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WCC Women's Tennis Notes, Mar. 5, 2011

March 15, 2011

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Santa Clara and Saint Mary's both boast 3-0 records in conference play. Pepperdine and San Diego join Saint Mary's in the ITA's Top 40. Portland continues its sixth match win streak and look forward to its first conference match of the season against Gonzaga on Saturday, March 26. Should the rain hold out, all eight teams will be able to continue their busy non-conference schedules.

For complete schedules, scores, and rankings, download the Complete Release in PDF Format .


Overall Record: 5-9
WCC Record: 0-1
  • Gonzaga had an action-packed couple of weeks, starting with a trip toHawai'i for four matches and ending the past weekend with two matchesat home. The Zags went 1-3 on their road trip and 2-0 in a doubleheaderin Spokane.

  • Gonzaga dropped matches to BYU-Hawaii, 6-1, Hawaii-Pacific, 6-1 and Hawai'i, 5-2. The Zagsdid pick up a win against Chaminade, 6-1.

  • In the match against Hawai'i, junior Sophie Lantta led the Bulldogs' efforts, winning both hersingles and doubles matches. She was the only Bulldog to pick up a win in singles, earning hereighth win of the season at the No. 6 spot.

  • The Bulldogs will play a pair of matches in Portland, Ore., starting with WCC rival Portland onSaturday, March 26 followed by Portland State University on Sunday, March 27.

Overall Record: 5-8
WCC Record: 0-2
  • Loyola Marymount travelled to Hawai'i and split two close matcheswith a 4-3 win over Hawaii-Pacific and a 4-3 loss to Hawai'i. The Lionsthen defeated Georgetown, 5-2, and were blanked 7-0 by conference foe Saint Mary's. TheLions are now 5-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

  • Senior Melissa Valenzuela clinched the fourth point in the victory over Hawaii-Pacific with acomeback victory at the No. 2 singles spot by a score of 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

  • The win over Georgetown brought the Lions to 5-2 in their last seven competitions. The lossto Saint Mary's was LMU's second conference loss, while the Lions' matchup against SanFrancisco was cancelled due to rain.

  • Next up for the Lions will be the Columbia University Lions at the LMU tennis center onThursday, March 17 at 1:30 PM.

Overall Record: 6-4
WCC Record: 1-0
  • Pepperdine had a light schedule with just two matches over the lastcouple weeks. The Waves dropped both matches, losing to San Diego State, 4-3, and USC,5-2, bringing their overall record to 6-4.

  • Despite the team loss, redshirt junior Khunpak Issara improved to 8-1 in duals this seasonwith a win over San Diego State at the No. 4 singles spot. Freshman Ale Granillo and sophomoreArianna Colffer tallied the other two points with close straight set wins (both 7-6 in the second).

  • Sophomore Marie Zalameda and junior Andrea Oates picked the two singles points againstUSC, but it was not enough to top the then-No. 16 ranked Trojans. Oates' victory at the No. 6singles spot was her team-high 14th singles win of the season.

  • Up next on the Waves' slate is a dual with Long Beach State on Friday, March 18 at 1:30PM, followed by another home contest against Arizona on Saturday, March 19 at 11:00 AM.

Overall Record: 8-3
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland also had a light week with just two matches in the last two weeks.The Pilots garnered wins over Cal State Fullerton, 5-2, and UC Riverside,4-3, and currently are riding a six-match win streak and 8-3 overall record.

  • After winning the doubles point against Cal State Fullerton, the Pilots dropped matches atNo. 1 and No. 2 singles before a run of four victories rounded out singles action and secureda fifth straight victory.

  • Against UC Riverside, senior Lacey Pflibsen, sophomore Sabine Fuchs and sophomoreValeska Hoath tallied straight set victories to make it four points for the Pilots with the doublespoint. This was Hoath's team-high eighth dual victory.

  • Portland will return to action on Sunday, March 20 to take on Seattle at 12:30 PM.

Overall Record: 6-6
WCC Record: 3-0
  • Saint Mary's earned three conference victories over the last couple weekswith wins over San Francisco, 6-1, Loyola Marymount, 7-0 and San Diego, 5-2.The Gaels are undefeated in WCC contests and 6-6 overall.

  • The doubles point was a tough one to claim against LMU. With doubles tied up, the pointcame down to the No. 1 doubles pair. The then-No. 72-ranked duo of Catherine Isip and LaurieGingras eventually topped their LMU opponents, 9-7, for the doubles point. Saint Mary's proceededto win every singles match down the line for its third sweep of the season.

