A 4-foot-10 southpaw from San Francisco’s Galileo High, Truong defeated Emma Isberg, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, at #3-singles to give San Jose State (19-5) its first conference championship in its 35-year history of women’s tennis and the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
SPARTANS WIN WHEN IT COUNTS
San Jose State’s win avenged a 4-3 regular-season loss to Denver (18-4), ranked #52 nationally in the April 23 Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. The Spartans were ranked #66 heading into the WAC Championship.
The only senior on the newly-crowned WAC champions also teamed with Julianna Bacelar at #3-doubles for an 8-5 win over Denver’s Caroline Schnell and Kathryn Hughes. Their victory gave San Jose State a 2-1 win in doubles play and the first team-point in the seven-point team-scoring format.
Klaudia Boczova, the 2013 WAC Player of the Year and ranked 53 nationally in singles, at #1 and Erica Medlin at #4 singles posted straight-set triumphs to give San Jose State a 3-2 lead in the team scoring. Schnell tied the match, 3-3, with a win at #2-singles over Sabastiani Leon Chao, 6-4, 6-2.
TRUONG HAD A FEELING & HAD THE FEELING
The championship came down to Truong and Denver’s Emma Isberg, who defeated Truong, 6-4, 6-3, in the regular season on April 6.
“This is #1 for sure,” said Truong about her biggest San Jose State win. She survived match and championship point in the second-set tiebreaker at 6-5. “I had the feeling I could be one of the last to play. The pressure was very positive to me. I loved the pressure.”
Though Isberg broke Truong’s service to start the deciding set, Truong broke back three times for the set win in the only three-set singles match in the WAC Championship final.
“In the third set, I was calm and collected. I tried to preserve my energy throughout the match. I wasn’t nervous at all in the third set,” Truong said about her 128th San Jose State career tennis victory. “I went for all of (her plays and returns). I didn’t do that in the first match. I did that today and I was able to control the match. I didn’t want to give up.”
"A TEAM EFFORT" ACCORDING TO COACH MALROUX
“She’s so tiny, but so strong,” said second-year San Jose State women’s tennis coach Sylvain Malroux about Truong. “Upsetting the #53-team in the country shows how we have come in two years.
“We were disappointed we lost to Denver in the regular season. We talked a lot about it coming down to a last match. This is a really sweet victory for this group and all of us. Everybody worked so hard.
“It was a team victory. Klaudia has been cruising at #1 (singles). Erica (Medlin) was so fired up today. She did an amazing job. It was great to see her win against the Denver player that beat her earlier. Jess (Willett) and Julianna (Bacelar) contributed as well (in doubles).”
San Jose State will find out Tuesday, April 29, where it will play its first NCAA Tournament match on either May 10 or 11.
2013 Western Athletic Conference Women’s Tennis Championship
Final Score: #2-seed San Jose State 4, #1-seed Denver 3
|#1 Isabelle Jonsson/Alena Shichkova (DU) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao/Erica Medlin (SJSU), 8-4|
|#2 Klaudia Boczova/Jessica Willett (SJSU) def. Daniela Garcia-Diaz/Jacobea Junger (DU), 8-5|
|#3 Chau Truong/Julianna Bacelar (SJSU) def. Caroline Schnell/Kathryn Hughes (DU), 8-5|
|order of finish: (1, 2, 3)|
|#1 Klaudia Boczova (SJSU) def. Sophia Bergner (DU), 6-3, 6-2|
|#2 Caroline Schnell (DU) def. Sabastiani Leon Chao (SJSU), 6-4, 6-2|
|#3 Chau Truong (SJSU) def. Emma Isberg (DU), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker), 6-2|
|#4 Erica Medlin (SJSU) def. Mary van den Eerenbeemt (DU) , 6-3, 6-3|
|#5 Kathryn Hughes (DU) def. Julianna Bacelar (SJSU), 6-2, 6-4|
|#6 Steffi Rath (DU) def. Jessica Willett (SJSU), 6-0, 6-2|
|order of finish: (6, 1, 5, 4, 2, 3)|
San Jose State – 19-5
Denver – 18-4