SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a thrilling 4-3 victory over the University of San Francisco on Tuesday, the No. 64 Santa Clara women's tennis team takes a break from West Coast Conference competition to host UC Davis on Sat., March 1 at 1 p.m. and UC Santa Barbara on Sun., March 2 at 12 p.m.
Santa Clara improves to 4-3 overall for the dual season after its first 2014 home match. The Broncos are 2-1 at neutral sites and 1-2 on the road. The team is looking to extend its fresh two-match winning streak at home this weekend. The match against UC Davis on Sat. is the beginning of a four-match nonconference stretch before the Broncos delve back into WCC play on March 15.
"Taking the doubles point has been a key point for us in recent matches," said sophomore Delphine Rouvillois. "By focusing on doubles at the start of the match, the positive momentum and confidence from that carries over into our singles matches."
The doubles teams have proved successful so far in the dual season for the Broncos. Santa Clara has captured the doubles point three times in its last four matches. Playing at the No. 1 position, partners Daniella Silva and Katie Le are 11-7 overall. Chelby Cooke and Delphine Rouvillois at No. 2 and Stephanie Skaras and Nicolette Wolny at No. 3 are all coming off of commanding wins over the USF duos.
On the singles side, Rouvillois is riding high on a four-match winning streak. The Grenoble, France native has been the deciding factor in both wins over Cal Poly and USF. Her dual singles record stands at 5-2.
Against Cal Poly on Feb. 16, Rouvillois dropped the first set to Kathryn Webb, 4-6. The Bronco battled back to take the second, 6-3, and forced the match into a third set. In the end, Rouvillois proved to be too much for Webb and took the third set, 6-4, capturing the win for Santa Clara. The first WCC verdict also came down to the finesse of the sophomore on court three. Rouvillois delivered with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Sofia Holmberg of the Dons, tallying another win for Santa Clara.
When asked about her recent success, the sophomore turns the focus onto the team. "It's all about thinking about winning one point for the team," Rouvillois said. "Playing for my teammates is so much easier than focusing on the personal result. I'm happy and excited to see that the team's hard work is paying off."
In addition, Bronco senior Katie Le moved up three spots in the ITA singles ranking to No. 25. Le sits at No. 8 in the Northwest regional rankings as well. She is 4-1 in duals with two additional individual matches going unfinished and playing consistently in the No. 1 spot in both singles and doubles. She posts a 15-4 overall singles record and was named to the 2014 All-WCC Preseason Team on Jan. 28 along with five other women.
Santa Clara will be UC Davis's fourth dual against a ranked opponent this season. The Aggies currently hold a 4-5 dual record with a recent 4-3 victory over Sacramento State on Feb. 23. On Feb. 22, Davis fell to the University of San Francisco, 4-3.
Starting at Santa Clara, the Aggies are on the road for the next two out of three matches before beginning a six-match homestand.
Individually, UC Davis senior Megan Heneghan secured Big West Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week honors as announced on Feb. 19 after knocking off a pair of conference foes in singles and helping her team to a split in league competition. Wednesday's announcement is the third occasion that Heneghan captured the league's weekly award.
Last Year against the Aggies
On Feb. 4, 2013, Santa Clara topped UC Davis on the road by a score of 4-3. The Broncos captured the doubles point with a tiebreaker win from partners Skaras and Rouvillois on court three and an 8-2 victory from Le and Jessica Agra at the No. 1 spot.
Kelly Lamble defeated Lauren Curry 6-2, 6-4 in a quick two set match. Skaras continued her winning streak of the day with a tough two set match victory over Melissa Kobayakawa in a tiebreaker in the second set 6-1, 7-6(5).
Then-No. 26 Le was the last one off the courts, playing a tough three-set match against Megan Heneghan. Neither player gave up a break in the third set until Heneghan in the final game. Le hit a cross-court to force Heneghan deep to her forehand side, and Heneghan's shot drifted wide. The match ended in Le's favor by a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos face off against San Jose State on Sat., March 1 before heading over the Degheri Tennis Center on Sunday.
Santa Barbara posts a 2-7 overall dual record and is 0-4 in conference play. The two wins come from a successful 4-3 contest over WCC opponent Loyola Marymount and a 4-3 win against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 23.
Game Notes –
March 1, 2014
UC Davis vs. #64 Santa Clara in Santa Clara, Calif. @ 1:00 p.m. (Degheri Tennis Center)
March 2, 2014
UC Santa Barbara vs. #64 Santa Clara in Santa Clara, Calif. @ 12:00 p.m. (Degheri Tennis Center)