  • The Gaels won their fourth straight match with an upset win over No. 26 San Diego. TheGaels won the doubles point for the seventh consecutive match and won on four of six singlescourts to secure the victory.

  • Saint Mary's will host No. 51 Harvard on Friday, March 18 at 2:30 PM.

Overall Record: 7-4
WCC Record: 1-2
  • After sweeping Boston College on their home court, the Toreros travellednorth to take on WCC Bay Area rivals San Francisco and Saint Mary's. TheToreros defeated San Francisco, 7-0, and lost to Saint Mary's, 5-2, bringingtheir conference record to 1-2 and overall record to 7-4 on the season.

  • San Diego's win over San Francisco was its sixth victory in its last seven matches. JuniorMaja Sujica earned the clinching victory by defeating Alana McMahon 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6. Sujicaimproved to 5-0 in dual singles play on the season with the win.

  • In the match against Saint Mary's, four of the six singles matches went to three sets. Thematch was clinched at the No. 4 spot as junior Juliette Coupez lost by a score of 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.Sophomore Laura Claus and Sujica picked up the two wins for the Toreros in three-set victories.

  • San Diego returns to action on Wednesday, March 16 as they host Princeton at 10:00 AM.

Overall Record: 1-11
WCC Record: 0-3
  • San Francisco continued to struggle to find a win this season, losing 11straight matches this season and bringing the team's record to 1-11 overall.The Dons' matches against Loyola Marymount and Northern Colorado lastweekend were cancelled due to rain.

  • The Dons dropped three matches to tough opponents in the last couple weeks, losing to Stanford,5-2, Saint Mary's, 6-1, and San Diego, 7-0. The two losses bring the Dons' conference record to0-3 on the season.

  • In the loss to San Diego, two singles matches were split set matches. Senior Cecilia Gratian battledbut eventually dropped a 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 decision. At No. 5, senior Jessy Mekpoh fell 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8).

  • The Dons hope to swing momentum back their way with a match against Harvard on Thursday,March 17 at 12:00 PM at Golden Gate Park.

Overall Record: 12-2
WCC Record: 3-0
  • Santa Clara won both its matches over the last two weeks with victoriesover Nevada, 5-2, and Northern Colorado, 7-0. The Broncos are now 12-2 overall and remainundefeated in conference play.

  • Then No. 110-ranked freshman Katie Le improved to 13-0 at the singles one spot, defeatingNevada's Michelle Okhremchuk, 6-2, 6-2. The Broncos dropped the number two and threedoubles matches, but then won all but one singles match in straight sets.

  • Santa Clara swept the Northern Colorado Bears with straight set wins in singles and takingall three doubles matches for the doubles point. Le remains undefeated at the No. 1 spot andalso went undefeated with doubles partner Jessica Agra during the entire month of February.

  • The Broncos will host UC Riverside on Friday, March 25 at 2:00 PM.


WCC February Players of the Month

WOMEN'S TENNIS (SINGLES) - Katie Le, Santa Clara, FR
Katie Le is undefeated at the No. 1 spot (12-0), and her only two losses in the fall campaign came from nationally ranked Stanford and Cal players. Le, in SCU's only match this week, defeated LMU's April Bisharat in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, at No. 1 singles and teamed up with sophomore Jessica Agra to defeat Ashley Anderson/ Miya Jin, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. SCU is 3-0 against WCC opponents this season. In eight February matches, Katie Le has gone 8-0 at No. 1 singles and is 12-0 overall this season at that spot.

Also Nominated: Clare Dodge, GON; Miya Jin, LMU; Khunpak Issara, PEP; Valeska Hoath, POR; Catherine Isip, SMC; Stephanie Hoffpauir, USD


Jenny Julien & Claire Soper, Saint Mary's
Jullien and Soper linked up for the first time all season on February 12 and went 4-0 the rest of the month at the No. 3 spot for the Gaels. The duo topped Rohde-Moe/van de Street of No. 16 Ole Miss 8-2 on February 12, and then two days later easily defeated Radunovic/Nemcevic of No. 23 Washington 8-1. Against No. 41 Arizona, Soper and Jullien defeated McRann/Huh 8-4, and finished up the month with an 8-6 win over Jasper/Vo of No. 42 Boise State.

