April 30, 2002
The Santa Clara University women's tennis team recently completed its season, posting a 14-9 record, one of the program's best marks considering the top-level opponents the Broncos faced. Under eight-year head coach Aby Ryan, the Broncos' notched their seventh winning season in the last 10 years. A few season highlights:
The Broncos were the proud host of the 2002 West Coast Conference Championships, held at the SCU Tennis Center, April 19-21. Santa Clara entered the weekend tournament with its highest seed ever, at No. 3, and with an exciting 4-3 win over Portland on Sunday, the Broncos improved upon last season's sixth-place showing by earning its highest finish ever. The Broncos had placed fourth on four occasions in the 17-year history of the tournament, but took the program up to a new level with its third-place success to close the season.
Santa Clara was also honored by the league for outstanding individual performances. Janalle Kaloi earned the Bronco program's first WCC Freshman of the Year award, sharing the honor with Veronica Koksova of Pepperdine. Kaloi also earned honorable mention doubles honors with junior teammate Mariko Kawakami. In singles action, Santa Clara was honored by junior Christine Limbers' selection to the honorable mention squad. Kaloi finished her rookie campaign with 19 singles victories, tied for fifth best in SCU single season records. In February, she was named the WCC's Singles Player of the Month after posting a 6-1 record, with her only loss coming at nationally-ranked Nevada. In doubles, Kaloi and Kawakami went 10-6 overall, 6-2 in conference, and were named the WCC's Doubles Team of the Month in February and March. Limbers led the Broncos at the No. 1 position, going 17-14 overall, with two victories over ranked opponents. All of the honors Kaloi, Kawakami and Limbers received this season were the first in their careers.
Head coach Aby Ryan became Santa Clara's all-time winningest women's tennis coach with the Broncos' 5-2 victory over Pacific in the regular-season home finale, topping Marygrace Colby's 95 wins from 1964-79. In eight seasons, Ryan has compiled a 98-86 mark.
The 14 wins the Broncos posted this past season was the most in one year for the program dating back to head coach Aby Ryan's 1997 squad that earned 16 victories. But, according to the eighth-year leader, this past season should be considered the most successful in her career, due to the strength of schedule the Broncos faced, including four nationally-ranked opponent's in SCU's first seven contests.
Nicole McCord, the Broncos' only senior on this past year's roster, has made her mark on the recordbooks. McCord finishes her career with the most combined doubles victories, with 59 over the last four seasons. With her partner for the past two seasons, Christine Limbers, the duo ranks second in career tandem victories.
The Broncos went 11-4 at home at the Santa Clara University Tennis Center, with two of those losses to nationally-ranked opponents. In April, fans were treated the program's newest addition to its three-year-old facility, an electronic scoreboard. With its LED display, scores could be viewed from all courts and the stands, with each court having a wireless controller that allows in-progress match scores to be sent to the board during changeovers.
For the second consecutive season, the Broncos showed their depth, earning 17 wins in the No. 6 singles position. Junior Pati Ruiz led the No. 6 lineup with seven victories, followed by junior Ashley Campbell with five. In fact, the bottom half of the Bronco lineup just edged the top half in victories, 39 to 33.
In doubles action, the Broncos won 11 doubles points in 23 matches. Of those 11, Santa Clara went on to win all of those matches in singles play, including six sweeps. Conversely, the Broncos won matches against CS Fullerton, Saint Louis and Cal Poly despite not winning the doubles point.