There was plenty of individual and team success for the women’s tennis team in the 2014-15 season.
The team finished with a 13-7 overall record and a 7-4 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record. The Leopards finished in third place in the conference.
“I am looking forward to more improvement and seeing the girls get stronger with each match,” head coach Yolanda Duron said.
Seniors Andrea Madrigal and Laina Matsuda both took home Intercollegiate Tennis Association awards at the end of the year.
Matsuda won the award for Most Improved Player and Madrigal won the West Region Senior Player of the Year. Madrigal had an overall singles record of 14-3 and is currently the No. 2 player in the West Region.
She also earned a bid to compete in the 2015 NCAA Division III Tennis Championships in Mason, Ohio.
Matsuda finished 17-2 in singles play. The team of Etchegaray and Matsuda is ranked No. 3 in the West Region and received a bid to compete in the NCAA Championships.
“We had an amazing season and although we had a couple losses, I think they made us work harder as a team and support one another,” Etchegaray said.
Even though La Verne could not replicate its feat of reaching the National Championships from last year, the team still enjoyed success at the SCIAC Championships.
The Leopards went into the tournament ranked 23rd nationally, but were able to place fourth in the tournament.
After beating Cal Lutheran 5-1, La Verne lost to Pomona-Pitzer, 9-0, and Redlands, 5-4.
“Even though we had to overcome some challenging obstacles individually and as a team, everyone was able to give their best performance every day,” sophomore Areli Martinez said.
La Verne started the season on a five-game winning streak, beating conference opponents Occidental and Cal Lutheran.
“Individually (the best game) would be when we played Pomona-Pitzer the first time and I beat Shivani Doriswami because that helped my ranking the most,” Matsuda said.
Heading into next season, the team has things to improve on both individually and as a team.
“I feel we could always be doing more footwork and cardio no matter how in shape we are and mentally if we gain a little more confidence we could beat any of the teams that we lost to this season,” Etchegaray said.
La Verne will gain four players heading into next season and only lose Matsuda.
“I’m going to miss the camaraderie because I think we have the strongest bond out of all the teams,” Matsuda said.
Chris McMahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.