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Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis Blog


Lea Lynn Yen '16 (pictured) will be periodically blogging here on Sagehens.com to provide fans with an insider's look at her team's season. Follow along with her as the NCAA West Region finalist Sagehens Women's Team tries to get back to nationals this spring.

2013-14 Season

April 12, 2014
Claremont Colleges Relay For Life

On the weekend of the 5th and 6th of April, the Claremont Colleges came together to participate in the annual Relay For Life hosted by the Claremont Colleges Against Cancer club in partnership with the American Cancer Society. The Pomona-Pitzer Student Athlete Action Committee got together to form a team “Pomona-Pitzer Sports Teams” to participate in the event. As I have served on the American Cancer Society chapter in my high school and have participated in Relay For Life before, I was ecstatic to be participating again, and this time being a team captain.

Relay For Life is a 24-hour event full of bonding, entertainment, and is basically a day to come together to both honor those who have passed, survived, or are currently battling cancer. Some of the most important work actually comes before the event; everyone on each team is trying to fundraise money to reach his or her own personal goal, which counts towards the team goal. Our team goal was $2000 and I am proud to say that once all the mailed-in checks are finalized, we not only reached our goal but went a good couple hundred bucks over it. I was very proud of my team’s efforts to raise money for such an important event.

Because our tennis team had a match on the 5th and were unable to work that day, we split up the 24 hours into manageable shifts for the people who have signed up. The tennis team thus took the 5AM to 11AM shift on Sunday, with soccer captain Arianna Sanchez, me, and some kind-hearted tennis players taking the midnight shift from 11PM to 5AM. Although I basically went the entire time without sleeping, walking with my friends was really worth it for the story-telling and company in general, although I also enjoyed the times I got to walk by myself and really take in the meaning behind the event and reflect on my own personal experiences with family members and close family friends battling cancer. After some calculation, I realized that during the time I was there, I walked approximately 25 miles. My hips were sore for a good two days to prove it. However, I loved every second of it and would not have changed my actions at all.

When the rest of the tennis team joined us at 5AM, everyone was in decently good spirits considering how early it was. We all walked the track at the same time, breaking into smaller groups for convenience. Everyone was great company for each other during the early hours, and we most of us all stayed together through the entirety of the event. Although planning the event and getting the sports teams was a pretty difficult task, it all paid off and I’m glad that we were able to participate in an event that matters deeply to many of us

April 10, 2014
Holi

Although the team was unable to make it out to the annual Holi festival, our schedule worked out perfectly so we could get our color on for a fun half hour at Walker Beach. After going to practice and working out for a couple hours, the team trekked (I say ‘trek’, but it was really just a 5 minute walk) up to Pomona’s north campus to attend the “festival of color”. For those of you who haven’t gotten to experience it, think “Color Run” without the running. Well, there is some running involved…running towards and away from people!

Looking ready in our white shirts, we waited for the hosts to announce when we could begin. All at once, everyone rushed wildly to the buckets and packets of colored powder and began to throw the powder relentlessly at one another. Although I had to meet with a professor pretty soon after the event and would need to appear presentable, I got caught up in the moment and got just as colorful as everyone else. Of course, there was plenty of screaming and laughter as everyone got to colorfully attack both friends and strangers (and make quick getaways before getting powdered back). As you can see from the picture, there was a pretty drastic before and after change, and it was all in good fun.

Right after the event, I had to run quickly to my professor’s meeting, but the rest of the team made it out to the men’s tennis match as they were playing University of Redlands that afternoon. We were definitely not the most typical cheerleaders as we were rather unusual-looking and left powder trails everywhere we went. We are definitely looking forward to the next fun 5C (five college) event! 


April 1, 2014
BBQ at Drew’s!

Back during spring break, we took the late afternoon after practice to head over to Drew’s place for a team BBQ and game night. Coaches Drew and Emily had spent a lot of their day buying and preparing the food so we could satisfy our voracious appetites very soon after our arrival. Food served included all kinds of BBQ meat, incredible asparagus, bowls of salad, seemingly unlimited chips and salsa, and a delicious assortment of juices. Sitting in Drew’s pretty backyard , we enjoyed the awesome food and each other’s company. After we were all full, we headed indoors and played the hilarious game Cards Against Humanity until everyone had to leave. It was certainly a great night full of food, games, and laughter!


