Malibu, CA - The Saint Mary's women's tennis team finished the WCC Championship Tournament with a second place finish. The Gaels entered the WCC tourney with a seed of No. 2. Pepperdine entered with a seed of No. 1. The two teams met in the championship game today. The No. 2 Gaels fell to the No. 1 Waves by a score of 4-0, though the match was much closer that the final score would have indicated. The Gaels finish second in conference, their best conference finish in program history.
Saint Mary's entered the match with a No. 60 national ranking. Pepperdine came in to the match ranked No. 19.
The match got underway with doubles competitions. Aude Lambert and Jessica Hoath faced off against Sylvia Kosakowski and Bianca Delgheru and dropped the match 8-1. Kosakowski and Delgheru entered the match as the No. 35 ranked doubled team in the nation. Marah Calvo and Stef Ordoveza won their match 8-6. The third and final doubles match was a gem. Femke Strijbis and Nienke Strijbis were involved in a very close match. They eventually fell by a score of 9-8 (10-8).
The Waves defeated the Gaels in three singles matches to earn the 4-0 victory. Calvo fell to Caroline Raba 6-0, 6-4. Eva Dickes defeated Erin Young 6-2, 6-2. Anete Bandere defeated Stef Ordoveza by a score of 6-1, 6-4.
Although the final score was 4-0 in favor of the Waves, the match was much closer. Lambert was ahead in her match against Delgheru, who has a national ranking No. 57. Lambert had won the first set 7-5. Hoath was leading against No. 45 Kosakowski. She won the first set 6-3 and was leading in the second set 5-4. Femke had won the first set 6-4 against No. 106 Katia Sabate and was in the middle of the second set when the mach was called.
The match was touted by Pepperdine's coach as the closest WCC Final they have played in years. The Gaels 2nd place finish was the highest in program history.
Post Season Highlights
an Bruno, CA - The West Coast Conference announced its conference honors for women's tennis earlier today. Saint Mary's made quite an impact as they received eight honors. Among the highlights, Head Coach Lisa Alipaz was named WCC Coach of the Year while Aude Lambert earned her third straight First Team honor.
Lisa Alipaz coached the Gaels to a 17-4 overall record, the best in program history. Her team finished second in the conference, another best for the women's tennis program. This marks the second time that Alipaz has been named coach of the year. She took home the award after the 2005 season as well.
"We had a great year as a team" said Alipaz of her team's eight honors. "I am very happy for the team as a whole. This team showed unity, drive and compassion. I believe that our success as individuals stems from us being so close as a team. This is the most fun I have had as a coach."
Senior Aude Lambert earned her third straight All-WCC First Team spot and her fourth straight all-conference honor. Lambert finished 14-4 from the No. 1 singles spot. She was named the WCC Player of the Month earlier this season.
Marah Calvo, Jessica Hoath and Femke Strijbis were all named to the All-WCC Second Team. Calvo finished the season with an 18-2 record. At one point this season she boasted a 15 match winning streak. Strijbis, just a freshman, finished the season with a 12-6 record en route to earning conference honors. One of her biggest wins this season was her first collegiate match when she topped the No. 14 ranked player in the country.
Hoath earned her second straight conference accolade after posting an 11-5 record from the No. 2 spot.
Nienke Strijbis was named to the Honorable Mention Team.
Aude Lambert and Jessica Hoath earned their third straight all conference doubles accolade today as they were named to the All-WCC Doubles First Team for the second time. The two boasted an 8-6 record with six conference wins. Their biggest win of the season came when the two defeated the No. 19 ranked doubles team in the nation.
Femke Strijbis and Nienke Strijbis were named to the All-WCC Second Doubles Team. The twin sisters won their first eight straight collegiate doubles matches to start the season. They were named the WCC Doubles Team of the Month earlier this season and spent time as a nationally ranked pair.
Wrapping up the evening was the recognition of the Coach of the Year, which went to women's tennis coach Lisa Alipaz. Alipaz led her team to its most successful season in school history, finishing with a 17-4 record. She was also named the WCC Coach of the Year in 2005 & 2007 and had five players receive All-WCC recognition.