Dubavets, Heim Defeat Ranked Opponents
A pair of juniors from UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine earned a combined three victories over nationally ranked singles and doubles opponents to claim Tennis Athlete of the Week recognition.
Dubavets Earns Two Wins Over Nationally Ranked USC Foes
UC Santa Barbara junior Palina Dubavets (Minsk, Belarus/Republic State School of Olympic Reserve) contributed to victories over two sets of ranked USC opponents as she notched her third career Big West Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week award.
Dubavets teamed with Stefani Stojic at No. 1 doubles to take down USC’s No. 18-ranked tandem of Gabby Smith and Zoe Katz, 6-4.
Playing No. 1 singles, Dubavets then defeated Katz – ranked No. 56 nationally – with a straight set 6-4, 6-4 performance. That gave the Gauchos one of two points they took off the No. 18-ranked Trojans in a closely contested 5-2 match.
Others nominated: Alexis Valenzuela (Cal State Fullerton); Julie Gerard (Long Beach State); Nikita Pradeep (UC Davis); Constance Branstine (UC Irvine); Cindy Nguyen (Hawai‘i)
Heim Defeats Top-30 Ranked Singles Opponent
UC Irvine junior Sebastian Heim (Speyer, Germany/Hans-Purrmann-Gymnasium) earned Big West Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week accolades after downing No. 28 Logan Smith of 10th-ranked USC.
It was Heim’s second victory over a ranked Pac-12 foe, as he defeated No. 118 Sameer Kumar of Stanford at the ITA All-American Championships in October.
On the road and at the No. 1 spot, Heim overcame a first set loss to topple Smith, 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-4) to prevent the Trojans from a sweep. Heim has dealt with an injury that kept him from training over the summer and an illness that sidelined him for almost the entire fall season.
Others nominated: Simon Freund (UC Santa Barbara)