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post #1351 of 1552 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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Re: Pac 12

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Good read - thx for sharing!

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post #1352 of 1552 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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Re: Pac 12

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Good read - thx for sharing!
Santamaria soaks in experience, takes silver at World University Games

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Steve Kelley, USA Team Columnist
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Last Updated - July 17, 2013 11:47 GMT
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KAZAN, Russia — Standing in the hot summer sun behind the bleachers at Kazan’s Tennis Academy the overwhelming personal importance of Sabrina Santamaria’s World University Games experience finally caught up with her.
Hugging a couple of rackets to her chest as if they were family heirlooms, waiting for the medal ceremony to begin, the singles silver medalist began to cry, apologizing as she wiped the tears from her face.
“Those tears were pride mixed with joy and happiness,” her coach West Nott said. “We’ve been soaking in all of this experience.”
Santamaria lost Tuesday’s morning’s gold medal match to Japan’s Suchie Ishzu 6-2, 7-5, but she certainly owed no one an apology.
“I’m just so happy I had the opportunity to be here and play here,” she said. “I really don’t want to leave. This has been a really special moment for me.”
After losing the first set 6-2 and trailing 5-0 in the second set, Santamaria found her game. She started moving Ishzu around the court, forcing her to hit harder. As Santamaria began to claw her way into the match, the crowd, which almost filled the stands at the 1,000-set Academy, started chanting, “Sa-bri-na. Sa-bri-na.”


WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMESFollow NCAA student-athletes at the 27th World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
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, even the Russians.
This was something really special and I don’t think I’ll ever experience something like this again.
“I have some friends who are swimmers who have competed in the World University Games before and they told m e that this was a really big deal. It really is a special event, like the second largest event next to the Olympics. I’m really honored to be here and it’s an incredible honor to be able to stand up there on the podium.”
Santamaria isn’t a child of the tennis academies. She didn’t leave home to hit balls at Bolletieri’s school in Florida. She didn’t learn the game at some expensive, exclusive club.
She is a product of Los Angeles’ public courts. Her father didn’t drop her off for lessons with some high-profile coach. He joined her, bringing a bucket of tennis balls and hitting with her for hours as she tirelessly pleaded with him for just a few more rallies.
Santamaria learned the game by playing against men her father’s age. Older men who played the game creatively, feathering drop shots that died and spun back toward the net when they hit the court, working her side to side with an assortment of slices and topspin lobs. They taught her to think the game as well as play it.
“One of the things I love about Sabrina is her upbringing,” Nott said, who has been working with her for two years at USC. “She played in a park in L.A. and just played with a bunch of old guys around the park. I think that’s where she developed a lot of her touch.
“She didn’t get dropped off at some country club. It was just her and her dad playing a ton of practice matches. It wasn’t like she was the superstar recruit by any means. There were a lot of kids ahead of her, but she really maxed out.”
Santamaria admitted to a case of nerves early in the match. She had difficulty adjusting to Ishzu’s ball. She was broken twice in the first four games and scored only four total points in those games.
“I’m just really proud of her,” Nott said. “The way she fought out there [Tuesday]. She was not having her best day, but she found a way to be competitive and give herself a chance. That’s all you can ask for. We honestly had no idea what to expect before we got here and to see her compete and to see the depth of the field and see her dig down and give the big dogs here a run for their money was great.”
Santamaria is an anomaly in this age of women’s tennis, where the players are 6-feet and taller and play a game analyst Mary Carillo dubbed “Big Babe Tennis.” It started with players such as Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce and has continued with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
But Santamaria is 5-foot-2, a scatback in a game that seems more and more designed for long, tall thumpers. But Nott says Santamaria compensates for her size disadvantage with her speed and court awareness. He believes she can compete with the 6-foot knockout punchers.
“I think since the generation of Sharapova and Serena Williams began, the young kids try to emulate that style, but not every player is 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds and just crushing the ball,” Nott said. “Sabrina doesn’t really have those things, but what I love about her is that she uses her assets, her speed, her great mind, her variety, just savviness around the court. She’s been successful like that. She just sees the court in a different way.”
Santamaria and her USC doubles partner Kaitlyn Christian are the most successful team in college tennis history. They have won four national championships. They’ve lost only one collegiate match since 2012 and because they are national champions, they have earned berth into the main draw at the U.S. Open in New York next month. They play a unique style of doubles, including standing two back when serving.
“It’s hard to prepare for,” Nott said. “It’s like preparing for Tim Tebow.”
Nott said he thinks that team could become dominant like the Bryan Brothers in men’s tennis.
He also believes Santamaria can become a Top-50 singles player.
“I believe in her. I think she can be a tour player,” said Nott, who also has coached tour player Maria Sanchez. “Sabrina is right at Maria’s level, if not better. No one plays like her. You just can’t find players like her running around on the streets and I think that’s going to help make her successful. And don’t be fooled, she packs a wallop for her size. She just keeps winning. She’s been winning ever since she arrived on campus.”
The winning continued in Russia. The silver medal around her neck was glittering proof of that.

