SANTA CLARA, Calif.—After coming up just shy to San Jose State Saturday, the Santa Clara women's tennis team wrapped up the weekend by falling in another nailbitter in a 4-3 loss to No. 56 Fresno State. Despite an unfavorable team outcome, newcomer Chelby Cooke battled to victory through a three-set tiebreaker to tally her first official collegiate win.
"I had a back surgery in the summer, and so I started playing in January with the team," said Cooke. "I'm glad I played as hard as I did and closed in the end of my first official dual as a college player. I was pretty disappointed in myself because I had a lead in the third set, but I knew that I really needed to pull out a win whether it would have won the whole match for the team or not. Every match counts."
The Bakersfield, Calif. native won the first set against the Bulldog's Anne Susdorf 6-4 before dropping the second 1-6. The third set went to 7-6 where Cooke seized the tiebreaker 9-7. She was the last player off the courts.
"I learned that the match isn't over whether you are up 4-1 or you are down 0-5 in the third set. There's always room for the other person or you to come back," said the freshman. "You can't get too comfortable and you just have to finish when you can and keep fighting."
The second singles victory for the Broncos came from No. 26 Katie Le. The Milpitas, Calif. native was in full force against Aishwarya Agrawal and swept the match in two sets 6-1, 6-4. Despite winning the doubles point early in the day, Santa Clara (2-2) could not keep the momentum in the singles matches.
The Broncos won the doubles point behind the wins of double's teams Le and Jessica Agra and Stephanie Skaras and Delphine Rouvillois. Le and Agra did not drop one game and defeated Argrawal and Bianca Modoc 8-0. In addition, Skaras and Rouvillois improve to 4-0 in the regular season with another win against Olga Kirpicheva and Sophie Watts by a score of 9-7.
"We fought really hard against a good team, but we came up a little short again. Fresno is really good—they just beat Pepperdine who won our conference last year—and we almost beat them," said Bronco head coach Ben Cabell. "We will figure out how we are going to win these matches. It's just a matter of time. We need to focus on preparing for what we want to accomplish in the two matches we have in Arizona next weekend. In practice this week, we will solidify our line up and move a few key players around."
Next weekend the Broncos travel to Arizona to play No. 28 University of Arizona and No. 33 Arizona State.
1) No. 26 Katie Le (SCU) def. Aishwarya Agrawal (FS) 6-1, 6-4
2) Rana Sherif Ahmed (FS) def. Kelly Lamble (SCU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
3) Melissa McQueen (FS) def. Stephanie Skaras (SCU) 6-2, 6-1
4) Olga Kirpicheva (FS) def. Delphine Rouvillois (SCU) 6-3, 6-4
5) Bianca Modoc (FS) def. Maggie McGeorge (SCU) 6-2, 6-2
6) Chelby Cooke (SCU) def. Anne Susdorf (FS) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(9-7)
1) Katie Le/Jessica Agra (SCU) def. Aishwarya Agrawal/Bianca Modoc (FS) 8-0
2) Melissa McQueen/Rana Sherif Ahmed (FS) def. Maggie McGeorge/Kelly Lamble (SCU) 8-4
3) Stephanie Skaras/Delphine Rouvillois (SCU) def. Olga Kirpicheva/Sophie Watts (FS) 9-7