Lev Ari, Valero Advance to Sweet Sixteen

Juliana Valero (photo by Tony Mastres)
Juliana Valero (photo by Tony Mastres)

SAN DIEGO, Calif.- After the first day of the ITA Southwest Regionals, seniors Amit Lev Ari and Juliana Valero of UCSB Women's Tennis advanced to the Round of 16.

Six total Gauchos are competing in the ITA Southwest Regional Championships which are taking place in San Diego, Calif. Which showcases 128 of the top tennis players in the Southwest region and is used for determining preseason rankings.

Other Gauchos that made the trip down south include senior Dominka Paterova, junior Lise Sentenac, sophomore Tiffany Lagarde, and sophomore Shakhnoza Khatmova.

Lev Ari and Valero each earned a bye during the opening round of the tournament, but showed their dominance once they got a chance on the court. No. 7 Lev Ari bested UCI's Halla Alajeely 6-3, 6-2 while Valero overcame GCU's Ludouica Infantino with a three-set, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

A solid start to her tournament campaign, Tiffany Lagarde took over UCI's Jessica Tsukiji with a 6-3, 6-4 win to advance to the Round of 32, but a tough draw against No. 11 Veronika Miroshnichenko saw Lagarde's singles run come to an end. 

A similar story for Paterova and Khatmova in singles, each of the two Gauchos came out victorious after the first round before they were defeated in the Round of 32.

Paterova beat Fullerton's Eira Tobrand 6-1, 6-3 in the opener, but ultimately lost to No. 4 Bojana Markovic 7-6 (10), 6-1 in the second round. 

Khatmova dominated against Mahli Silpachai 6-1, 6-1 in her first singles match of the tournament before falling to No. 13 Lisa Zaar 6-3, 6-1 in the following match.

The only doubles team to play on day one, Paterova and Khatmova knocked out UCI's Floria Amiri and Jessica Tsukiji 8-2 to set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

Suffering a loss in the first round, Lise Sentenac was the first Gaucho knocked out of the tournament on the first day.

UC Santa Barbara Women's Tennis takes on Day Two of the ITA Southwest Regional and You can follow UCSB Women's Tennis all year long on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.