Women’s Tennis Team Gets Its Day in Court

JASON CASTRO
El Vaquero Sports Editor

The court is always full of smiles when the women’s tennis squad practices. Unity was strong throughout the season and it provided a fun atmosphere for the tennis team.

“We had good chemistry all year,” said Debbie Martin, GCC’s top singles player. “Everybody hangs out together and we had a lot of fun.”

All fun aside, this team kept its competitive spirits all year long. The Vaqueros finished the season with a 6-8 overall record and 4-7 in the Western Southern Conference.

Glendale played in a tough and experienced division that included Ventura, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield and Allan Hancock. The Vaqueros stayed competitive in most of their matches, showing their will and heart throughout.

The 2006 tennis season started with a combination of veteran sophomores and some experienced freshmen.

Debbie Martin, returned to the courts after a year’s absence and Anna Alicia Araujo, last year’s top singles player returned for her second season.

“Debbie and Alicia did a great job of opening their arms to the freshmen class,” said Coach Terry Coblentz.

The season started slowly with some tough losses to Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, but they redeemed themselves with victories over Santa Monica and Allan Hancock.

Glendale finished the regular season on a winning note after beating Allan Hancock 5-4 on April 18. Martin, Araujo, Ofelia Abrahamyan and Maria Bagaforo all had wins in singles. The doubles team had winners in Jennifer Chung and Abrahamyan, which clinched the victory with an 8-6 in the last match of the day.

Some of the highlights of the season included Martin advancing to the round of 32 at the Ojai Invitational, which is an invitational for Northern California Colleges as well as Southern California Colleges. She and her partner Araujo advanced to round 16 in doubles.

Martin and Araujo also represented the Vaqueros at the Southern California Regionals in singles and doubles May 4-6 in San Diego. Martin advanced to the second round in singles before losing and the doubles team of Martin and Araujo fell in the first round to end their season.

“It was a successful season everybody played well,” said Martina Vassileva, “It was all about heart.”

“Best season yet,” said Araujo.

“The season was great, couple of bumps,” said Coach Coblentz, “But I’m really proud of how hard they competed.”

Martin, with her extensive tennis background has been playing for more than over 12 years. She started in third grade and never looked back.

“Tennis is just one of those sports where you can get away,” said Martin. “You just focus on the game your playing.”

Coach Coblentz described tennis being physically and mentally tough. “It ‘s like a chess match,” said Coach Coblentz, “Its an intellectual game.”

“The strongest doesn’t win, it’s the smartest one that does,” said Coblentz.

Being the longest running women’s program on campus and with experienced Coach Coblentz leading the way, GCC’s women’s tennis team has a bright future.