Women's Tennis Hosts UTEP

March 20, 2009

Riding a five-match winning streak, the Santa Clara women's tennis team hosts Conference USA's Texas-El Paso (UTEP) on Sat., March 21 at 9 am at Degheri Tennis Center on Santa Clara's campus. Santa Clara will match its 6-5 record with UTEP's 11-5 record with the Niners playing San Jose State on Fri., March 20 prior to coming to the Mission Campus.

"UTEP will be solid. This will be a tough match for us because they will be stronger than a couple of the teams we've played recently. I expect it to be competitive down the line," said Santa Clara head women's tennis coach Ben Cabell. "One of the biggest differences in the team right now is we are playing with more confidence. We will play better as the season progresses when we play with confidence so winning those five matches in a row has helped. We are much more experienced team this year and that helps us in tight matches."

Cabell said one of the highlights on the team right now is the play of No. 1 singles player Stephanie Galainena.

"Stephanie has made big improvements this season," said Cabell. "I have seen a big difference in her play. She is more comfortable and confident. She has played No. 1 for two years now and that has helped her. She is playing with a lot of maturity and composure and that's great for everyone."

Another player Cabell pointed out who was finding success on the courts is sophomore Ashley Pane. Pane is 9-2 at No. 5 and is very solid at the bottom of the line-up.

"She plays No. 1 in doubles with Stephanie then comes back to play well at No. 5 in singles and that has helped us a lot this year," said Cabell.

UTEP is 11-5 entering its match at San Jose State on Fri., March 20. UTEP fell 5-2 at Arkansas State on March 15 and finished 2-2 in Jonesboro, Ark. last weekend. UTEP plays in Conference USA. UTEP won its home opener 7-0 vs. Western New Mexico on Feb. 7 and then rallied off seven straight wins at home before falling 5-2 at Tulane in its Conference USA opener.

"This was a tough week with finals, staying up late to study and the girls have been tired. We haven't practiced a ton so this will be a good match to see where we are," said Cabell.

Santa Clara will hit the road for three straight matches after playing UTEP before returning home to play Gonzaga on April 4. The Broncos are scheduled to play at Cal State Fullerton on Wed., March 25 at 2 pm. Santa Clara will play Harvard and UC Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara March 27 and 28, respectively.

"We like our spring break trip because it will give us a chance to relax and re-focus after a tough week of finals. We also like the trip because we are playing three matches we think we can win," said Cabell.

Check www.SantaClaraBroncos.com for more updates and team information.