Ranked No. 1 in Southern California this year, Palomar’s women tennis team went undefeated throughout the regular season with a record of 18-0, 10-0 in conference.
They won the 2012 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) championship on April 21 at Grossmont.
Tuesday May 1, was a grey day for the No. 1 comets tennis team as they lost 5-4 to No. 2 venture college. for the
“There are dual playoffs for the Northern California teams and Southern California teams,” said Assistant Tennis Coach Thomas Yancey, a former Palomar tennis player. “The winner of the South plays the winner of the North at the State Tournament, and this year it’s in San Diego.”
Mardee Littrel, 20, won the PCAC singles championship and was named Player of the Year. Littrel and her doubles partner, Hillary Ramage, a freshman from La Costa Canyon, won the PCAC doubles championship. Littrel is a communication marketing major, and said she would like to be a representative of Adidas or Nike. But for now she is looking for a scholarship to a four-year school close to home, she said.
“The women this year are very talented, a lot of them have player outside tournaments so they have the experience. They have been working and training hard.” said Head Coach Ronnie Mancao. “The women decided early on in the year to do damage, also they all get along and no one bickers at each other.”
The closest match for Palomar was against Riverside City College on Feb. 10. It was only the second match of the year and the team came out on top, 5-4. For the rest of the season, the women crushed their opponents.
“It was a really good test early on to see how we were compared to a lot of the teams,” Yancey said.
For Tori Bohart, a 19-year-old sophomore, the toughest match was against Cypress, when the team won 7-2. She described her match as a two-seater in a third set tie-break match, and she was the last match on the court.
“The tie-break was 10-8 in the final round, so I won it by a mini break,” Bohart said. “The level of play was a little bit higher, I was the last match on so everyone was watching and cheering, I was like, ‘Oh gosh.’ Since I’m undefeated and it’s so close and everyone is watching, I can’t lose.”
Bohart went undefeated in her single matches and lost once in the dual matches. She played this season on the No. 3 doubles team.
“She has improved tremendously from last year, as she is winning her matches,” Yancey said. “She has been able to take care of herself and really pull together and be a very big asset to the team.”
COMPARISON TO LAST SEASON
The expectation for the teams are always to win the PCAC conference and the program has been victorious, as their statistics show. But for this season the most noticeable improvement is that there are better players at the bottom of the line-up, according to the coach.
“There is much more depth on both of the teams, the ability has greatly increased. They are much more team-oriented and they take care each other. I’ve had teams in the past where everyone was out for themselves,” Yancey said. “As a coach, you want to be able win at the bottom of your line-up and your No. 3 in doubles, and other wins you can get outside of that it’s just icing on the cake.”
No. 2 player Leisel Galleisky had a hip injury, forcing her to sit out for four weeks.
“It affects the team, but we had the players move up in the line-up,” Yancey said. “Some players that played in the middle line-up played as high as No. 1. The seven and eight players would move into the starting line-up and won the majority of the matches.”
The first step for the new player, as they come in, they are introduced to Steve White the academic counselor and then they make an educational plan. Coach Yancey has already began to search for new talent for the men’s and women’s tennis teams.
“I’ve already talked to a handful of players that might be coming next year,” Yancey said. “San Diego is tough because there are so many good players. A lot of them transfer out right away. Sometimes we have to search for players that I may not normally see in the newspaper. That’s the tough part of the job,” Yancey said.