Laura Claus & Josymar Escalona, San Diego
Claus and Escalona went 4-1 during February exclusively at No. 2. Theydefeated then-ranked No. 68 Stubbe/Smyth of Arizona (8-4) and their onlyloss of the month was to then-ranked No. 16 Pulido/Ramos of USC (8-5).They posted a four-match winning streak and are 6-1 as a pair overall.

Also Nominated: Clare Dodge & Kristina Zauere, GON; Elisaveta Pironkova & Reky Rohonyi, LMU; Khunpak Issara & Andrea Oates, PEP; Sabine Fuchs and Stephanie Fuchs, POR; Katie Le & Jessica Agra, SCU

2011 WCC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
The Saint Mary's women's tennis team was chosen to repeat as the 2011 West Coast ConferenceChampions, according to the 2011 WCC preseason poll, as voted on by the conferencecoaches. Saint Mary's and Pepperdine boasted five players on the preseason all-conferenceteam, while San Diego claimed the sixth spot.

The top half of the preseason poll mirrored last year's conference tournament finishes. SaintMary's claimed first place with three first place votes and a total 47 points, while Pepperdinegarnered the remaining three first place votes and a total of 45 points. San Diego and SantaClara took the third and fourth place spots on the preseason poll with 37 and 30 points, respectively.

According to the coaches' poll, Loyola Marymount is expected to make a considerable jumpthis year. After going 0-9 in conference play last season, the Lions were chosen fifth in thepreseason poll with 24 points, while San Francisco fell in sixth with 17. Portland landed in sixthplace with 15 points, and Gonzaga rounded out the coaches' poll with nine.

The women's preseason all-conference team saw some familiar names from last season'spreseason list in Saint Mary's Alex Poorta and Pepperdine's Anamika Bhargava and Ali Walters.Poorta helped her team secure the 2010 WCC Championship by securing the fourth pointagainst Pepperdine, earning herself All-WCC First Team honors. Bhargava was selected toAll-WCC First Team in both singles and doubles for the third straight year last season, whileWalters became a two-time All-WCC Second Team selection in singles.

The three new additions to the preseason list are all young sophomores that have quicklyproven their right to be selected to the preseason All-WCC team. Catherine Isip was named the2010 WCC Freshman of the Year after competing primarily at the No. 2 spot for the Gaels andtallying wins over seven nationally-ranked opponents. Arianna Colffer made her debut for theWaves playing at the No. 1 spot and ended the season ranked No. 98 by the ITA. Laura Clausgarnered a dual singles mark of 13-11 all at No. 2, while being the only Torero to compete in thatposition.

2011 WCC Women's Tennis Preseason Poll
1. Saint Mary's - 47 (5)
2. Pepperdine - 45 (3)
3. San Diego - 37
4. Santa Clara - 30
5. Loyola Marymount - 24
6. San Francisco - 17
7. Portland - 15
8. Gonzaga - 9
(First place votes)

2011 Preseason All-Conference Team
Alex Poorta, Saint Mary's, Senior
Ali Walters, Pepperdine, Junior
Anamika Bhargava, Pepperdine, Senior
Arianna Colffer, Pepperdine, Sophomore
Laura Claus, San Diego, Sophomore
Catherine Isip, Saint Mary's, Sophomore

The 2009-10 WCC women's tennis season was filled with many surprises, as underdogs rose and new champions were crowned. The 2010 WCC Championships proved to be a historic one for Saint Mary's, as they Gaels won its first-ever WCC title in program history, outplaying Pepperdine, a team that was expected to take home its 23rd WCC title. This was the fourth time that the Gaels and Waves were paired up against one another in the Championship match, and it was Saint Mary's turn to take home the title, winning by a score of 4-1.

The Gaels came out strong, taking the doubles point to go up 1-0, and followed the win with three singles victories for a 4-1 win and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Despite not being able to continue their dominant streak at last year's conference tournament, the Waves were still offered an invitation to the NCAA Championships. Both Saint Mary's and Pepperdine lost in the first round.

Saint Mary's also nabbed the WCC Freshman of the Year and WCC Coach of the Year honors. Isip, who played primarily at the No. 2 spot for the Gaels, put together a 15-13 overall record in her first collegiate year and tallied wins over seven nationally -ranked opponents. Coach Alipaz's award was her fifth Coach of the Year honor.

