April 19, 2007
After defeating Fresno Pacific on April 18 in their final home match, the Santa Clara Broncos head to the West Coast Conference Championships in Malibu, Calif. from April 20-22 at Pepperdine University. The Broncos are seeded seventh and will take on Saint Mary's in the first round of the championships on Friday, April 20. The team will then play matches on Saturday and Sunday to conclude its season.
Santa Clara split two matches last week, defeating UC Santa Cruz 7-0 on April 10 at the Degheri Tennis Center and losing on the road 7-0 to Fresno State on April 13. Against the Banana Slugs, SCU won all three doubles matches led by Casey Knutson and Erika Barnes, who won their 10th dual match of the season together at No. 1. Meghan Madden filled in for the injured Myra Davoudi alongside Kim Daniel at No. 3 doubles for the pairs first dual match win together. In singles, the Broncos swept all six matches in straight sets. Knutson won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 against Jessica Ruth. Madden pulled out a close second-set tiebreaker with some clutch shots to earn a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win at No. 6. On April 13 against Fresno State, Knutson and Barnes provided the big highlight of the day, knocking of the Bulldogs' No. 39 ranked doubles team of Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova 9-7 at No. 1 doubles. Despite that win, the Broncos lost the other two doubles matches and all six singles matches in straight sets. The team's third match against Cal Poly was cancelled due to rain on April 14.
Knutson Up To Seventh, Daniel Reaches 50
Senior Casey Knutson won her singles match against Jessica Ruth of UC Santa Cruz on April 10 to give her 51 career singles wins, tying her with Erin Barry (1993-96) for seventh all-time in career singles wins. She is now one victory behind Pati Ruiz (2000-03) and Catherine Cochrane (2002-05) for sixth all-time. Knutson has three matches at the WCC Championships to equal or pass Ruiz and Cochrane. Senior Kim Daniel also got a win against UC Santa Cruz, knocking off Megan Sweeney for her 49th career win and then defeated Audrey Laib for her 50th career win. She is currently ninth all-time at SCU.
Barnes Moving Up All-Time Doubles Leaderboard
Erika Barnes entered the 2007 dual season with 45 combined doubles wins in her career, placing her 10th all-time in program history in doubles wins. By winning 12 matches so far this season, she has moved into sole possession of fifth place with 57 wins. She is now one win behind Sarah Duncan (1997-00) for fourth place.
Barnes and Knutson On Fire
The doubles tandem of Erika Barnes and Casey Knutson has proven to be one of the strengths for the Broncos this season. In the dual season, Barnes and Knutson have posted a 12-5 record in doubles, including victories in eight of their past 10 matches. They now have 15 total wins together this season, tying them for fourth all-time with three other doubles pairs for doubles victories in a season. They are just one victory behind the all-time record of 16, set three times. For their careers, Barnes and Knutson have won 18 matches together, a number that puts them sixth all-time in career doubles wins.
Moving Past 2006
The Broncos have won 45 times in dual match singles, a number that surpasses last season's total of 32. The team has also tied last season's singles win total of 74. In doubles, SCU has also surpassed last year's totals with 24 dual match wins and 33 total wins. Last season those numbers were 20 and 28 respectively.
WCC Tournament History
Santa Clara has lost in the first round of the WCC Championships in each of the past two seasons. In 2005, the Broncos recovered from that loss to place fifth in the league, while last year the team finished seventh. In 2004, SCU defeated Saint Mary's to reach the semifinals before finishing in fourth.
Head coach Ben Cabell, on the WCCs: "We have improved a lot over the course of the spring so I think we will go down there playing our best tennis. We have had a lot of close matches against most of the WCC schools. That gives us some confidence that we can pull out some wins."
Senior Kim Daniel, on WCCs: "The thing that I will remember the most about my career here is the WCC Tournament. It is always fun to go down and play against all the other conference schools and play three tough matches in three days. I am looking forward to heading down to Malibu and competing."