Kelly Lamble (KL) has been enjoying her sophomore year filled with friends, school and tennis. After defeating UC Davis and USF this past weekend, the women's tennis team finished their regular season 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the WCC. As their regular season has come to an end, the team is now preparing for the WCC Tournament and hopefully the NCAA Tournament. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCU) spoke with Lamble who talked about her friendship with doubles partner, Maggie McGeorge, her feelings towards playing tennis at the same school as her dad and her goals for the rest of the season.
SCU: Do you prefer to play singles or doubles? Why?
KL: I've always preferred singles because it's all on you, whether you do well or poorly. While that may seem like a lot of pressure, I always think that it's really exciting to go up against another person and leave everything you have out on the court.
SCU: How is the relationship between you and your partner, Maggie McGeorge? How do you two work together to be successful on the court?
KL: I could not ask for a better doubles partner. Maggie McGeorge is not only an awesome player, but also a really supportive partner. We're successful as a team because we both hate to lose. When things aren't going our way, we buckle down and try to work together to figure out a way to win.
SCU: Is there a memorable match from this season so far?
KL: The most memorable match of the season so far was at the beginning of the season against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 28. We were losing 3-2 and the last two matches came down to me and Jessica Agra. I remember winning my match and immediately rushing over to watch the rest of Jess' match. She was down 5-4 in the third set. I found out she had been down 5-0 and was making a huge comeback. Jess ended up winning and we all ran onto the court and hugged her. It was the perfect start to the season.
SCU: Is there anyone on the team that you look up to?
KL: I look up to everyone on our team in different ways. We all have different strengths and traits that make us leaders, but I especially look up to our captain, Kacie Wagner. Even when she is struggling, she has such a great attitude and whenever I need something, I know she will be there whether it's about tennis, school or life.
SCU: Do you have any pre-match rituals?
KL: Before every home match, I eat a Cramer's bagel. I also always do my hair the same way (in a braid) and drink yellow Vitamin water.
SCU: How does it feel to play tennis at the same college as your dad? Was your dad a big influence on your decision to play tennis?
KL: My dad was the one that taught me tennis while I was growing up. When other coaches would've quit on me, my dad patiently showed me the right way to do something for the 100th time. He spent hours and hours with me on court, feeding me balls. It's so cool to have him and my mom be able to come out to my matches and cheer me on – I'm so happy that I can make them both proud. Being able to share memories about SCU with my parents, who are both alums, is great, but my dad makes this whole college tennis experience even more special. It's also really cool to have my younger brother John Lamble here this year playing on the men's tennis team - I love being able to watch him play and see him around campus.
SCU: As your regular season comes to an end, what are your team goals as you come closer to the WCC Championships and NCAA Regionals?
KL: We've already achieved a lot of our goals this season. One of our biggest goals as a team was to get ranked and we achieved an all-time high of 64 earlier this season. As of now, we are ranked fourth in the conference. Going into the WCC tournament, we want to show everyone that we can compete with and even beat the top-tier tennis schools like USD, St. Mary's and Pepperdine. The ultimate goal is always to make the NCAA tournament, and even if it doesn't happen this year, it will only make us more hungry and determined to get there next year.
SCU: When you aren't playing tennis, what do you like to do in your free time?
KL: Outside of tennis, I like spending time with my friends and family, baking and working out.
SCU: How was being on the Zappos.com Shoe Drive committee this year? How did SCU do in the competition?
KL: Being part of the shoe drive committee was just about giving back for me. This school and my athletic experience give me so much and I felt like this was a small way to pay some of that back. SCU collected over 1,500 pairs of shoes this year, almost triple the number the previous year. We placed fourth in the competition.
The Broncos will be in San Diego April 21-23 for the WCC Tournament – tournament match ups will be announced Tuesday, April 19.