs this year with an overall 11-2 doubles record as the crafty lefty has baffled opponents time and time again. Goncharova-Valero remain unbeaten in dual match doubles play with a 5-0 record.

As for singles play, sophomore Lise Sentenac and junior Amit Lev Ari have both been prime contributors to the Gauchos' cause. Each boast a 5-2 singles record and continue to have promising starts year in year out.

Despite the promising play from the Gauchos as of late, they have a tall task with No. 23 Pepperdine coming up on their schedule.

The Waves are 6-0 in their last six matches against Santa Barbara who hasn't been able to knock off a Pepperdine team since 1997, and this time around it won't be any easier.

Located in Malibu, Calif., Pepperdine has bullied opponents with their doubles lineup all season.

Led by the national No. 1 doubles pair in Evgeniya Levashova and Ashley Lahey, the Waves are a stout opponent for any contender.

On top of that, freshman Anastasia Iamachkine and redshirt junior Jessica Fallia team up to form the No. 17 pair in the country.

In singles, it's Levashova that leads the charge while ranked No. 13 nationally for her solo play.

For the latter half of the weekend, the Gauchos will make their way to LMU to face the 2-3 Lions.

Loyola's sole two wins this season have come against No. 44 University of Arkansas and Florida International University.

Looking to extend its current two-match win streak, the UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis team hits the road for a weekend full of action in southern California with matches against No. 23 Pepperdine and LMU.