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Short-handed Women’s tennis wraps up season on high note

Stephan Starnes

CRC sophomore Taylor Osborne won both matches against Fresno City on March 19.

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As another spring semester comes to an end, so does another Hawks’ women’s tennis season.

Although this season saw the Hawks make it to the state tournament for only the second time in school history, it didn’t come without some hurdles.

Injuries at the beginning of the season drastically altered the way the Hawks would have to play for the rest of the season.

“In the beginning of the season, we were kind of worried about even having a season with just four girls,” said women’s head coach Suzanne Stebbins. “You immediately have to forfeit five and six doubles and three singles.”
This meant that every single time the Hawks played, they were down. Essentially, the opponent only had to win two matches, where as the Hawks needed to win five to claim victory.

“That stunk every single match knowing you were down,” Stebbins said. “That was tough.”

With a shrunken down roster, Stebbins and her four players set out for a specific goal. They decided to focus on individual play instead of doubles. It was a good decision.

All four players qualified for state and the Northern California tournament. At the Ojai State Tournament, the doubles team lost in the quarterfinals, sophomores Taylor Osborne and Cassie Gomez lost their singles matches in the second round and freshman Liana Seisa and Angela Guerra lost their singles matches in the first round of the primarily southern dominated tournament.

Despite not advancing deep into the tournament, having the whole team qualify was a success in its own.

[singlepic id=254 w=320 h=240 float=left]“The high [point of the season] was definitely all four of us making it to state,” Osborne said.

Although the season has come to an end, that does not mean the work for the players and coaches is done.

The players will be conditioning all summer, playing in various tournaments and taking the tennis class in the fall to get ready for next season.

Stebbins has the task of recruiting like crazy in an attempt to fill a full roster next season. In addition to the women, in an odd turn of events, Stebbins has been called upon to coach the men’s team as well next season, meaning she has to recruit for the men’s team also.

“One real positive is Luis Lopez assisted me all year and Brandon Ellis is going to be my paid assistant next year for both teams,” Stebbins said. “We’ll have one fall class, one spring class and I’ll be coaching both teams.”

Even though Stebbins said her “heart pounded in her chest” at the thought of coaching both teams, she’s more than ready for the upcoming challenge.

“I’ve been coaching for a long time,” Stebbins said.

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Short-handed Women’s tennis wraps up season on high note