Gauchos Crack Finals, Fall Short at Cal Fall Invite

Dominika Paterova (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Dominika Paterova (Photo by Tony Mastres)

BERKELEY, Calif.- During the first tournament of the year for UC Santa Barbara women's tennis, seniors Amit Lev Ari and Dominika Paterova cracked the doubles finals as the second consecutive Gaucho duo to make a run in the annual Cal Fall Invitational.

Four Gauchos competed on the weekend including Lev Ari and Paterova along with senior Juliana Valero and sophomore Tiffany Lagarde.

After a statement stretch in last years Cal Fall Invite by freshmen duo Anastasia Goncharova and Elizaveta Volodko, it was the seniors that followed suit in a powerful Gaucho performance for the second straight year.

Lev Ari and Paterova dropped Santa Clara's Elvena Gevargiz and Lindsey Lynch with an 8-2 triumph in their first doubles match of the year. 

On day two, the senior duo overcame BYU with an 8-5 victory in the Gold Doubles bracket Quarterfinals before taking down the No. 2 seeded Cal pair comprised of Alexis Nelson and Jessica Zeynel with an 8-3 finish in the Semifinals. 

Despite the dominant run to reach the Finals, Lev Ari and Paterova would be defeated by University of San Diego, 8-6, to end their weekend outing with a runner-up trophy.

Captain Amit Lev Ari, who opened as the tournament No. 4 seed, was upset in round one of the Gold Singles bracket when USD's Gemma Garcia slipped past the senior with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 clinch to deal Lev Ari the loss. 

While Lev Ari overcame Fresno State's AC Hummel 6-0, 6-2 in the opening consolation round, she wrestled with UCD's Sara Tsukamoto in the consolation Quarterfinal, yet couldn't overcome the Aggies top player.

As for Paterova, the senior pounced on Santa Clara's Katya Tabachnik 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 for a victory in the Gold Singles round of the 32.

The Czech Republic native fell on the following day in the round of 16 as Gonzaga's Catherine Broerman took care of the Gaucho with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 final. 

Paterova finished her tournament on a positive note with a dominant performance against Sac State's Megan Tagaloa with a 6-4, 6-0 rout as the final Gaucho win of the tournament on day three.

Valero and Lagarde didn't fare much better in the Blue Doubles Bracket as they fell to Cal's Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov with an 8-4 final score during their opening match.

Making up for it in round robin play, Valero and Lagarde knocked off Cal's Nelson and Zeynel with an 8-5 win following a thrilling 8-6 loss to University of San Francisco's Chiho Mushika and Mya Bui just one day prior in the consolation Semifinals.

In their first meeting of the tournament, Bui fell to Valero in the Blue Singles Bracket in a 6-4, 6-3 two set sweep to open singles play.

The senior was ultimately bested by tournament No. 2 Cal's Anna Bright who delivered a 6-1, 6-4 finish in the round of 16.

Lagarde, Valero's doubles partner, struggled during her singles play with losses to Gonzaga's Kate Kittles and USF's Mushika with 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2, 6-2 finishes respectively. 

UC Santa Barbara women's tennis now prepares for the ITA West Regionals where they hope to represent the Gauchos on Thursday, October 17 in San Diego, Calif. 

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