April 27, 2007

Santa Clara Seniors Barnes, Daniel and Knutson Earn All-WCC Honors

April 27, 2007

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Three members of the Santa Clara University women's tennis team earned All-West Coast Conference honors on Friday. Seniors Erika Barnes, Casey Knutson and Kim Daniel were all recognized by the conference for their strong 2007 campaigns. In singles, Knutson was selected to the second team and Daniel picked up honorable mention accolades, while in doubles Barnes and Knutson received a spot on the second team.

Knutson, who served as a co-captain this year, had an outstanding season in both singles and doubles. The Huntington Beach native moved to No. 1 singles for the Broncos and put together a solid campaign, going 7-8 at No. 1 and 3-1 at the No. 2 spot for a 10-9 record overall. She earned a big victory at No. 1 singles in the Broncos' 4-2 win over Portland at the WCC Championships. Knutson finished her career with 52 wins, tying her for fifth in school history in singles wins.

"I am very proud of Casey," said head coach Ben Cabell. "This recognition shows that her hard work over the past year really paid off. She had an excellent season and getting on the second team puts her in great company. She earned a lot of respect this season from the coaches around the league."

Daniel, an Edmonton, Alberta native, also finished her career strongly, going 10-8 in the dual season, including a 5-1 mark at No. 4 singles. She also clinched three of the team's eight victories this season. In her final home match of the year, she defeated Fresno Pacific's Audrey Laib, who had been unbeaten up to that point. The victory clinched the match win for the Broncos and sent them into the WCC Championships on a high note. She then capped her career in style with a match-clinching win against Portland in the WCC Championships. Daniel won 51 singles matches at SCU putting her eighth all-time.

"Kim was steady for us all year long and came through in a lot of big matches," noted Cabell. "No one handled the tight situations better than she did and she clinched a number of big matches for us. She was also a player that no one wanted to face because she was so consistent and tough to play against."

The doubles pair of Barnes and Knutson will go down as one of the best ever at Santa Clara. For the 2006-07 season, the tandem won 16 matches to tie them for the program record for wins in a season. They finished the dual season with a 13-5 mark, including nine wins in their final 11 matches. The highlight of the season came on April 13 when the pair knocked off the nation's No. 39 team of Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. The 9-7 win was one of the top doubles victories in program history. Barnes and Knutson finished sixth all-time in doubles wins at SCU with 19 victories.

"Casey and Erika absolutely deserve a spot on the All-WCC second team," said Cabell. "They had one of the best seasons of doubles in school history. It was just a fantastic year and it was great to watch them play."

Individual Awards
Player of the Year: Pavla Mesterova, Loyola Marymount
Freshman of the Year: Samantha Mouly, San Diego
Coach of the Year: Lisa Alipaz, Saint Mary's

2007 Women's Singles All-Conference Team
First Team
Bianca Dulgheru, Pepperdine
Sylvia Kosakowski, Pepperdine
Aude Lambert, Saint Mary's
Pavla Mesterova, Loyola Marymount
Samantha Mouly, San Diego
Katia Sabate, Pepperdine

Second Team
Robyn Baker, Loyola Marymount
Marah Calvo, Saint Mary's
Jessica Hoath, Saint Mary's
Casey Knutson, Santa Clara
Caroline Raba, Pepperdine
Femke Strijbis, Saint Mary's

Honorable Mention
Emily Anderson, GON; Aglaya Kokurina, GON; Elrien de Villiers, LMU; Eva Dickes, PEP; Nienke Strijbis, SMC; Mylene Martin, USF; Camille Pamart, USF; Kim Daniel, SCU

2007 Women's Doubles All-Conference Team
First Team
Robyn Baker & Pavla Mesterova, Loyola Marymount
Bianca Dulgheru & Sylvia Kosakowski, Pepperdine
Aude Lambert & Jessica Hoath, Saint Mary's

Second Team
Anete Bandere & Eva Dickes, Pepperdine
Femke Strijbis & Nienke Strijbis, Saint Mary's
Erika Barnes & Casey Knutson, Santa Clara

Honorable Mention
Serena Fermin & Tamara Tanner, LMU; Jillian Braverman & Katia Sabate, PEP; Camille Pamart & Mylene Martin, USF