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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

UCSB Women’s Doubles Team Pickup First Round Victory at NCAA Tournament

Palina Dubavets (left), and Stefani Stojic won their match in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Palina Dubavets (left), and Stefani Stojic won their match in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. (UCSB Sports Information)

The 22nd-ranked doubles team of Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic became the first UC Santa Barbara tandem to win a match in the NCAA Championships in more than 20 years when they cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 first round victory over Rebeca Mitrea and Yulia Shupenia of DePaul on Thursday afternoon.

Dubavets, a sophomore, and Stojic, a junior, rolled to a 6-1 win in the first set. They were tied 2-2 with Mitrea and Shupenia in the second set before reeling off the final four points for the 6-2 victory in the second set.

"We started off strong," Stojic said. "We were very confident from the start and were able to stay aggressive throughout the whole match.”


The match was played in very windy conditions, but Dubavets and Stojic battled through it.

"They adjusted their returns at the end and got a solid win," commented head coach Simon Thibodeau. "We were able to win many sequences of points in a row with good execution and that gave us momentum.”

The win by Dubavets and Stojic moves them in to the Round of 16. They were the first Gaucho doubles team to compete in the NCAA Tournament since Amelia White and Kelly Spencer in the 1996 tournament and just the third overall. They are now the first duo to win a match in the tournament since White and Spencer advaned to the second round in 1995.

In the Round of 16, Dubavets and Stojic will play the No. 1 seeded team in the tournament, Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay of North Carolina on Friday.

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