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WCC Women's Tennis Wrap Up Notes

June 18, 2010

Complete WT Final Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- 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 with Saint Mary's winning 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 that took home the title this year, 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 this 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 time earning the 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 this 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.

Make sure to download the complete release in PDF format for complete team schedules, records, and rankings.


  • Gonzaga ended its season in seventh place at the 2010 WCC Championships after dropping their first two matches and coming back to defeat Loyola Marymount in the playoff 4-3.

  • The Zags compiled a 14-7 overall record and went 2-4 in conference play. Their 14 wins this season was a program best.

  • Three Bulldogs--juniors Rika Medhiratta and Clare Dodge and redshirt FR Prue Teitzel-- received All-WCC Honorable Mention. This was Mendhiratta's second consecutive honor, and first for Dodge and Teitzel.

  • Mehndiratta finished the season second on the team with 12 singles wins, 10 coming while playing at the No. 1 slot. Dodge posted nine wins in her junior campaign, mainly competing at No. 5 singles. Teitzel posted a team-best 14-3 record, playing primarily at the No. 3 and 4 slots.
  • Loyola Marymount dropped all three matches over tournament weekend, ending up in eighth place at the WCC Championships.

  • The Lions lost to eventual WCC champion Saint Mary's, San Francisco, and Gonzaga to bring their conference record to 0-9 on the season and 4-20 overall.

  • The Lions closed out the WCC Championship tournament with a close loss to Gonzaga 4-3. After dropping the doubles point, the Lions rallied back to earn three singles wins from SR Jane Pringle, SO Estelle LaPorte and SO Elisaveta Pironkova at Courts 2, 4 and 5. The last match came down to the No. 1 singles matchup where JR Jasmin Heckel was eventually overcome by Gonzaga's Mehndiratta in three sets (6-7, 6-3, 6-2).

  • Pringle and LaPorte earned all-conference Honorable Mention in singles for their performances at the WCC Championships.
  • Pepperdine reached the finals of the WCC Championships, in hopes of garnering its 23rd WCC title, but was defeated by Saint Mary's 4-1 in a rematch of last year's Championships. Despite losing the automatic bid, the Waves still garnered a spot in the NCAA Championship draw to make its 23rd consecutive appearance (14th straight not including regionals).

  • Pepperdine lost in the first round of the NCAA Championships to No. 31-ranked SMU 4-1. The Waves' lone point came at No. 3 singles, as SO Ali Walters came back to win in three sets (2-6, 6-0, 6-1). The Waves ended their season with a 5-2 conference record and 12-13 overall.

  • JR Anamika Bhargva earned her third straight All-WCC first team selection in both singles and doubles. FR Arianna Colffer joined Bhargava on the All-WCC first team in singles. Walters made the second team in singles for the second straight year, while SO Andrea Oates garnered Honorable Mention in singles with FR Marie Zalameda.
  • Portland landed in sixth place at the WCC Championships after suffering a 4-3 loss in the playoff to No. 5 seed San Francisco. The Pilots ended their season with a 2-6 record in WCC play and 7-15 overall.

  • Portland's doubles duo of SR Megan Sporndli and JR Lacey Pflibsen finish their 2010 campaign undefeated in WCC play, going 5-0 in WCC and capped off their season with an 8-4 victory at the No. 1 spot against San Francisco's Jennifer Heinser and Melinda Akerbrant. The Pilot pair was named to the All-WCC First Team in doubles and each also earned All-WCC Second Team honors in singles.

  • Pflibsen led went 10-9 overall at No.1 singles, earning her second straight All-WCC honor. Sporndli, who played primarily at the No. 2 spot, posted a team-leading 11 wins and has earned all-conference recognition in both singles and doubles every season since her sophomore year.
  • Saint Mary's won its first ever conference title at the 2010 WCC Championships by defeating Pepperdine 4-1. The Gaels ended the 2009-10 season with an undefeated 9-0 conference record and a 17-6 record overall.

  • With the automatic bid, the Gaels made its first appearance to the NCAA Championships, where they ended their season with a first round loss to No. 23-ranked Arizona State (4-1). The lone point for Saint Mary's came at No. 2 singles with WCC Freshman of the Year Catherine Isip winning in straight sets (6-3, 6-1).

  • Coach Lisa Alipaz won her fifth WCC Coach of the Year award after the Gaels' successful season. Saint Mary's also had a number of players named to all-conference teams. JR Alex Poorta, SO Anna Chikhikvishvili, and Isip were selected to the All-WCC First Team, while JR Claire Soper earned All-WCC Second Team honors. Poorta and Claire garnered All-WCC First Team in doubles, and seniors Alita Fisher and Nienke Strijbis were Honorable Mention in doubles.
  • San Diego took third at the WCC Championships after sweeping Santa Clara to pick up its 13th dual win of the season. The Toreros went 13-12 overall and 4-3 in conference play.

  • En route to their third place finish, the Toreros defeated Gonzaga (4-0), lost to Pepperdine (4-0), and came back to overcome Santa Clara (4-0). SO Marite Raygada was the winningest Torero this season with a dual mark of 19-4, including notching two victories in the WCC Championship series and All-WCC Honorable Mention.

  • FR Laura Claus earned All-WCC Second Team honors in singles, primarily playing at the No. 2 singles slot, while the duo of Juliette Coupez and Maja Sujica earned the same honor in doubles after going 11-7 this season. Claus and partner SR Justine Perl picked up Honorable Mention in doubles as well, as the pair combined for a team-leading mark of 12-4 at the No. 3 position.
  • San Francisco placed fifth at the WCC Championships after suffering a tough first round loss to Santa Clara and coming back to defeat Loyola Marymount and Portland to close out the tournament. The Dons ended their season with a 13-11 overall record and a 6-5 record in conference play.

  • San Francisco's No. 1 singles player JR Jenni Heinser was named the WCC Student-Athlete of the Year and won her third straight WCC Player of the Year award, after going undefeated in conference play throughout her entire college career with USF. Heinser also earned her third consecutive automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, where she lost in the first round to South Florida's Irene Rehberger in a three-set match (6-2, 5-7, 6-2).

  • Heinser was named to the All-WCC First Team in singles, while Cecilia Gratian took home Honorable Mention. Heinser and partner FR Melinda Akerbrant was an all-conference Honorable Mention selection in doubles.
  • Santa Clara's young team of four sophomores and three freshmen had a standout season this year, finishing with a 14-7 overall record (4-4 in WCC play) and a fourth place finish at the WCC Championships. Fourth place is the highest WCC tournament finish for the Broncos since 2004.

  • Santa Clara defeated local rival San Francisco (4-2) to advance to the next round of the tournament before falling to eventual WCC champion Saint Mary's 4-0. The Broncos then lost to San Diego in the playoff.

  • FR Alex Zaniewski was named to the All-WCC Second Team Singles, while FR Kelly Lamble received an Honorable Mention. Zaniewski and Lamble switched off at the No. 1 and 2 singles positions. Two doubles pairs also received Honorable Mention accolades--the duo of Zaniewski and FR Jessica Agra and the combination of Lamble and Maggie McGeorge. Lamble and McGeorge went an impressive 15-4 during the regular season.

    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

    San Francisco's Jennifer Heinser was awarded WCC Player of the Year for the third consecutive time in her collegiate career. Saint Mary's took home the other two awards with Catherine Isip being named the WCC Freshman of the Year and Coach Lisa Alipaz selected as the WCC Coach of the Year.


    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 .