March 29, 2014
Road Trips!

As you may know, our team does not do a whole bunch of traveling. Why, you ask? With our beautiful Southern California weather and pristine facilities, we hardly ever have to go far to play teams because everyone comes to us. Especially during the month of March, many teams from out-of-state head to Southern California during their spring breaks, so we are able to schedule most of our matches right at home. With the exception of flying out to Indiana this year, normally our “road trips” usually only take an hour or less. So far in the season, we have had two: Redlands and Occidental, both SCIAC conference matches.

The trip to Redlands was an easy drive on the 10 East freeway. Although this was our second time this season playing Redlands, this match was extra special because there were many star appearances by all kinds of Hens. We were lucky enough to be supported by Arthi Padmanabhan’s parents, Alex Antonoplis’s mom, Marie Fleming’s dad, Rosemary Pelch’s dad, and Mallory’s parents. However, most notable, as always, are the alumni Hens that came out to support, and we were so happy to have Kara Wang (’13) and Jamie Solomon (’13) back and cheering us on! Every bit of support helped as we pulled out a tight match that day. After the match and our usual post-game meeting, we headed to Panera for dinner before heading back to campus.

More recently, we had our second road trip to Scholl Canyon, which was the host site for Occidental College’s tennis team. The site was on top of a hill as part of a golf and tennis complex, so it was definitely a different setting than we were used to. With the energy from our packout lunches by the dining hall, we pulled off a dominant win over a conference team. After the match, we headed back to campus in order to prepare for our second match of the day against Williams.

Future road trips to come include away games at Cal Lutheran, Whittier, and the Ojai tournament during the regular season!


March 7, 2014
Hens Take Indiana!


This season, the Hens had the opportunity to travel to Indiana to partake in the ITA National Indoor Championships. The eight teams that competed for the title this year were Pomona-Pitzer, Washington University- St. Louis, Redlands, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Santa Cruz, Carnegie Mellon, and host Depauw.

Early (very early) in the AM, the Hens packed onto two vans to head to Ontario Airport to begin our journey. With a layover in Colorado, we made good time arriving in Indianapolis and getting our rental cars. After leaving the airport, we made our first food stop at Steak ‘n Shake, a chain I personally have never been to being in Southern California my whole life. After eating our hearty meals and enjoying our humongous milkshakes (we made it just in time for happy hour!), we got to our hotel to begin settling in. Doubles partners were roommates in our individual spacey suites, with a living room and kitchen, which we would be needing later.

After settling in, we got ready to get comfortable in the indoor tennis courts for a nighttime practice. Focusing on consistency and depth, we all had a great practice and I personally felt immediately at home on the courts. Day 2 consisted of tennis and food as usual, but we mostly wanted to get some homework done, being away from school for a few days. However, we found time to travel to Indianapolis to quickly tour the NCAA museum, which had some cool stuff pertaining to sports in all divisions. Personally, my favorite night of the trip was when we all got together to make dinner. It consisted of a ton of spaghetti with meat sauce, bread and butter, and a nice salad to top it all off. While eating, people had a great time watching hilarious YouTube videos, and the night ended with a fun round of Banagrams.

Day 3: Game day. We joke about traveling all the way to Indiana to play a SCIAC foe, Redlands, but good tennis is good tennis, and we pulled out a 5-4 win that really did come down to the last match. Day 4 and 5 consisted of tough tennis against Top 10 teams that did not end in our favor, but it was great experience and a good stepping stone for the season to come. Day 5 was special because it began to snow early in the morning. The only minor mishap of the day was a flat tire on one of the vans, which a kind stranger pointed out to us before anything horrible could have happened. After our match, we were able to play in the snow for a bit, and it was really the best of both worlds because we were able to enjoy the snow (with whatever little time we had) and yet avoid getting snowed in, which I was pretty worried about. However, all ended well as we safely made it to the airport, to our layover in Colorado again, and finally near midnight back at the Claremont Colleges. This was definitely a great experience for us, and what did not kill us will only make us stronger! Here’s a chirp to a great rest of the season! 


