May 1, 2001
The Santa Clara University women's tennis team recently completed its season, posting a 12-11 record, despite not having one senior in the line up. Under seven-year head coach Aby Ryan, the Broncos' notched their seventh winning season in the last 10 years. A few season highlights:
The entire look of women's tennis changed this season when the NCAA adopted a rules change that saw the women play in a format similar to the men. Prior to this season, women played six singles matches first, then three doubles matches, with a total of nine points possible, as each match counted toward the team score. This season, there were only seven points up for grabs. Shifting emphasis toward singles play, the doubles matches were played first, and the team that won the two of the three earned one point. This season, the Broncos won 11 doubles points in 22 Division I matches. Of those 11, Santa Clara went on to win nine of those matches in singles play. Conversely, the Broncos won matches against Gonzaga and Hawaii Pacific despite not winning the doubles point.
Sophomore Mariko Kawakami led the Broncos in singles victories, posting 17 this season to tie for the seventh best mark all-time in SCU recordbooks. She shares the honor with Erin Barry and Tara Reagan, who both achieved 17 wins in 1994. Paired with 14 losses, Kawakami did most of the damage at the No. 2 and 3 spots during dual play. Right behind her was fellow sophomores Christine Limbers and Ashley Campbell. Each posted 15 wins. Combined with her 16 wins as a freshman, Limbers enters the career leaders list in singles victories at No. 9 with 31.
Sophomore Christine Limbers and junior Nicole McCord paired together at the No. 1 doubles position to produce the fourth best single season mark---and seventh best career mark--going 14-9 in dual action and 15-10 overall in 2001. McCord shares both honors with herself, achieved last season with former Bronco Sarah Duncan when the duo went 15-9.
April began as a good month for the Broncos as they won five straight despite a rainy season that reschedule many of their matches. Those wins were against Sacramento State, Hawaii Pacific, San Francisco, San Jose State and Saint Mary's. The streak ended before the month closed out, at the WCC Championships, where the Broncos lost to Portland and Saint Mary's, but defeated San Francisco again for a sixth-place finish.
Head coach Aby Ryan is 12 wins shy of becoming Santa Clara's all-time winningest women's tennis coach. In seven seasons, Ryan has compiled an 84-77 mark. If the Broncos can match this season's win total, Ryan will surpass Marygrace Colby's 95 wins, achieved from 1964-79.
The team was the deepest its been in years, as seen with 16 wins at the No. 6 position. Sophomore Ashley Campbell led with 8, followed by sophomore Megan McKitterick with 6. In fact, the bottom half of the Bronco lineup outscored the top half 37 singles victories to 28.
The Broncos went 6-2 at the Santa Clara Tennis Center, now in its second season of existence.