UC Santa Barbara Duo Nearly Pulls Off Upset
UC Santa Barbara's Palina Dubavets and Stefani Stojic fell in three sets to the top-seeded tandem in the NCAA Women's Doubles Championships to conclude their season at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center Friday in Tulsa, Okla.
The 22nd-ranked Gaucho duo lost an agonizingly close 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 battle to Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay from North Carolina in the round of 16. Dubavets and Stojic had defeated a team from DePaul in the round of 32 on Thursday, marking the first time since 1995 that a Big West representative had recorded a victory in the national doubles tournament.
On Friday, the likelihood of advancing yet another round seemed plausible as Dubavets and Stojic won the first set, 6-4. They broke North Carolina's serve to go up 2-1 in the second set, but their Tar Heel counterparts returned the favor to take a 3-2 lead. UCSB fought back to knot the set at four games apiece, but UNC won the next two games.
In the 10-point tiebreak, UCSB started out strongly and led as late as 7-6, but the Tar Heels dug in and reeled off the final four points to take the victory.
Dubavets and Stojic, who vaulted to as high as No. 10 nationally this season, will be back for the 2017 campaign.
NCAA WOMEN'S TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
MICHAEL D. CASE TENNIS CENTER • TULSA, OKLA.
ROUND OF 16
No. 2 Whitney Kay/Hayley Carter (North Carolina) def. No. 22 Palina Dubavets/Stefani Stojic (UC Santa Barbara) – 4-6, 6-4, 10-7