Broncos claim top prizes at Saint Mary’s Invitational
Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
October 17, 2013
A win in both the singles and doubles championship capped off a weekend full of success for the Santa Clara women’s tennis team.
The Broncos traveled to Moraga, Calif. for the Saint Mary’s Invitational on Friday to compete in a three-day tournament.
Senior Katie Le defeated Stanford University’s Caroline Doyle in the championship of the red singles draw by set scores of 6-4 and 7-6(3). Le and freshman Daniella Silva also won the championship in the doubles portion of the tournament.
“Although I’ve had a lot of success in my singles career here so far and done well in several tournaments, I could not say that I won an entire tournament,” said Le. “It’s a great feeling knowing I played well for nine matches in a row against a lot of good players because that’s not easy.”
The road to the finals appeared to be a quick journey for Le.
In the round of 32, Le defeated Jennifer Nguyen of California State University, Sacramento, 6-0, 6-1, made short work of University of Portland’s Tori Troesch in the round of 16 with two 6-2 set wins and then bested Fresno State University’s Aishwarya Agrawal in the quarterfinals with 6-3 and 6-2 advantages.
Before facing Doyle in the finals, Le took on Stanford’s Ellen Tsay in the semifinals.
Two quick sets of 6-2 and 6-3 propelled Le into the finals later in the afternoon on Sunday.
Doyle also handled her semifinal match with ease, winning 6-1, 6-2.
In the final, Le won a close first set 6-4 and was challenged again in the second set. Doyle fought hard, bringing it to a tiebreaker, but Le prevailed 7-6(3) to complete her victory.
The Santa Clara senior is ranked No. 20 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and was the No. 1 overall seed in this tournament.
“I definitely felt more pressure coming in as the (No. 1) seed because I was expected to win the tournament, but I used it as an opportunity to make sure that I stayed focused for every match,” Le said.
Despite dominating performances, Le still found some room for improvement.
“I am very happy with my performance, although the matches I played showed some areas I need to sharpen up on, such as my serve and forehand,” she said.
Le, partnered with Silva, took the championship in doubles to add to the Broncos’ success at the tournament.
Silva lost in the round of 32 in singles, but came on strong in doubles with Le.
“Winning the doubles with (Le) definitely makes the tournament a success,” Silva said. “The doubles win was very satisfying especially the way we played in the final against Fresno … It was a great feeling to win.”
Le and Silva were the No. 3 seed in the red doubles side of the tournament and defeated Stanford partners Doyle and Amelia Herring in the round of 16 by a score of 8-6.
After beating the Gonzaga University duo of Kylie Peek and Samantha Polayes, 8-5, in the quarterfinals and Andrea Ka and Thyra Taune of the University of San Francisco, 8-5, in the semifinals, Le and Silva were ready to compete for a championship.
The pair went up against Fresno State’s Agrawal and Claire Yang for the championship match of the red doubles draw.
This one wasn’t much of a fight as Le and Silva put them away 8-0. Le was pleased with the outcome.
“It was most satisfying winning doubles because I haven’t had as much success in doubles as I have had in singles,” Le said.
Silva, as a freshman, has set some aspirations for herself this season.
“As a doubles team, one of my goals is to become ranked,” she said. “My expectation is to win many matches and hopefully make the later rounds of the Stanford tournament coming up.”
Broncos Head Coach Ben Cabell had only good things to say following the tournament.
“Overall, I’m very happy,” he said. “We’ve got a really good group and a really good feel for where we’re at. We have a lot of talent and a lot of things going very well. The senior leadership of (Le) has been great and we have some freshmen talent as well.”
Next up for the Broncos is the ITA Regionals which begin on Oct. 18.
Contact Tyler J. Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.