Men and women return loaded teams to bring in new year
THE SANTA CLARA
January 15, 2015
Men and women’s tennis are gearing up for a competitive spring season and are confident in their abilities on the court. Both teams boast rosters in which half or more players hail from foreign countries.
Women’s tennis comes off of a stacked fall season that allowed the freshmen to gain some experience at the collegiate level and added to the experience of the upperclassmen.
The Broncos gained three freshmen and one sophomore transfer, Nabila Farah, who played for the College of William and Mary before moving to California to compete in a Santa Clara uniform.
“(Farah) is going to play very high on our team,” said Head Coach Ben Cabell. “She comes in with a lot of experience (after spending her freshman season) playing in another Division I school.”
Though half the team is comprised of newcomers, Cabell is looking forward to the change in the team’s dynamic.
“I’m excited to see how (the freshmen) compete … this group is pretty much going to be together for two years,” he said. “We want to set ourselves up well and work really hard.”
Like the women’s team, men’s tennis is ready to serve it up on the hard court.
The Broncos enter the spring season with a national ranking of No. 56, a title that Head Coach Derek Mills attributes to the history of success for which the program is known.
“We have some very talented players at the top of our lineup,” Mills said. “We’re optimistic and I’m excited to see how it all pans out.”
With a roster of seven athletes, three of whom are seniors, Mills says this season is a little different from previous spring schedules.
“This year, I think the goal is to treat each match as special, try to focus in on every match on its own and try to build throughout the season and try to get better every day in practice,” he said.
Two Broncos, senior Ilya Osintsev and junior Ashot Khacharyan, are shaping up to have exceptional performances this spring. Khacharyan is currently ranked No. 6 in the Northwest Region and Osintsev, who was one of the most talked about players in the West Coast Conference last season, is looking to add more wins to his already impressive tennis resume.
The men’s team returns Jan. 17 and the women begin on Jan. 24.
Claire McLoughlin is a sophomore English major.