I am surprise Fantic hasn't chimed in with a "I told you so..."
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post #1353 of 1552 (permalink) Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:13 PM
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Re: Pac 12

I'd love to see her play in some summer USTA tournaments!
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post #1354 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2013, 06:22 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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I'd love to see her play in some summer USTA tournaments!
If she ever gets back from Europe...
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post #1355 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2013, 02:32 AM
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Re: Pac 12

Is it too soon to start a "Predict Your Team's Lineup For Next Year" thread?
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post #1356 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2013, 03:27 AM
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Re: Pac 12

Of the Pac 12 big 4, which will be stronger, about the same, weaker ?
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post #1357 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2013, 03:27 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Is it too soon to start a "Predict Your Team's Lineup For Next Year" thread?
Not too soon at all.

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Originally Posted by Vikapower View Post
And to think that Génie is 0-4 against this Kvitova player. Sometimes tennis is just not logical at all.
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Originally Posted by Shvedbarilescu View Post
I wouldn't be surprised to see Aga finish her career ahead of Vika and Petra as well.
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post #1358 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Of the Pac 12 big 4, which will be stronger, about the same, weaker ?
I think they're all about the same but since Stanford and Cal have more freshmen, especially being expected to contribute, joining their teams, USC and UCLA might be slightly ahead of them.
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post #1359 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Re: Pac 12

Stanford has just updated their roster.

2013-14 Roster


Ahn, Kristie 5-5 Sr. Upper Saddle River, N.J. (The Professional Childrens School)
Davidson, Taylor 5-7 Fr. Statesville, N.C. (NCVPS/West Iredell HS)
Doyle, Caroline 5-9 Fr. San Francisco, Calif. (St. Ignatius College Prep/Halstrom HS)
Hardebeck, Krista 5-7 So. Santa Ana, Calif. (Kaplan Online)
Herring, Amelia 5-11 Sr. Carlsbad, Calif. (LaCosta Canyon)
Kostas, Lindsey 5-5 So. La Jolla, Calif. (La Jolla Country Day)
Tsay, Ellen 5-10 Jr. Pleasanton, Calif. (Kaplan Academy)
Zhao, Carol - Fr. Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

David Jaime
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post #1360 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 12:37 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Originally Posted by davidjaime View Post
Stanford has just updated their roster.

2013-14 Roster


Ahn, Kristie 5-5 Sr. Upper Saddle River, N.J. (The Professional Childrens School)
Davidson, Taylor 5-7 Fr. Statesville, N.C. (NCVPS/West Iredell HS)
Doyle, Caroline 5-9 Fr. San Francisco, Calif. (St. Ignatius College Prep/Halstrom HS)
Hardebeck, Krista 5-7 So. Santa Ana, Calif. (Kaplan Online)
Herring, Amelia 5-11 Sr. Carlsbad, Calif. (LaCosta Canyon)
Kostas, Lindsey 5-5 So. La Jolla, Calif. (La Jolla Country Day)
Tsay, Ellen 5-10 Jr. Pleasanton, Calif. (Kaplan Academy)
Zhao, Carol - Fr. Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Let's see, such a young line-up so I'll give this a shot:

