May 7, 2003

Women's Tennis Wraps Up Successful Campaign

May 7, 2003

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The Santa Clara University women's tennis team recently completed its season, posting a 10-10 record. Under nine-year head coach Aby Ryan, the Broncos have not had a losing season in the last eight years. A few season highlights:

The Broncos matched last year's success at the West Coast Conference Championships, with a third-place showing at this year's Tournament, hosted by Pepperdine. Rainy weather shortened the tournament, allowing Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount to tie for third place.

Senior Christine Limbers was named the West Coast Conference Player of Year, in a vote conducted by league coaches at the conference championship in Malibu. She became the first to garner such an honor in SCU women's tennis history. "I think it's also the first time in history a player not competing in the championship match has been given this honor," head coach Aby Ryan said. "It's a testament to how awesome a player and a person Christine is." Limbers, a native of Carefree, Ariz., has led the Broncos the past four seasons at the top singles and doubles spots. She was named first team All-WCC in singles and in doubles, with sophomore partner Janalle Kaloi. The duo also earned WCC Doubles Team of the Month in February. The tandem finished the season with a 15-7 mark, the fourth best in SCU records.

Head coach Aby Ryan became the first Santa Clara women's tennis coach to earn 100 victories, doing so with a 4-3 win over WCC rival Saint Mary's on Feb. 1. Senior Mariko Kawakami clinched the match at No. 5 singles with her come-from-behind victory. Ryan said she kept the ball from Kawakami's match to mark her coaching milestone. "I'm very excited about today's win," she added. "To reach 100 victories against Saint Mary's makes it even sweeter. They've been a huge rival throughout the years." Ryan is the most winningest coach in the women's tennis program history. Her record now stands at 108-96.

The Broncos said goodbye to four seniors: Ashley Campbell, Mariko Kawakami, Christine Limbers and Pati Ruiz. Limbers, who played at No. 1 singles and doubles all four seasons, finishes with the most combined doubles victories in Bronco history. She posted a 68-60 record with various partners over the years. Limbers also surpassed the 60-win plateau in singles, and finishes her career third in the Bronco listing, with a 61-53 record. Ruiz is right behind her, in fourth, at 52-50, while Kawakami is sixth, with a 47-56 mark. Kawakami and Ruiz are eighth and ninth, respectively, in the combined doubles all-time leaders.

Santa Clara posed some pretty impressive victories during West Coast Conference action. Christine Limbers and Janalle Kaloi paired at the No. 1 doubles slot and went a perfect 6-0 in league play, including a sharp victory at the tournament semifinals, over a pair from No. 50 Pepperdine. Both players went 5-1 in singles play against league opposition, at the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively.

Throughout the season, the women's tennis team excelled in the classroom, as their 3.47 grade point average during the fall quarter was the top mark among all 17 Bronco sports programs. During the winter quarter, women's tennis ranked second overall, and was once again one of nine teams to record a GPA of 3.0 or better. Ashley Campbell, Janalle Kaloi, Christine Limbers and Pati Ruiz were voted Bronco Scholar-Athletes of the Week during the season.

The Broncos played one of the toughest schedules in recent history, taking on six nationally-ranked opponents during the season.