Broncos score two wins in final home stand of season
Tyler J. Scott
THE SANTA CLARA
April 17, 2014
In storybook fashion, two Santa Clara upperclassmen came to the rescue to help decide a victory for the Broncos in the final home match of the season.
Seniors Katie Le and Stephanie Skaras both triumphed in their singles matches against Gonzaga University to capture the 4-3 team victory. Santa Clara’s weekend of play ended with a tally of two wins and zero losses.
“It felt really good (to win on Senior Day),” said Le. “It was a lot tougher than I expected, but it’s always good to clinch on (Senior Day) and even though it was tougher, it was still pretty cool to be able to win 4-3 for my team.”
Before overcoming the Bulldogs, the women’s tennis team defeated the University of Portland 6-1, halting a four-match losing streak in the process.
Head Coach Ben Cabell was pleased to end the skid over the weekend.
“(It feels) pretty good,” said Cabell. “We had a tough schedule, so we knew there was going to be some tough matches and we had a player out so we took all of those things into consideration, but it feels good to get back, especially for a conference match.”
The contest on Sunday was a closely contested affair between the Broncos and the Bulldogs. In front of their home fans for the final time of the regular season, the women willed their way to the victory behind their senior leadership.
The partnership of Le and sophomore Chelby Cooke took the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over the Gonzaga pair.
The Bulldogs were shorthanded and had to default their third doubles match, so Le and Cooke’s victory was all it took for Santa Clara to claim the doubles point. Gonzaga also had to default their sixth singles match, so right off the bat, Santa Clara jumped out to lead 2-0.
Despite the advantage, the Bulldogs clawed their way back. In the end, two Santa Clara seniors captured wins in singles play to clinch the overall team victory.
Skaras took two sets easily, 6-3 and 6-1, and Le triumphed with a 6-2, 7-5 win to end the match in favor of the Broncos.
The one-point team win marks the sixth time that Santa Clara has won a match by a single point this season, something that Cabell views as one of the squad’s strengths.
“Our team this year has competed very well in close matches,” he said. “If you look at our record, we’ve won a lot of these ‘4-3’ close matches. I think it’s one of the things we’ve worked on and kind of prided ourselves on, so I’m not surprised.”
The day before, the Broncos came out on top, taking down Portland in a lopsided fashion.
Santa Clara’s doubles team of sophomore Delphine Rouvillois and Skaras defeated the Pilots’ pairing 8-2 and then the duo of Le alongside Cooke clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win over the Pilots’ challengers.
As for singles, Santa Clara won five individual matches including a pair of three-set games by Rouvillois and Le.
After winning the first set 6-2, Rouvillois dropped the second by a score of 1-6 but finished strong in the third, winning the set and game 6-2 again.
Le also took the first set of her singles match, this one by a score of 6-3, but her opponent rallied to take the second 6-3. In a tiebreaker situation, Le came through and won 10-3, capturing the victory.
While Rouvillois and Le battled in three-set matches, the rest of the Broncos’ singles competitors cruised to straight-set victories to help the team win its first match in nearly a month of tennis action.
The Broncos now boast a 9-8 record overall and 4-3 in conference play. They end up with a decisive 5-2 home record and a 2-1 neutral court record. However, they are only 2-5 in away matches including 0-3 in their three most recent away contests.
To finish off the season, the squad will travel to Saint Mary’s College to face the Gaels on Friday. Then, they will head to Stockton, Calif. to take on the University of the Pacific the following morning.
After this weekend, Santa Clara will prepare for the West Coast Conference Championships, which will commence on April 23 in San Diego, Calif.
Contact Tyler J. Scott at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.