Women's tennis picks up momentum in fall

Oct. 16, 2007

The Santa Clara

By Ryan Donough

The women's tennis team will travel to the St. Mary's Invitational this weekend in hopes of building on what has already been a strong fall season for the Broncos.

Coach Ben Cabell hopes players will continue gaining experience in both singles and doubles competition, which will be invaluable for his team's spring season, he said.

"The main purpose of our tournaments in the fall is to get everyone in shape for and get a lot of experience for the season, which we start in January," Cabell said.

The Broncos will see some top local competition at the Saint Mary's Invitational, as Saint Mary's and top five-ranked Cal and Stanford will participate. Other teams attending include San Jose State, University of San Francisco and Sonoma State.

The high level of competition will only help the Broncos better prepare for the upcoming spring season, for which they have already shown huge potential.

The Broncos will rely on contributions from freshmen Courtney Hull and Ashley Pane, as well as leadership from seniors Myra Davoudi and Lindsay McBride.

Hull has shown a lot of promise after winning the White Bracket at the Cal Invitational and going 3-0 overall, while Davoudi and McBride have led the way with victories at the Bulldog classic in Fresno.

"Courtney Hull had a fantastic tournament last week in Berkeley," Cabell said. "She won her fleet against a girl from Cal and won two three-set matches -- which is huge for a freshman -- and I couldn't be happier with her."

The Broncos have shown a lot of improvement from last year, especially from Davoudi and McBride, who both performed better this season at the Bulldog Invitational.

Both players failed to advance past early rounds last season, but that was not the case this year. McBride had very strong victories to advance to the round of 16 this year, and Davoudi had a three-set victory in the consolation round.

The Saint Mary's Invitational also allows the women's team to sort out their doubles teams, which have already displayed promise, according to Cabell.

"Lindsay McBride and Carmen Pham had some big doubles wins this past week," Cabell said.

The invitational at Saint Mary's is part of a non-traditional schedule that the tennis team follows every season.

Winners aren't determined by the team's performance as a whole, but rather on their individual competition.

"I like to have non-traditional seasons because we get to see how things are going and plan for our traditional season in the spring," said Cabell.

Cabell hoped that the momentum from individual play will only add to improved team play during the spring season.