Feb. 28, 2014
Drew’s Birthday Celebrations!

On the same day that we had our season opener against Chapman, it was also our coach Drew Cohn’s birthday! With so much happening all at the same time, it sure made for an exciting day. Prior to the beginning of the match, we sang the birthday song and handed Drew our team present: a pair of customized Nike FreeRuns, decked out in flashy orange and blue in true Sagehen fashion, the tongues of the right and left shoes displayed “DREW” “COHN” respectively. Our team had come up with the idea about a month ahead of time, with efforts led by Mallory Roth and Sammy Chao. The whole team pitched in to cover the costs, and we could not have been happier with the final product. Of course, even more rewarding was seeing our coach’s face light up as he unwrapped the present and opened the shoebox.

After leaving the courts with a win, the team headed next to Buca di Beppo, a family-style Italian restaurant pretty close to campus. With the whole team, coaches, a prospie, and Jamie Solomon packing into the restaurant and seated at an L-shaped table, there was only one thing on our minds: FOOD. Buca is best-known for their enormous portions, which are meant to be passed around the table and shared by everyone (this family-style serving is very fitting considering how much of a family we consider ourselves to be). Of course, we mentioned that it was Drew’s birthday and the servers came around to sing their traditional birthday song, which was exciting. With full bellies, we headed back to campus to go our separate ways for the remainder of the night. It was truly a day defined by hard work, fun, and excitement, which was a perfect way to celebrate the very ideals that Drew believes in.


Feb. 25, 2014
Season Opener: CHECK!

The moment we had all been waiting for has come and gone. On Friday, 2/21, the Hens began the 2014 spring season by playing Chapman University. Coming out pumped with the all-new warm-up mix, we did all our usual warm-up and pregame routines. Of course, I have to highlight senior Claire Willey’s tradition of “parkour”-ing off benches, fences, and light posts. This tradition will obviously be missed by all due to Claire’s contagious energy, but no worries, because freshman Maddie Gordon will be expected to carry out all parkour duties from here on out. Hopefully Claire has trained her well!

After introductions, doubles play began. I did not have the great start I was hoping to have, but eventually picked it up and turned a 3-6 deficit to an 8-6 win. The #2 and #3 doubles took care of business as well. Riding off the momentum of a 3-0 lead after doubles, the Hens finished the match with an 8-1 win over Chapman, the same score we had with them last year.

However, most importantly, we are incredibly grateful for all the supporters who came out on match day. The men’s team was there from the very beginning cheering us on, which really helped a lot throughout all the matches. Parents also came, and I was very lucky to have my mother come for my first match of the season. She also brought my favorite Subway combos, so that was definitely a big plus. Students from the Claremont Colleges also stopped by the match to cheer us on. But the celebrity of the day had to be Jamie Solomon, our former #1 player who just graduated last year. Affectionately nicknamed “Solomonster”, Jamie was an inspiration to those who were lucky enough to have spent time on court with her. To have her there at our first match was definitely an awesome homecoming!

Next up, the eight Hens will be traveling to Indiana for National Indoor Championships. Stay tuned!


Feb. 23, 2014
Fun Night: Sochi Mochi!

Thanks to an adorable senior collaborative effort headed by Alex Antonoplis and with help from Arthi Padmanabhan and Sammy Chao, the Hens gathered into the team meeting room for a fun night filled with food and sports. Of course, at this special time of the year, there is one sporting event that we’ve all got our eyes on: The Olympics. With the Games held in Sochi this year, the seniors put together a clever “Sochi Mochi” night, which included a fun Olympics viewing with all kinds of delicious snacks.

