The San Jose State women’s tennis team will head to the University of Hawai’i as the number eight seed in the 2009 WAC Championship tournament. Spartans will take on Louisiana Tech in their first match at the UH Tennis Complex at 9:00 a.m. local time on April 23. Less than a week ago San Jose State was a 7-0 victor over the Lady Techsters in a dual-match in Logan, Utah.
We got together with head-coach Anh-Dao Nguyen-Church and a couple of members of her squad to get their perspectives about the upcoming WAC Championship tournament.
17th season at San Jose State
What kind of experience can your players expect to get from this tournament that they may not get from any other tournament?
It’s going to be a real team atmosphere with a very quick pace. When a team reaches four wins in a match the officials will rule the match over. So quickness will be a factor for our team in this tournament, which is usually not the case.
Does the intensity rise because the tournament hosts all of the teams in your league as opposed to a non-conference tournament?
The intensity defiantly rises because everybody is competing for a win as a team and the ability to advance. In a fall tournament or seasonal round robin tournament, competition tends towards individual success. I always believe when your team’s spot is on the line the intensity level is much higher.
What experiences or values do you expect to get from playing in the tournament this year?
It means a lot to me to be a leader for this team, and I really want to be in the number one singles position to serve as the captain of the one last time.
What will you miss about playing tennis at San Jose State, and playing with this year’s team?
Our teams have always worked hard together and bonded really well. The friendship between the girls on this year’s team is very strong, and we all want to work hard for each other as a team. Every member of the team respects one another and that alone is something that I’ll miss.
As you currently hold 99 total wins in your career as a Spartan, does the opportunity during the tournament to get your 100th win have any personal value to you?
It really means a lot to me because of all the time that I’ve spent playing tennis here at San Jose State. I’ll be working hard during the tournament to get that win for our team and as a personal goal.
What are your expectations going into the WAC Championship tournament?
I expect the level of competition to be extremely high from the beginning, and continuing into the later rounds if we are successful.
Do you feel a higher level of motivation going into this tournament compared to other that the team has played in throughout the year?
There is defiantly more motivation to win and positively represent our school in this tournament. Our team has a lot of pride, and we are defiantly working a little bit harder in hopes for success at this tournament.
What are your thoughts on the last tournament of the year being in Hawai’i?
We’ve been to freezing cold places over the course of this season, and the idea of being in Hawai’i sounds great. This will be my first trip to the islands, and I’m happy that I get to be there with my closest friends.