Women’s tennis wins its last non-conference match
THE SANTA CLARA
April 2, 2014
Santa Clara came out strong with a sweep in their three doubles matches, including a dominant performance from juniors Chelby Cooke and Delphine Rouvillois, who won 6-2 to improve their doubles record to 6-1 on the season.
The Santa Clara women’s tennis team added to its recent hot streak with a 6-1 win over the Montana Grizzlies last Friday to raise their record to 5-7.
The team started off its season slow with a six-match losing streak through February and into early March. However, the group has now won three of their last four matches.
While Montana is not a member of the West Coast Conference, the match was Santa Clara’s last non-conference game before fully entering WCC play.
“We have continuously worked hard in practice and are playing with more confidence in matches,” said sophomore Daniella Silva. “(That is) what we need to do to achieve our goal of being a top seed at conference.”
With WCC Championship aspirations in mind, the Broncos did not take this match lightly and it showed in their performance.
“I was very confident in our team,” Silva said. “I always thought we were on the right path to winning, especially after we won the doubles point and most people got a quick start on their singles court.”
After the dominant doubles performance, the Broncos continued their wins in the singles matches. Cooke proved to be too much for Grizzly Hannah Sulz, as she won 6-0, 6-0 in the first singles match of the day.
Freshman Zeina El Tawil also picked up a victory in the following singles match to bring Santa Clara closer to clinching the win.
“The freshman class has stepped up (for) the team recently, and it makes a difference,” said Rouvillois. “They have more wins under their belt now and it shows in their confidence.”
The clinching win came in the third singles match, where Silva defeated her opponent, 7-6, 6-2.
“(Montana) was very energetic and really came out swinging,” Silva said. “They were pretty consistent up and down the lineup, but overall, we really stepped up our level in important points.”
It is no coincidence that the Broncos’ play has improved since the return of Rouvillois from injury. She won 6-4, 7-5 in her singles match last Friday against the other team’s No. 1 player.
“We want to win some important conference matches to put us into a good position for the end-of-the-year tournament,” Rouvillois said. “The team is ready to compete against teams like Saint Mary’s (College), (Loyola Marymount University) and (University of the Pacific).”
Santa Clara will be challenged by their upcoming conference schedule. The Broncos’ remaining six conference matches include three of the top five teams in the WCC. While two of the games are against teams with lower standings, Pacific and LMU, Santa Clara knows no win comes easy in this conference.
If the Broncos can win both of those matches and then defeat two of the other four teams, Santa Clara should be awarded a No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the WCC tournament.
The Broncos were a No. 4 seed in last year’s tournament, and with the return of Rouvillois this season, the chances of returning to that spot is becoming more plausible.
Looking forward, Santa Clara will travel to Los Angeles, where they will play the LMU Lions, who are 3-14 overall and 0-3 in conference.
Contact Nick Redfield at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.