Prior to Sochi Mochi, the men’s tennis team had their season opener against Bates, which resulted in a W for the Hens, locked in by an incredible effort by the singles lineup which resulted in blanking the Bates team. Our whole women’s team showed up to support our fellow Hens, and took part in celebrating their well-deserved win. Soon after the match was over, we filed into the team room to begin Sochi Mochi. The day’s special screening was the Women’s Figure Skating event, in which we watched the final two groups perform their routines. We were able to witness the beautiful routines of not only the podium winners but also those of the American sweethearts Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner as they took the ice. The exciting and mesmerizing routines were well-accompanied by the delicious ice cream mochi as well as other small snacks and drinks, such as cheese puffs, chocolate covered almonds, pear cider, and hot chocolate. All in all, it was a wonderfully planned night of viewings, whether it was supporting Hen’s tennis or watching in awe of the Olympic figure skaters


Feb. 3, 2014
National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Just like we did last year, the tennis team volunteered to help out with lunch on Pomona’s campus during National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This special day is dedicated to celebrate the achievements of women in all levels of athletics, whether it is at the collegiate level, professional, and so on, as well as advocating for even more female representation nationally for all kinds of sports. This day was promoted by the Women’s Sports Foundation, a globally recognized foundation started by Billie Jean King, who all of you know as the professional tennis player and social activist. The Women’s Sports Foundation is dedicated to “[advancing] the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity”.

Every year, approximately 90-100 female middle school students from the Claremont/Pomona/Upland area, primarily those growing up in underprivileged communities, step onto Pomona-Pitzer’s campuses to participate in a day dedicated to sports and fun. Activities that have been done in the past involve active participation in a tennis clinic or other sports hosted by the respective college team, or watching an official season game such as a tennis match, softball game, swim meet, etc.

This year, our team was honored to be setting up and serving lunch again, consisting of lots of fruit, vegetables, and Subway sandwiches. It was great to watch the middle schoolers come in from half a day of activity and eager to replenish their energy. To add to the excitement, we were honored to have a special speaker, Senator Norma Torres of the 32nd District (Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, and Rialto) who gave a talk to the children about looking ahead in their lives and overcoming barriers to reach their goals. Even though the talk was for the children, I myself felt touched by what she had to say, and it added to an already very special day of fun, food, and service. Representing the team, I have to say that we were honored to have been a part of such a great day and hopefully making an impact on the children in our area that may aspire to someday be college athletes just like us.


Dec. 16, 2013
Happy Holidays from Sagehen Tennis!

Just before heading into finals week, the Hens got together for one last celebration before parting ways for winter break. Those who were free last Friday night got together for a fun-filled study break in Arthi’s humble abode, filled with food, smiles, games, and even a fireplace simulator. Upon entering the room, we were greeted with the pleasant smell of “ninjabread” cookies (see picture), with each one modeled after a specific member of the team. In order to e at a cookie, we had to find the one that was us, which ended up being so much fun as we were all able to point to the different cookies and chuckle at what made each of us unique.

After settling down and eating our cookies with some wonderful apple cider from Trader Joe’s, we played a fun card game that lasted through the remainder of our stay. Laughing at the game and at each other, we all had such a great time, and we owe it all to the great seniors, especially hostess Arthi for setting up such a great night for the team. Also important to note, this was the first team function aside from team dinners that Kira, ’15, joined us for! Kira had been studying abroad in Ecuador and stopped by Claremont for a bit before heading back home for winter break.

Happy Holidays to all, and I hope to see you all back with us once the new semester starts up again, as the Sagehens get back to official practices in preparation for the upcoming season. Go Hens!

Dec. 5, 2013
Hens for the Philippines

Right before the Hens left the nest for Thanksgiving break, aside from Adopt-A-Family shopping, the Hens united to do our part for an event put on by the school following the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda. The group One World, One Heartbeat, along with the help of students from the Claremont Colleges, set up a dinner and raffle fundraiser event in order to raise money for disaster relief.

Mae Coyiuto, ’16, was particularly passionate about the relief efforts, being an international student from the Philippines. Mae was very active in getting both tennis teams at the Claremont Colleges to help out for the event; yes, both the PP and CMS team. Dividing up tasks that needed to be done, the Hens decided to made homemade traditional Filipino desserts to sell at the event, while the CMS team put together a gift basket to be presented at the raffle auction.

