Team depth aids SMC in record-breaking day at Western Conference Championships
With the playoffs in full bloom, women's tennis had the opportunity last weekend to showcase their talent on an individual platform at the Western State Conference Championships. That dominant performance resulted in SMC advancing the most tennis players in school history to the Southern California Regional Championships. An impressive five of Santa Monica's eight WSC entrants are headed to the next round of individual's competition, and head coach Richard Goldenson isn't surprised in the least.
"Any one of our top six players would play number one on any other team in our conference and on any team in the state," said Goldenson. "The conference results prove this."
Just as the Corsairs steamrolled opponents in conference play this season, they wasted no time demolishing their opposition in the Western Conference Championships.
SMC faced little resistance in the preliminary rounds of the individual's tournament, as Santa Monica seized victory in all but one of their first eight matches. That positive momentum was sustained throughout the second and third rounds, as the Corsairs continued to handle their WSC opponents.
When the dust settled and the fourth round of individuals was finally complete, four of the Corsairs' contingent were left standing. SMC's Anastasia Eliseeva, Tiana Lauritzen, Gwen Kauffman, and Jutta Collet appropriately finished off their final opponents in straight-set fashion and are thus headed to the next round of individual competition known as the Regional Championships.
Doubles competition was more of the same for Santa Monica, as the combination of Eliseeva/Lauritzen and Collet/Kimberly Penez breezed through the tournament without dropping a set.
"Without a doubt this is the most talented team I've ever coached," said Goldenson. "I've said all season, if everyone tries their hardest and plays their best, anything is possible."
Despite the Corsairs' stellar performances at individuals, Coach Goldenson expects the team to keep their eye on the prize.
"I expect everyone to go very far in the individual events, but the team playoffs are the main event," he said. "Because it's the team results that will be in their heart and memories when they look back 20 years from now.