Women’s tennis splits weekend home matches
THE SANTA CLARA
April 16, 2015
The women’s tennis program honored graduate student Elaine Chesoni as their only senior during Saturday’s Senior Day and hoped to walk away from the matches with a win for her.
The competitions started off well for the Broncos in their game against University of the Pacific, with the pair of juniors Chelby Cooke and Delphine Rouvillois achieving victory in their doubles match and the freshman duo of Zeina El Tawil and Riley Morgan following the upperclassmen’s lead with another doubles victory of their own.
The women’s team arrived at the Degheri Tennis Center bright and early on Saturday looking for a win against the Tigers.
The matches were the last the Broncos would play at home this season.
After the doubles wins, the Broncos stayed ahead for a while longer until things started to go south.
The Tigers took three singles matches from Santa Clara in a row and looked to take a fourth, but Daniella Silva began the comeback with a decisive 6-2, 6-0 victory.
Cooke continued the Broncos’ success with a hard-fought singles win inspired by the resilience of her injured doubles partner.
Her partner, Rouvillois, was unable to continue playing after their doubles matches.
“Being able to pull that win out for (Rouvillois) after she had to stop playing felt great,” Cooke said. “She is such a strong competitor and I know she wanted to finish that match for us more than anything. I felt like that win was for her.”
El Tawil found herself closing out the day’s matches once again, but this time found her groove and came away with a clear victory, 6-3, 7-6, and finalized the Broncos’ overall win 4-3.
Chesoni credited the loss to St. Mary’s as a big factor in the win over the Tigers, and singled out El Tawil as one of the team’s biggest fighters.
“Everyone was fired up, and bounced back very strong,” said Chesoni. “A lot of the credit goes to our No. 5, (El Tawil). She had a tough match on Friday and was the last one on as usual, but she bounced back Saturday and clenched the match for us.”
As their schedule begins to wind down and West Coast Conference Championships draw near, the Broncos’ have not lost sight of their initial endeavor.
“Our main goal is to put ourselves in the best position possible for the conference tournament,” Chesoni said.
Women’s tennis hosted two teams on Friday and Saturday at the Degheri Tennis Center to mark the end of their home matches.
The Broncos squared off against the Gaels of Saint Mary’s College on the previous day.
The contests began in the afternoon and stayed close throughout the evening, with the Gaels and Broncos trading victories and losses.
Unfortunately, St. Mary’s came out on top with a score of 4-3.
Santa Clara made waves in the doubles category, walking away with two wins out of the three matches played, thanks to the pairs of Cooke and Rouvillois and sophomores Nabila Farah and Daniella Silva.
The veteran group of Cooke and Rouvillois would go on to win their singles matches, but the rest of the squad fell to the skill and strength of the Gaels.
The final and deciding match of the day went down to the wire, but ultimately Kareena Manji of St. Mary’s emerged victorious against El Tawil.
“When it got close and the pressure was really high, we weren’t able to pull (a win) out,” said Cooke. “When it came down to it, their player was able to stay calm and play steady, and that made the difference in the third set of that deciding match.”
In order to secure a strong seeding for the West Coast Conference Championships in San Diego, the Broncos will need to continue their winning streak when they travel to Gonzaga University on April 18 and the University of Portland on April 19.
The WCC Championships begin on April 22 in San Diego.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.