April 3, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - For the Santa Clara women's tennis team, this week's trio of matches with have a distinct local flavor, as they will be facing three Bay Area squads as the end of the season draws near. On Tuesday, Santa Clara, currently 6-8 in 2006, will host UC Santa Cruz at the Degheri Tennis Center for a 3 p.m. match, and then will travel to the San Francisco campus on Friday for a key West Coast Conference showdown beginning at 1 p.m. Finally, the week wraps up with another road match, this time at Saint Mary's on Saturday morning. Game time is set for 11 a.m.
UC Santa Cruz enters Tuesday's showdown with Santa Clara sporting an overall record of 5-3. Junior Angelizen Zabala occupies the top spot for UC Santa Cruz, though a trio of sophomores makes up the bulk of the singles line-up. Megan Sweeney, Jessica Ruth, and Majorie Youn have all contributed in their second year at the collegiate level. Dave Muldawer is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Banana Slugs women's program.
"UC Santa Cruz is a new team this year because they lost their top two players from last year. They are a top Division III team that has the capabilities to push a lot of Division I schools," commented head coach Damon Coupe.
Earlier this season, Santa Clara and San Francisco met at the Degheri Tennis Center, with the Dons (11-4) coming away with a hard-earned 4-3 victory. USF will be led by Camille Pamart, Jenny Sperry, and Joana Macedo. Freshman Mylene Martin has also made an impact in the singles and doubles ladder for USF this year. Hilary Somers is in her fifth season as the head coach of the San Francisco women's tennis program.
"I expect another tough match for our team," stated Coupe. "Going up to their place will make things even more difficult for us. They also just got back one of their top players in Cassie Fabiani."
Prior to its meeting with Santa Clara, Saint Mary's will take on San Jose State on Thursday, April 6. Saint Mary's is coming off of a 0-2 weekend with losses to Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine, pushing its overall record to 7-7. A pair of foreigners pack a mighty one-two punch for SMC, with Aude Lambert, a native out of France who is No. 124 in the latest ITA rankings, and Jessica Hoath, an Australian competitor, holding down the top two spots. Additionally, senior Kate Harden and freshman Erin Young also bring depth to the singles and doubles line-up. Head coach Lisa Alipaz is in her seventh year at the helm of the Gaels program and was recently crowned the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2005.
"This is going to be a hostile environment match. Saint Mary's is playing extremely well this year and having really good success. I would like to have a better showing than the last time we played," said Coupe of the Broncos' 6-1 loss to the Gaels earlier this year.