#1: Ahn- seem to have played in Gibbs shadow, especially with injury; this year she's got the spotlight all to herself and I don't think she would have it any other way, especially after winning the deciding match in last year's final at NCAA over Texas A&M
#2: Hardebeck- she finished strong last year after a so-so start, still ended up with 36 wins; deciding match win over Florida in SF at NCAA
#3: Davidson- highest ranked among the freshman recruits, I think she'll be taking over Hardebeck's court from last year; should be solid at #3 or #4
#4: Zhao- don't know what to rank her yet; impressive summer defeating a top#100 player, she could climb to the #3 spot, but we'll wait and see
#5: Tsay- she should get another 30 wins playing at #4 or #5, we'll see if she'll use the deciding match win over USC in R16 at last year's NCAA to keep her confidence high
#6: Doyle- she graduated a year early, graduating from St Ignatius, same school that Dillon went to, she should be climbing higher in the line-up in the next 2 years

It'll be tougher to pick the doubles line-up...
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post #1361 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 12:53 AM
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Ahn
Zhao
Hardebeck
Tsay
Davidson
Doyle

formerly iPatty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikapower View Post
And to think that Génie is 0-4 against this Kvitova player. Sometimes tennis is just not logical at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shvedbarilescu View Post
I wouldn't be surprised to see Aga finish her career ahead of Vika and Petra as well.
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post #1362 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 01:29 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Originally Posted by iPatty View Post
Ahn
Zhao
Hardebeck
Tsay
Davidson
Doyle
Hardebeck will start #2 but I think her results will eventually push her down to #3. I like Zhao playing a higher position over Davidson as well. Like Hardebeck, I think Tsay will start higher at #4 but eventually be pushed down to #5.
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post #1363 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 01:34 AM
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Re: Pac 12

Here's my prediction for UCLA:

Singles
1) Robin: She produces consistent results. I hope she is solid throughout the entire season next year. I also hope to see her become more of a challenge against Sabs and USC.
2) Kyle: She had a solid end to last season so I think she will be a solid #2. If she doesn't continue to play well, I can see her moving down to #3.
3) Jennifer Brady: She's too good to not be playing in the top 3 positions.
4) Catherine Harrison: I like her aggressive game and I hope she gets moved to this position. I'd like to think had she played in this position against Texas A&M last year, UCLA would've won.
5) Chanelle: I think Kaitlin should be in this position but I don't see Stella moving Chanelle from #4 back to #6.
6) Kaitlin: If she plays this position, she'll go undefeated!

Doubles
1) Robin/Skylar: They had a great freshman season and their sophomore season was saved by their runner up at NCAA. Stella probably will keep them together. Skylar will also be in the doubles lineup since she will likely not play singles. Anyone know if she is still thinking of leaving?
2) Kyle/Cat: I enjoyed watching them play together last year so I hope Stella keeps them together.
3) Courtney Dolehide with Brady/Chanelle/Kaitlin: Courtney will be in the doubles lineup. It'll just be a question of who she plays with.
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post #1364 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Originally Posted by slickshoes510 View Post
Hardebeck will start #2 but I think her results will eventually push her down to #3. I like Zhao playing a higher position over Davidson as well. Like Hardebeck, I think Tsay will start higher at #4 but eventually be pushed down to #5.
The way Zhao's been playing, I think she has alot of up potential, so I wouldn't be surprised to see her play at #1 next year, passing up Hardebeck (kind of like when Barte climbed to #1).
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post #1365 of 1552 (permalink) Old Aug 9th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Re: Pac 12

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Originally Posted by tie_breaker View Post
The way Zhao's been playing, I think she has alot of up potential, so I wouldn't be surprised to see her play at #1 next year, passing up Hardebeck (kind of like when Barte climbed to #1).
I agree with you Tie_breaker, I think Zhao will have an impact like Barte, holding the #1 position her freshman year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ-YLLKwQEE

Zhao
Ahn
Hardebeck
Davidson
Tsay
Doyle

Zhao/Tsay Ahn/Hardebeck Davidson/Doyle

David Jaime

Last edited by davidjaime; Aug 9th, 2013 at 01:29 PM.
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