January 24, 2006

Santa Clara Looks to Rebound on the Road this Weekend

Jan. 24, 2006

Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara women's tennis team will be facing a daunting task this weekend - playing three straight matches against quality opponents in an environment that is unfamiliar to them.  While the Broncos (0-1) practice and play on outdoor courts, they will be traveling to Oregon this weekend to take on their rivals indoors, a vastly different playing surface.  Despite last week's 5-2 setback to Cal Poly, Santa Clara remains upbeat about their tough road trip.

"The weekend is going to be extremely difficult as we are playing indoors against three teams that have been practicing indoors all season," revealed head coach Damon Coupe. "Overall, we are going in with nothing to lose, sort of the underdog attitude. I like this because we can play loose and that is when good things can happen."

First up for Santa Clara is No. 27 Oregon, the highest-ranked team it will face in the first half of its schedule. The two will take to the courts in Eugene, Ore. this Friday for a 6 p.m. date. The Ducks are lead by junior Dominika Dieskova, who is ranked No. 26 in the country in singles. In addition, Dieskova has support from senior Anna Leksinska, sophomore Anna Powaska and freshmen Carmen Seremeta and Ana Olivos.

Boise State will battle Santa Clara in Eugene, Ore. Saturday afternoon. The first serve is set to go off at 4 p.m. The Broncos are led by a pair for seniors in Megan Bjorkman and Hadley MacFarlane. In addition, a trio of freshmen have added depth in both the singles and doubles line-up, as Carolyn Berry, Tatiana Ganzha, and Jana Mackova have played very well thus far in their collegiate careers.

Finally, in an early morning match on Sunday, West Coast Conference rivals Portland and Santa Clara will slug it out on the courts in Portland, Ore. Game time is set for 8 a.m. The previous season, the Broncos topped the Pilots in a decisive 6-1 win. Seniors Cristin Sammis and Jaclyn Soltysik will be looking to lead their squad to victory, with sophomores Christina Feyen and Lindsey Griffin bringing their talent to the courts as well. Freshmen Anna Gullickson, Katie Kennel and Jenna Tanzer will bring youthful energy to the team in their attempts to take down Santa Clara in a pivotal conference showdown.

"Oregon is a highly ranked opponent that likes to be very offensive and that works well indoors. Boise St. is going to be tough because they have had some good results in the fall. With a tough transfer and some new, very good foreign players, it will be a tough battle," said Coupe regarding this weekend's competition. "And Portland has always been a team that competes very well. We are playing at their home so I anticipate a hostile environment."