April 9, 2003

Tennis Teams Prepare for WCC Championships

April 9, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's tennis teams will participate in the West Coast Conference Championships this weekend to close out the 2003 seasons. Pepperdine University is hosting the women's tournament in Malibu, while the men's matches will be hosted further south by the University of San Diego.

The Bronco women are 9-9 on the season, with five of those losses coming to nationally-ranked teams. Santa Clara is led by a quartet of seniors and enters the tournament 4-1 in league play.

"Our team set a big goal this year," women's coach Aby Ryan said. "They would like to come home with the Championship and move on to the NCAA Tournament.

"I hope to end the season strong for the sake of our four seniors, Ashley Campbell, Christine Limbers, Mariko Kawakami and Pati Ruiz," she continued. "They have given their hearts to this program for the past four years and I hope they end their careers with great success."

The Bronco men are 8-13 overall, 3-5 in conference action, but also played a strong schedule, with nine matches against teams ranked nationally by the ITA. Santa Clara is led by the senior duo of Michael Bruggemann and Federico Mattioli.

"This weekend is our version of 'March Madness,'" men's head coach George Husack explained. "We've always looked forward to the tournament, as it offers a compelling prize for the winner, with a berth in the NCAAs. Rankings and records are thrown out the window; it's all about willpower, and we feel very good about our preparation going into the weekend. We're ready to get it on."

For both tournaments, seedings and match times will be determined Thursday night, with the championship beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday. The league champion will earn the WCC's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.

The women will play at the Ralph-Straus Tennis Center, with four matches played daily, at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The winners' bracket matches will be played in the afternoon. The host Waves are ranked 50th by the ITA, while Loyola Marymount is listed No. 57. San Diego is ranked 69th.

The men will play a similar schedule at the renovated USD West Courts, with two matches at 9 a.m., followed by two contests at 1 p.m. Pre-tournament favorites will be Pepperdine, who is ranked 26th nationally, and the host Toreros, who are currently 43rd.