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WCC Women's Tennis Notes

March 16, 2010

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - All eight WCC women's tennis teams are well into regular season play. Five of the eight teams own at least a .500 winning percentage in matches played thus far. Currently, Pepperdine and Saint Mary's hold the No. 50 and 55 spots in the ITA national rankings, respectively. In addition, Pepperdine's Arianna Colffer is ranked No. 83 in the individual ITA rankings, while teammates Anamika Bhargava and Marie Zalameda are ranked nationally in doubles.

Make sure to download the Complete Release in PDF Format for complete team schedules, records, and rankings.


  • Gonzaga split its matches over the last week with a 6-1 loss at Santa Clara and 6-1 win over non-conference opponent UC Santa Cruz. The Bulldogs are now 8-4 on the season.

  • Doubles action was close against the Broncos. The Gonzaga pair of JR Rika Mehndiratta and JR Danielle Farmer took the No. 1 doubles match 8-5, while No. 2 and No. 3 doubles were taken by Santa Clara, 9-8 and 8-6, respectively.

  • The Bulldogs swept all three doubles matches against UC Santa Cruz before taking all but one of the six singles matches. JR Jackie Tabb won her match 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 6 spot to close up the lineup.

  • Gonzaga is scheduled to take on Northwest conference foes Portland (3/19) and Portland State (3/20) this week.
  • Loyola Marymount picked up a win and a loss after this week's play. The Lions were upset by San Diego State 6-1, then came back to edge No. 55-ranked Minnesota 4-3 for its second win of the season.

  • In singles play, the Lions only win and point against San Diego State came from SO Estelle LaPorte. LaPorte defeated SDSU's Sierra Ellison 6-0, 6-0 and has now won her last two singles matches.

  • After dropping all three doubles matches against Minnesota, the Lions came out strong in singles play to pick up four wins for the victory. Wins came from SR Jane Pringle, LaPorte, SR Bliss Nixon, and SR Audrey Bulkley, who earned her first singles win of the season.

  • Loyola Marymount has three matches scheduled this week, taking on South Alabama (3/19), UT Arlington (3/20), and Utah (3/23).
  • No. 50-ranked Pepperdine dropped two out of its three matches with losses to No. 2-ranked UCLA (6-1) and Florida State (6-1). The Waves came back to beat Fresno State 6-1.

  • Pepperdine faced tough competition with UCLA, which won all three doubles matches for the first point and won the first set in all six singles matches. The Waves' lone point came at the No. 6 singles spot where SR Tania Rice defeated UCLA's Nina Pantic 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

  • Pepperdine FR Marie Zalameda won both in singles and doubles against No. 15-ranked Florida State.

  • Against visiting Fresno State, Pepperdine won eight of nine matches en route to a 6-1 victory. Zalameda posted the most dominating victory with a 6-0, 6-1 win at the No. 4 spot.

  • The Waves will compete next against California (3/23) in Malibu at 1:30 PM.
  • Portland traveled to San Diego to take on conference foe San Francisco and Penn. The Pilots lost both matches and are now 3-7 on the season.

  • Against Penn, Portland picked up wins at the No. 1, 2, and 4 singles spot. SR Megan Sporndli and JR Lacey Pflibsen both won their singles matches and paired up to win in doubles at the No. 1 position.

  • The Pilots had a tough match against San Francisco and were unable to pick up a single match on the day. Portland also had to default its No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles spots. Sporndli played a close first set, dropping it 7-5 before the second set slipped away (6-1). SO Tessa Mini also competed in a tight one, losing in a 10-point third set tiebreaker 10-5.

  • Portland looks to bounce back against conference rival Gonzaga at home (3/19) at 1 PM.
  • No. 55-ranked Saint Mary's traveled to San Diego to take on conference rival Portland and San Diego State. The Gaels split its matches with a 4-0 win over Portland and a 4-3 heartbreaker to San Diego State.

  • After winning the doubles point against Portland, the Gaels only needed to finish two singles matches for the victory as JR Claire Soper and FR Alisa Spitzer defeated their opponents, and SR Nienke Strijbis won her match by default. Soper won her match 6-0, 6-2, while Spitzer defeated her Pilot opponent 6-2, 6-0.

