Posted: Apr 18, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara women's tennis enters the last weekend of the regular season sitting in the final spot, in sixth place, to qualify for the West Coast Conference tournament.
"Basically, Pacific has two matches left just like us and we are ahead of them by one game right now. We need to match them to stay ahead. If they win one match, and we lose, we are out of the tournament," said Broncos head coach Ben Cabell, whose team lost the head-to-head match to Pacific last week.
The Broncos (8-10, 3-4 WCC) play two of the top four conference teams this week when it hosts LMU (13-5, 5-2 WCC) on Friday and conference leading Pepperdine (18-1, 7-0 WCC), who are ranked No.10 in the nation, on Saturday
Pacific (6-11, 2-5 WCC) plays a pair of road matches, against fifth place BYU on Friday and eighth place San Diego on Sunday.
Besides having the conference tournament berth on the line this weekend, Santa Clara will recognize its two seniors, Zeina El Tawil and Giannina Ong, prior to Saturday's match.
"Both Zeina and Giannina have been really important contributors in different ways to the program," said Cabell.
"The thing that stands out for Zeina is how much she's improved over four years. She started off playing at the five and six positions and now she's worked her way up playing two and three. She has the best record of her career this year. We always love to see our players improve while they're at Santa Clara. Zeina's always had a great attitude and she's worked hard so we're going to miss her, not just of her wins but also because she's been a great teammate.
"Giannina was a walk-on who asked us if she could try out for the team. She's worked hard and improved so much that we've had her in the lineup. To be honest, we weren't expecting her to crack the lineup but she's earned it. We've asked her to be in a tough role which is being either in or out of the matches and not knowing from week to week but Giannina's done a nice job being ready to go and be available. Like Zeina, she's improved a ton beating scholarship players from other programs. I'm proud of her and she's got a really good fight on the court and the team responds to that," said Cabell.
The senior day ceremony will take place on Saturday just prior to the first serve at Noon PT. But before that, the Broncos will play LMU on Friday at 11 a.m. PT.