Women split opening matches of spring season
Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
January 30, 2014
Serving up the start of the 2014 season this past weekend, the women’s tennis team hit both highs and lows.
In the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff, the Broncos lost to the eighth-ranked host school, the University of California, Berkeley, 4-0 on Friday and then upset the No. 50 University of Nevada, Las Vegas 4-0 on Saturday.
The Broncos came into the year ranked No. 66.
In the match against California, the Golden Bears were able to grab the doubles point by a score of 6-0 after defeating the newly assembled duo of freshman Daniella Silva and senior Katie Le, who were playing as doubles partners for the first time this season.
“It was kind of weird because I’ve had the same doubles partner for three years and now I have a different partner,” Le said. “(Silva) is really sweet and she has great hands, which matches my game because I’m good in the back, baseline.”
Le also praised Silva’s spiritedness on the court.
“It’s a really good matching,” Le said. “I’m not as vocal as she is and she’s really vocal and pumps you up. It’s kind of funny to see someone so small be so energetic.”
In singles play, the Golden Bears claimed three necessary victories over the Broncos. Santa Clara senior Stephanie Skaras fell 6-1, 6-0. Sophomore Delphine Rouvillois was defeated by the No. 31-ranked singles player, Maegan Manasse, 6-0, 6-2 and Silva dropped her match 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) against No. 95 Lynn Chi.
In the other three singles matches, Le, sophomore Chelby Cooke and junior Nicolette Wolny all ended their action without a result after California captured the overall victory. Cooke grabbed the first set against the No. 15-ranked singles player in the country and Le was leading her match as well against the No. 26-ranked player when play was stopped.
After a one-sided affair against the Golden Bears, Santa Clara rallied against UNLV.
The Broncos took the doubles point with wins from partners Cooke and Rouvillois (6-1) as well as Le and Silva (6-2).
Santa Clara’s success continued into singles play.
Cooke and Le cruised to victories over their opponents. Cooke defeated Anett Ferenczi-Bako 6-2, 6-0 and Le notched her first win of the season over Lucia Batta 6-3, 6-2.
Le is currently ranked No. 35 in the nation for singles. In the preseason, she was ranked No. 20 by the ITA, the highest preseason ranking for a Bronco in the university’s history.
“For me, individually, I want to be an All-American, which is one of the things I haven’t been able to achieve yet,” Le said.
To cement the Broncos’ victory over the Rebels, Rouvillois captured a 6-3, 6-3 win in the No. 4 position. This gave Santa Clara its first win over a ranked opponent this season and it came in upset fashion.
“It felt great to contribute to the victory of the team,” said Rouvillois. “We were all very excited and we all did a great job to get the ‘W’ for the match.”
The sophomore was able to overcome Friday’s performance to help seal the victory for the Broncos on Saturday.
“I just wanted to forget about the loss I had against Cal and take away the negative aspects of the match and come back with a new game plan, and I stuck with one game plan the whole match and it worked well against UNLV,” Rouvillois said.
Santa Clara now sits with a record of 1-1 overall. Last season, the squad won the first West Coast Conference title in school history after posting an 8-2 record in conference play.
The women will look to build off last season’s success when they hit the court for their next matchup on Feb. 14. The Broncos will take on the No. 1-ranked Stanford University Cardinal.
“Our team, I think, is going to be wonderful this year,” Le said. “We have a lot of new players that are adding a lot of different dimensions to our team and so I think we’re going to probably have one of the best years we’ve ever had. This weekend we had a win against a top 50 team, so I think it’s already starting to show.”
Contact Tyler J. Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.