  • The Gaels won the doubles point and won the first two singles matches to give them a 3-0 lead over San Diego State, but the Aztecs won the final four singles matches to upset the Gaels. All four of those matches went to three sets.

  • The Gaels return to action against Harvard (3/18) with first serve set for 2 PM.
  • San Diego wrapped up a three match sweep with a 5-2 triumph over Cal State Northridge in a match that lasted just under five hours. Other wins came against Pennsylvania (7-0) and conference foe San Francisco (6-1).

  • San Diego snapped a four match skid with a 7-0 home victory against Pennsylvania. After winning the doubles point, the Toreros proceeded to win all six singles matches in straight sets.The 6-1 victory over San Francisco the next day brought the Toreros back to the .500 mark.

  • In the match against Cal State Northridge, the Toreros won the doubles point and two singles matches before No. 2 singles player FR Laura Claus was forced to retire due to injury. SO Maja Sujica defeated sealed the deal at the No. 3 spot with a three-set win (6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2)).

  • The Toreros hope to continue the momentum versus Washington State (3/17) before heading to Boise, ID to take on Boise State (3/20) and Denver (3/21).
  • San Francisco split its last two WCC matches with a 7-0 win over Portland a 6-1 loss to San Diego. The Dons are now 7-8 on the season.

  • In the loss to San Diego, the Toreros swept all three doubles matches.

  • 2009 WCC Player of the Year JR Jenni Heinser earned her 12th singles win of the season at the No. 1 spot with a 6-1, 6-1 cruise over San Diego's Juliette Coupez, tallying the lone point for the Dons.

  • In the first match of the San Diego Tournament, San Francisco swept Portland in all singles and doubles matches. Heinser had the most convincing wins that day with an 8-3 victory in doubles with partner JR Cecilia Gratian and a 6-1, 6-0 win at the No. 1 singles position.

  • San Francisco will host Marquette (3/16) and Northern Iowa (3/17) this week.
  • Santa Clara improved its record to 9-3 as it picked up three straight wins over conference foe Gonzaga and non-conference opponents Michigan State (6-1) and Northern Iowa (5-2).

  • Against the Zags, Santa Clara won the doubles point and dominated the first five singles matches to earn the 6-1 win. The Broncos followed that performance with a strong 6-1 win over Michigan State. Despite FR Kelly Lamble's close loss at the No. 1 singles position (4-6, 7-6 (10) 10-6), Santa Clara played well down the line to secure the overall victory.

  • FR Maggie McGeorge has been a crucial member of the Santa Clara team, leading the Broncos to its ninth team victory by going undefeated in all three doubles and all three singles matches she competed in over the week.

  • Santa Clara will take on Marquette at home (3/19) in a late match scheduled for 5 PM.

    Returning 2009 All-Conference Singles Players
    The West Coast Conference will be returning 16 players from its 2009 All-WCC team. Below are the players to look out for this season.

    First Team
    Alex Poorta, SMC
    Anamika Bhargava, PEP
    Anna Chkhikvishvili, SMC
    Jennifer Heinser, USF
    Juliette Coupez, USD

    Second Team
    Ali Walters, PEP
    Kristina Zauere, GON
    Lacey Pflibsen, POR

    Honorable Mention
    Andrea Oates, PEP
    Claire Soper, SMC
    Elisaveta Pironkova, LMU
    Jasmin Heckel, LMU
    Kacie Wagner, SCU
    Maria Raygada, USD
    Megan Sporndli, POR
    Rika Mehndiratta, GON

    Pepperdine & Saint Mary's Top Preseason Poll
    The Pepperdine and Saint Mary's women's tennis teams were both chosen to win this year's West Coast Conference title, splitting the first place votes equally by the head coaches in the conference.

    2010 WCC Preseason Poll - TEAM
    1. Pepperdine - 46 (4)
    1. Saint Mary's - 46 (4)
    3. San Diego - 37
    4. Loyola Marymount - 28
    5. San Francisco - 27
    6. Santa Clara - 17
    7. Portland - 14
    8. Gonzaga - 9
    (First place votes)

    2010 Preseason All-Conference Singles Selections
    Jenni Heinser, USF - 2008 & 2009 WCC Player of the Year
    Alex Poorta, SMC
    Juliette Coupez, USD
    Anamika Bhargava, PEP
    Alexandria Walters, PEP
    Anna Chikhikvishvili, 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.