Oct. 3, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - At this halfway point in the fall season and with two tournaments under its belt, the Santa Clara women's tennis team has already had its ups and downs. The Broncos traveled first to Fresno for the Bulldog Classic where they had some strong wins despite tough competition. Last weekend's Cal Invitational in Berkeley had its highlights as well, where the team was up against some of the top teams on the west coast.
"The Fresno draw was tough, and last weekend's draw was tougher, especially for the three upperclassmen," said head coach Ben Cabell. "I was proud of a couple results in particular, including Courtney's performance in singles as well as Carmen and Lindsey who had good doubles matches."
A highlight of the season so far was freshman Courtney Hull claiming her first collegiate title on Sunday in the White ITA Singles flight of the Cal Invitational. Hull, a native of Monte Sereno, made it to the finals after defeating opponents Nisha Dixit of San Francisco in her first three-setter of the weekend 6-1; 4-6; 6-3, followed by a win against Saint Mary's Caitlin Aloia 6-0; 7-5, and ended on Sunday by defeating Bobbie Englert of California in the finals in another tough three-set match 6-7 (4); 7-5; 6-3.
"It was definitely a big tournament win," said Hull. "In the final match, I knew I wasn't going to lose. The girl I played I have known since I was 12 so it was a huge rivalry. I knew I could beat those girls and I wasn't going to come off the court until I had won."
Cabell was pleased with the competitiveness Hull showed on the court last weekend and is happy with the way the freshmen have been improving over the past few weeks.
"Courtney was tough and didn't give up," said Cabell. "Even when things got hard she kept composed. All of the freshmen keep getting better, and are getting used to competing. They're becoming more comfortable and confident out on the court."
With four new freshmen, the fall season is a time for the team to come together as one. However, the upperclassmen have been quick to incorporate the freshmen into part of their Bronco family.
"They definitely let us know that we're freshmen," said Hull. "But we're this big team and we all cheer for each other. We're definitely the loudest team at the tournaments. All the girls are really nice and fun to be around."
The Broncos will have the opportunity to compete in two more tournaments this fall season before starting their regular season in January. The team will be traveling to Moraga for the Saint Mary's Invitational followed by the ITA Northwest Regionals at Stanford later this month.
"In the next two competitions we'll be trying to find doubles teams that work together," said Cabell. "We don't have any of the doubles teams from last year so for the rest of the season we can find out what's going to work."
Santa Clara will have a chance for the doubles teams to get some competition at the Saint Mary's Invitational in Moraga from Oct. 12-Oct. 14.