April 30, 2002
SAN JOSE, Calif. - West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year Janalle Kaloi was named Most Valuable Player, one of many awards handed out at the Santa Clara women's tennis team's annual banquet, held April 20 at Il Forniao Restaurant.
Eight-year head coach Aby Ryan hosted the affair, set to honor the team's lone graduating senior--Nicole McCord--and to thank the Bronco fans and supporters for a memorable season, in which SCU earned its highest league placing ever at third, and finished with a 14-9 record.
Kaloi, a 5-7 right-hander from Honolulu, received the honor as voted by her teammates. She earned the Bronco program's first WCC Freshman of the Year award and also earned honorable mention doubles honors with junior teammate Mariko Kawakami. Kaloi finished her rookie campaign with 19 singles victories, tied for fifth best in SCU single season records. In February, she was named the WCC's Singles Player of the Month and earned consecutive doubles honors with Kawakami.
"If the team's victory came down to one match and Janalle was playing, we could always count on her to pull one out," Ryan said. "Throughout the season, in singles and in doubles, she was able to win at key times."
Fellow freshman Catherine Cochrane was named the team's Most Improved Player.
"I actually voted for her for most inspirational," sophomore teammate Jenny Siegel said as she presented Cochrane the award. "She has a never-say-die attitude on the court. She tells us, 'I am not leaving this court until I win this match.'"
"Megan's dedication, not only to the sport but to her teammates as well, is apparent in everything that she does," McCord said.
"Ashley has inspired us in so many ways with her spirit on and off the court," teammate Pati Ruiz said. "You can always count on her to put a smile on your face."
The Coaches Award was presented to McCord. Ryan read a portion of a recommendation letter she recently wrote on behalf of McCord. It read in part, "Nicole has been one of my greatest teachers over the past four years. I knew nothing about cancer before I met her... but I have watched her grow as a tennis player and as a person. As a freshman and sophomore, she just wanted to fit in. She did not share her cancer story with very many people. As a junior, her story started to come to the surface and Nicole would catch herself on the outside looking in. Recently, I've seen Nicole come into herself as a confident young woman who has a unique story to tell... Not only do I have an appreciation for cancer now, but I also believe now more than ever in the human spirit."
Campbell and Kawakami presented their own set of team awards before the evening ended with a highlight video that captured the team's season.
"I want to thank everybody," Ryan said as the event concluded. "I'm so touched and amazed that every players' family came out to support us at the WCC Championships. Support like that is why we were able to accomplish so much this past season."