Tomicich Braves Opponents On and Off Court

Jae Yoo

When two men recently broke into her car and ran off with a stolen radio, the owner, a 20-year-old GCC sophomore, ran out of her house and chased them down, despite the fact that she was in slippers and her mother screamed at her to come back.

She caught up with them and got her radio back.

Under normal circumstances, the two men would probably have successfully stolen the radio, but not on this rainy afternoon. The radio belonged to Karoline Tomicich, the number-one singles and doubles player on the GCC’s women’s tennis team (4-3 in Western State Conference) – and she doesn’t give in easily to opponents, on or off the court.

Tomicich, a number-two singles player two years ago, who took a leave from the team last spring to concentrate on her studies, has made her presence known again.

Her actions on that rainy day were a surprise to her coach, Terry Coblentz, who said the tennis ace goes about her business “in a quiet, unassuming way.”

“She has turned out to be a nice team leader,” said Coblentz. “She makes suggestions, and the team appreciates.and listens to them.”

After grabbing the varsity team MVP for all four years at John Marshall High and earning All-American Honors as a freshman, Tomicich is ready to take what seems to be rightfully hers, a state ranking in doubles. Two years ago, she ranked fourth in the state in doubles with her former partner and star player Rani Setiawati. This spring, she looks to repeat the same success with her new partner, Jennifer Wooldridge.

“We definitely want to play our best” said Tomicich, who holds a 5-2 doubles record as of Thursday’s WSC match against Santa Barbara. “My coach would say `It’s okay if we get beat, as long as we don’t beat ourselves.'”

A high school varsity track and field MVP and pole-vault record holder, Tomicich only started playing tennis at age 11. She saw her neighbor playing tennis against her garage door, and “got jealous,” she said. After begging her father, Anthony, for three weeks, she was on the local street hitting tennis balls with the “cheapest set of rackets [her] dad could find.”

She says her dad is her role model, “because he taught me how to play and.guided me in the right direction. Now that I look back, I’m really grateful.”

Tomicich’s leave of absence from tennis last spring has paid off with a GPA of 3.12. An aspiring Bruin, she hopes to transfer to UCLA as a business major, and continue playing tennis there if she qualifies. If she doesn’t attend UCLA, she may have options to make the tennis squad at a lower-division university.