A breakthrough year for SMC women's tennis

 It was the perfect mix. A sublime combination of talent and coaching that gave SMC women's tennis a year to remember.

No one could forget a year laden with both team and individual accomplishments, as the Western State Conference champion Lady Corsairs racked up countless accolades to finish up the season.

The awards included the Western State Conference Coach of the Year for head coach Richard Goldenson, the International Tennis Association's Rookie of the Year for freshman Tiana Lauritzen, and the Western State Conference Player of the Year for sophomore Anastasia Eliseeva.

In a campaign filled with such record-breaking performances and reached heights never previously seen by Santa Monica College, the 2010 season had even Coach Goldenson taken aback.

"This year was amazing," said Goldenson. "I've never had a team that had such a dedicated work ethic in practice and in matches."

That type of dedication led to the Lady Corsairs burgeoning level of success, highlighted by the impressive doubles run by Eliseeva and Lauritzen that culminated at the State Championships.

"Playing in the State semi-finals, we had a tough match," said Eliseeva. "But we played through and won, and I was really happy to make it to the finals."

A winning attitude was installed early for Eliseeva and Lauritzen, as they rolled through opposition all season long. That type of success can be largely attributed to the duo's immense level of chemistry on the court.

"We just clicked," said Eliseeva. "We clicked on the court and during the match. Whatever I'm missing she had and whatever she's missing I had; it was the perfect combination."

That kind of camaraderie was evident throughout the entire team, as they all persevered through the language and cultural barriers to come together as one cohesive unit.

"We all came from different countries and spoke different languages," said Eliseeva. "So we had our problems, but all came together as a family."

Despite the anguish of having to break-up such a tight-knit group at year's end, the Lady Corsairs head into the 2011 season armed with talent-loaded roster as they look to burrow even further into SMC tennis lore.