May 1, 2007

Santa Clara Women's Tennis Final Season Notes

WCC Recap
The Santa Clara women's tennis team ended the season on a positive note with a fifth-place finish at the West Coast Conference Championships in Malibu, Calif. that were completed on April 22. The seventh-seeded Broncos started the weekend with a 4-0 loss to the No. 2 seed, Saint Mary's on April 20. However, the team responded well from there, defeating the University of Portland 4-2 on April 21. Seniors Casey Knutson, Kim Daniel and Erika Barnes all picked up singles wins for the Broncos in the match to lead them to the victory. Knutson and Barnes also tied the single season record for doubles victories with their 16th win of the year at No. 1 doubles. In the fifth-place match on April 22, the Broncos took on the San Francisco Dons. After splitting the singles matches with three wins apiece, the teams also split the doubles matches at Nos. 2 and 3 to leave the match even with Knutson and Barnes still playing at No. 1. With SCU leading 7-4 and serving for the match, the match was cancelled due to the rainy conditions in Malibu. The Broncos and Dons finished the tournament tied for fifth place.

Season Recap
The Santa Clara Broncos had an up and down season on the courts in 2006-07. After losing head coach Damon Coupe at the start of fall practice, assistant coach Ben Cabell stepped in as interim head coach for the Broncos. Cabell led the Broncos to a number of strong results in the fall, especially at the Saint Mary's Invitational, where the team won 12 singles matches in one day. In the dual season, SCU got off to a slow start with losses to UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis, but recovered to win three out of four, including wins over San Francisco and San Jose State. The San Jose State win clinched the Rivalry Series for Santa Clara. After a loss to Loyola Marymount in a tight match, the Broncos won two more matches to get above .500 on the season with a 5-4 record. The schedule did the Broncos no favors after that as the team played three ranked opponents in their next six matches, a stretch that also included three matches in three days. The Broncos dropped all six matches to fall to 5-10. The team won two out of the final three regular season matches, including an impressive win over Fresno Pacific, which defeated UC Santa Barbara earlier in the year. Kim Daniel clinched the victory against Fresno Pacific in her final home match. SCU headed to the WCC Championships with a 7-11 record.

Notes

Knutson and Daniel in the Record Books
Senior Casey Knutson won her final career singles match against Christina Feyen of Portland on April 21 to reach 52 career wins. That number ties her with Pati Ruiz (2000-03) and Catherine Cochrane (2002-05) for sixth all-time in Santa Clara history. She finished 2007 with a 10-10 record in dual matches. Senior Kim Daniel also got a win against Portland in the WCCs, beating Jenna Tanzer in straight sets to clinch a 4-2 win for SCU. Daniel finished her career with 51 singles wins to tie Erin Barry (1993-96) for eighth all-time in career singles wins at SCU.

Barnes in Fourth
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. After winning 13 dual matches with Casey Knutson, she finished her career with 58 doubles wins to tie her with Sarah Duncan (1997-00) for fourth place in school history. The all-time record is 68, held by Christine Limbers (2000-03).

Barnes and Knutson Finish Strong
The doubles tandem of Erika Barnes and Casey Knutson proved to be one of the strengths for the Broncos in 2006-07. In the dual season, Barnes and Knutson posted a 13-5 record in doubles, including victories in nine of their last 11 matches. Their win against Portland on April 21 in the WCC Championships gave them 16 total wins in 2006-07, tying them with three other pairs for first-place all-time in single season doubles wins at SCU. They are tied with Kathleen Curry/Jill Yokoyama (2002), Sara Duncan/Tara Reagan (1997) and Lindsay Colker/Jill Hamilton (1997). All-time, Barnes and Knutson are sixth in doubles wins with 19.

Moving Past 2006
The Broncos won their eighth match of the season against Portland on April 22, moving them past their 2006 win total of seven. Also, the team won 51 times in dual match singles, a number that surpasses last season's total of 32. The team also surpassed last season's singles win total of 74 with 80 victories in 2006-07. In doubles, SCU also passed last year's totals with 27 dual match wins and 36 total wins. Last season those numbers were 20 and 28 respectively.

WCC Championships
One year after finishing seventh at the WCC Championships, SCU had a great performance at the WCCs to move up two spots to fifth in 2007. The Broncos avenged their 4-1 consolation semifinal loss to Portland in 2006 with a 4-2 win over Portland in the consolation semis.

Senior Leadership
The Broncos had three strong senior leaders in 2006-07, Erika Barnes, Kim Daniel and Casey Knutson. The trio combined to win 29 dual singles matches out of the team's 51 dual match wins. In doubles, they were even more impressive, playing a part in 18 out of 27 dual match doubles wins.

All-WCC Honors
Three members of the Santa Clara University women's tennis team earned All-West Coast Conference honors. 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 7-9 at No. 1 and 3-1 at the No. 2 spot for a 10-10 record overall. Knutson finished her career with 52 wins, tying her for fifth in school history in singles wins. Daniel also finished her career strongly, going 10-9 in the dual season, including a 5-2 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. 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.

Team Awards
The Broncos handed out some team awards at the season-ending banquet. Senior Casey Knutson was named the Bronco of the Year, given to the player that best represents what it means to be part of Bronco tennis. The award is a combination of the Most Valuable Player and Most Inspirational Awards that were given out in previous years. Freshman Meghan Madden was voted the team's Most Improved Player, while junior captain Myra Davoudi earned the Coaches Award.

Head coach Ben Cabell, on Knutson: "Casey not only had a very successful year on the court for us, but she also provided great leadership. She contributed a lot to this program during her time here and we are going to miss her greatly next year."

Cabell, on Madden: "Meghan showed tremendous growth this season and really learned to adapt her game to the Division I level. She had a tough assignment as our No. 7 player, but when she got her chances, she did a great job."

Cabell, on Davoudi: "Myra deserves this award for her dedication and leadership this season. Her hard work on the court set the tone for the rest of the team in practice and in matches. She was also a great link between the coaching staff and the players."