SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara women's tennis team wrapped up the fall season at the San Jose Spartan Invitational on Nov. 10. The Bronco's spring season will open with the ITA Kick Off on Jan. 24-26, 2014 in Berkeley, Calif. They will host San Francisco as their first home game in the Degheri Tennis Center on Feb. 2, 2014.
"With a lot of new faces, the Fall season was very successful," said Bronco head coach Ben Cabell. "We are taking our new talent and have created some new doubles teams. Going into Spring, we are excited to see how these teams will do in the dual match season."
Coming off of the program's first WCC regular season title, high hopes have been set for the women's tennis team in 2014. As they welcomed freshman Daniella Silva and senior Elaine Chesoni to the squad, the Broncos were able to compete in five tournaments between the months of September and November in order to better prepare for the dual season beginning in January.
In the first tournament, the Broncos were able to see the strength of their new Canadian player. Silva took down three competitors to reach the final match of the consolation draw of the Cal Nike Invite where she battled West Coast Conference opponent Jade Frampton from Saint Mary's to a third-set tiebreaker. Overall the freshman posted a 4-8 singles record during preseason.
"I enjoyed competing this fall because I was able to get a good feel of how college tennis differs from junior tennis," said Silva. "Definitely a high point this preseason was winning the doubles with Katie at Saint Mary's."
At the Saint Mary's Invite, Silva claimed the championship of the top doubles draw with Bronco partner Katie Le off of an 8-0 win over Aishwarya Agrawal and Claire Yang of Fresno State. Together, Silva and Le posted a 7-4 doubles record for Fall. At the same tournament, Le won five matches in a row to capture the championship of the top singles draw over Caroline Doyle of Stanford by a score of 6-4, 7-6(3).
In September, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) ranked Le at No. 20 in the 2013-preseason rankings. It is the highest preseason ranking for a Bronco in school history. During the fall season, the Milpitas, Calif. native posted an 11-3 singles record.
"I had a solid fall season and played really well," said Le. "I ended up getting tough draws in the big tournaments and had to play some really good players, but I was happy with my performance overall. Winning the Saint Mary's tournament for both singles and doubles gave me a lot of confidence."
For the third consecutive year due to Le's high rankings, she was chosen to compete in the 2013 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. on Oct. 1. As the No. 2 seed in the qualifying draw, Le established a strong start to this prestigious tournament by defeating Stephanie Nauta of Virginia, 6-2, 6-3, in the first round. Later that afternoon, Le faced Chanelle Van Nguyen of UCLA in the second round of qualifiers and could not edge her to advance, falling 6-1, 6-1.
"Fall was challenging but our team learned a lot, especially myself," said senior Stephanie Skaras. "Our freshman Daniella did very well. She will have some valuable experience for the spring, especially after our last tournament we played at San Jose. Personally, this Fall I really focused on getting my fitness up and finishing my points. In the beginning of the season, I was setting up my points well during the match but had trouble finishing. Now I am confident looking forward to competing with the team in Spring and winning some solid matches to hopefully make the NCAA Tournament."
"I'm looking forward to our schedule for the regular season and seeing the team come together and compete as a unit," said Le.