Third-place San Diego was the only other WCC team to join Saint Mary's and Pepperdine in the final ITA rankings. Landing in No. 67, the Toreros put together a 13-12 overall record with a tough schedule that matched them up against various ranked opponents, including UNLV, Boise State, and UC Irvine.

Santa Clara also emerged as one of the strongest teams in the WCC last season. A young team of four freshmen and three sophomores, the Broncos ended the season with a 14-7 overall record and a fourth place finish at the WCC Championships, the best finish the team has had since 2004. The Broncos were also ranked in late March (No. 74), which was only the second time a Santa Clara women's tennis team had been ranked in program history.

After earning the conference's automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Championships, the Saint Mary's women's tennis team traveled to the Los Angeles Tennis Complex at UCLA to compete in its first ever NCAA Tournament match. Pepperdine also competed in the national tournament but played its first round match at the Taube Tennis Center at Stanford.

Both teams lost in the first round. Saint Mary's was defeated 4-1 by the No. 23-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. The lone win for the Gaels came at No. 2 singles, when WCC Freshman of the Year Catherine Isip defeated No. 74-ranked Kelcy McKenna in straight sets. Pepperdine suffered the same fate against the No. 31-ranked Southern Methodist Mustangs. Sophomore Ali Walters posted an impressive comeback win at No. 3 singles in three sets.

WCC Player of the Year Jenni Heinser of San Francisco competed in the NCAA Women's Singles Championships, held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex at the University of Georgia in Athens and dropped her first round match to No. 43-ranked Irene Rehberger of South Florida in split sets. Heinser was the only women's tennis player to represent the WCC at the Championships and remains the only Dons women's tennis player to ever compete in the tournament. This was also her third straight appearance at the NCAA Tournament.

All-WCC First Team Singles
Alex Poorta, SMC
Anamika Bhargava, PEP
Anna Chikhikvishvili, SMC
Arianna Colffer, PEP
Catherine Isip, SMC
Jennifer Heinser, USF

All-WCC Second Team Singles
Alex Zaniewski, SCU
Ali Walters, PEP
Claire Soper, SMC
Lacey Pflibsen, POR
Laura Claus, USD
Megan Sporndli, POR

Honorable Mention Singles
Andrea Oates, PEP
Cecilia Gratian, USF
Clare Dodge, GON
Estelle LaPorte, LMU
Jane Pringle, LMU
Kelly Lamble, SCU
Maria Raygada, USD
Marie Zalameda, PEP
Prue Teitzel, GON
Rika Mendhiratta, GON

All-WCC First Team Doubles
Alex Poorta/Claire Soper, SMC
Anamika Bhargava/Marie Zalameda, PEP
Lacey Pflibsen/Megan Sporndli, POR

All-WCC Second Team Doubles
Anna Chikhikvishvili/Catherine Isip, SMC
Jennifer Heinser/Melinda Akerbrant, USF
Juliette Coupez/Maja Sujica, USD

Honorable Mention Doubles
Alexandra Zaniewski/Jessica Agra, SCU
Alita Fisher/Nienke Strijbis, SMC
Justine Perl/Laura Claus, USD
Kelly Lamble/Maggie McGeorge, SCU

Jennifer Heinser graduated from San Francisco with a successful collegiate tennis career, being named the WCC Player of the Year three times in her three years with the Dons. Heinser went undefeated in conference play throughout her entire collegiate career. WCC Freshman of the Year Catherine Isip and WCC Coach of the Year Lisa Alipaz both reign from the 2010 WCC Championship team. This was Coach Alipaz' fifth conference honor.
WCC Player of the Year: Jennifer Heinser, USF
WCC Freshman of the Year: Catherine Isip, SMC
WCC Coach of the Year: Lisa Alipaz, SMC

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Long recognized as one of the best-organized collegiate sports associations, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is a non-profit service organization, which serves as the governing body of collegiate tennis in the United States. Administering a comprehensive calendar of tournaments and events and a far-reaching awards program, the goal of the ITA is to improve the level of intercollegiate tennis competition and the quality of college tennis coaching.

Comprised of nearly 1,500 men's and women's coaches representing over 1,200 institutions across the country from all three NCAA Divisions, as well as the NAIA and Junior and Community Colleges, the ITA oversees activities involving over 15,000 varsity college student-athletes. In addition to ITA collegiate coach (and team) members, the ITA also welcomes collegiate parents, junior players and parents, alumni, corporate, federation, high school coach, and associate membership.

To learn more about the ITA, please visit www.itatennis.com .