April 16, 2008
The women's tennis team has spent most of this week preparing for West Coast Conference Championships this weekend in Moraga, Calif. The WCC is a strong conference in women's tennis, with Pepperdine and St. Mary's College among the top 75 teams in the country. Head coach Ben Cabell is confident in his team going into the weekend, and is especially pleased with the progress the women have made this season.
This season the Broncos played a difficult schedule, including duals against five top 75 nationally ranked teams. Early in February, the Broncos hosted a #23 UC Santa Cruz team and came out with one of the biggest wins of the season, defeating the Banana Slugs 6-1. Shortly after, in March, the women matched up against San Jose State University for a rivalry series match, but the Spartans did not stand a chance against the Broncos. Though singles matches from Myra Davoudi and Ashley Pane were relatively close, the Broncos shut down SJSU winning 6-1.
"We have shown in pieces that we can beat a very good team. All of our girls are great players and if we can put it all together, we will beat a lot of good teams. If we are able to do that, we are going to be successful this weekend," said Coach Cabell of his team's competitive play.
In doubles this season, Myra Davoudi and Lindsay McBride have been a consistent force for the Broncos. The tandem has come away with big wins against tough #49 St. Mary's and #42 Washington State University teams. Their overall record on the season is 9-7. McBride has also had a lot of success in singles and is going into the weekend with momentum, having won her last two singles matches.
"Myra and Lindsay have come away with some impressive wins this season, especially against Washington State and St. Mary's. It is going to be sad to see them play their last matches as Broncos. Myra came on the team as a walk-on and really worked her way up to be a competitive collegiate player. She always makes her opponent work hard to earn a win, and I think we are definitely going to miss her work ethic," said Cabell
As for underclassmen, Cabell has been impressed with freshman Carmen Pham, who is 10-8 in singles this season. "She has the best record on the team this season playing at #4 singles, which is a key spot. She has proven herself coming in as a freshman and it's very good to see," said Cabell
Coach Cabell is feeling optimistic going into this weekend, seeing the tournament as an opportunity to rack up some wins, "The first day of the tournament we are probably going to play Pepperdine, or possibly St. Mary's, which will both be tough matches. The WCC is a strong conference and we are underdogs going into the weekend, but we can definitely pull out some wins. Last year we were seeded 7 out 8 teams and made huge improvements beating teams we lost to during the season and finishing 5th. We plan on having the same kind of improvements this year."
Cabell is also looking forward to Saturday night's team banquet in Moraga, "It's a great way to honor all of our players, they all deserve it after playing hard all season."
WCC tournament action starts this Friday, April 18 in Moraga, Calif. and continues all weekend through Sunday.