SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- Big West play began for UC Santa Barbara women's tennis as the Gauchos took a 5-2 win in crunch time behind a clinching victory from Elizaveta Volodko.
Crunch time clutch from Elizaveta Volodko delivers the victory for @UCSBWTennis against Davis in the conference opener! @alldaykelt spoke with Liza after the three-set thriller to clinch.@UCSBgauchos @BigWestSports pic.twitter.com/UqZAib6wmz— KCSB Sports Radio (@KCSBSports) February 23, 2020
UCSB improves to 4-5 overall, 1-0 in conference play this season following the win while the Gauchos have won three of their last four.
Santa Barbara fell behind early, relinquishing the doubles advantage to Davis. Yet a momentum switch during singles play vaulted UCSB passed the Aggies in Head Coach Simon Thibodeau's eighth straight win against UC Davis.
"I don't think we had to say much for them to know they had to wake up," said Head Coach Simon Thibodeau. "We're more of an aggressive team that likes to finish points with ground strokes and play at the net. In those situations we have to play to our strengths."
Lise Sentenac jumped out to a hot start against Kristina Evloeva on court six for the 6-2, 6-0 sweep which tied things up at one point a piece.
Davis retook the lead with a win on court one, but Tiffany Lagarde pulled even once again following a 6-3, 6-3 result against Shirley Hall.
To take the 3-2 lead, Dominika Paterova powered by Yana Gurevich with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win from singles No. 4 as the Gauchos looked to close things out.
In the second slot, Volodko took set number one, but dropped set two setting up a decisive third set. Volodko snatched the final set to win the match 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in a clutch performance to clinch the win for UCSB.
The final match of the day ended with a comeback triumph for Anastasia Goncharova who won two straight sets on court five after falling behind 6-0 during the first set. Goncharova displayed resilience and composure alike with the 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to culminate the day for UC Santa Barbara.
"[Goncharova] was down 4-1 in the third set and I think she really picked up her focus," added Thibodeau. "From there it's a bit of a mental battle. She cleaned everything up and her serves were sharp... she really closed the door during the last five games."
Tennis Match Results
UC Davis vs UC Santa Barbara
Feb 22, 2020 at UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara 5, UC Davis 2
1. Sara Tsukamoto (UCD) def. Amit Lev-Ari (UCSB) 7-5, 6-0
2. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) def. Kristina Breisacher (UCD) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
3. Tiffany Lagarde (UCSB) def. Shirley Hall (UCD) 6-3, 6-3
4. Dominika Paterova (UCSB) def. Yana Gurevich (UCD) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
5. Anastasia Goncharova (UCSB) def. Lauren Ko (UCD) 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
6. Lise Sentenac (UCSB) def. Kristina Evloeva (UCD) 6-2, 6-0
2. Amit Lev-Ari/Lise Sentenac (UCSB) vs. Shirley Hall/Kristina Breisacher (UCD) 4-4, unfinished
UC Davis 4-6
UC Santa Barbara 4-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,1,3,4,2,5)