Banding together since the wee hours of the morning, Mae, Arthi Padmanabhan, ’14, and some other members of the tennis team began to piece together the ingredients, following online directions carefully and testing over and over again to make sure the desserts were successful. By the time we needed to bring over the desserts to the dinner, we had created two delicious treats: Polvoron, a very soft crumbly shortbread cookie, and Brazo de Mercedes, which are meringue rolls with custard jelly filling. The desserts were enjoyed by many members of the Claremont Colleges and were a quick sellout along with all the other delicious food at the wonderful fundraiser dinner.

Meeting up with some of the men’s tennis team at the dinner, the women’s and men’s team enjoyed a nice dinner with wonderful performances from groups all around the Claremont Colleges. It was a night of entertainment, great food, great people, and all for a worthy cause.


Dec., 1 2013
‘Tis the Season for Giving Back: Adopt-a-Family

While most people think of the past Thursday as a day for giving thanks, the Sagehens found it an opportunity to give back. Looking at our different options for giving back to the community, we finally decided that we would be “adopting a family” for Thanksgiving. This entails going to a grocery market and buying various food items that would provide a Thanksgiving meal for a family in need. Not only would we be helping out a family who probably could not afford to have a nice meal for such an important holiday, but it would also be extra time to spend with each other before we had to separate for break.

After a morning hit and a very satisfying brunch at Pitzer, the Hens packed into two cars and headed north to the nearest grocery store. List in hand, we quickly began divvying up the items to get to be as efficient as possible. Personally, I was in charge of “fresh fruit”, which honestly was a little harder than it sounded because I’m admittedly not the best judge of good fruit, plus it had to be a mix of fruits that would not go bad before actual Thanksgiving day. With a lot of help from a couple Hens sensing my struggle, we were able to finish our task and regroup at the shopping cart, where lots of food was already piled up and almost ready for checkout. After grabbing the last few items, we headed over to checkout to seal the deal. Packing all the food onto a teammate’s van, we headed back to campus to store the food for the night, where the next day it would be handed over to teammate Mallory’s mom, who has graciously donated her time to help us with Adopt-a-Family this Thanksgiving.

Although our primary goal was to help a family in need, shopping for groceries with the team was also a great bonding experience for us, backed up by proof from many embarrassing but hilarious pictures which I won’t be showing you at this time. Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks (not to be cliché), so I would like to take this time to thank Mallory Roth and her mother for setting this up, the seniors for seeing it go through, and for all of you supporting the Hens and this blog!


Nov. 1, 2013
Happy Halloween!

Short but sweet blog tonight: Happy Halloween! Every Halloween, it’s a tradition on the Pomona-Pitzer team to dress up in our costumes and go to practice. However, since our movement is probably a bit inhibited by our sometimes outrageous get-ups, we spend the practice time playing fun, competitive games. Overall, it is a wonderful bonding time for the team, filled with laughter and joy for the whole length of practice. I mustn’t forget to mention the wonderful decorations the seniors put up around the tennis courts; it really livened up the party and produced a wonderful atmosphere!

From the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Tennis Team, we wish you had a Happy Halloween!


Oct. 13, 2013
Nationals in Ft. Myers, Florida

When I heard that I was heading to Florida for the Small College Nationals, the first thing that came to mind was obvious: Disney World. Unfortunately, after checking the game play schedule and flight times, we (assistant coach Drew, Sammy, and I) had to come to terms with the fact that we would not have time to head on over to Orlando any time during the trip with it being a three hour drive. However, this did not stop us from relishing the Florida experience. During our off-time in the approximately three day trip, we always found time to explore what Ft. Myers had to offer.

Because the first day was more hectic with flights and other orders of business, free time was more limited. We did a little bit of grocery shopping and walking around the nearest outlet before heading to the practice courts and hitting with our friend from the conference. After taking a shower, we headed to the main site for the most important part of the day: the banquet. The players and coaches banquet was hosted by the tournament, and all players and coaches from all four participating divisions (DII, DIII, NAIA, Junior College) were advised to attend. With numerous tables seating about ten peop le each, everyone came in and were able to sit wherever they liked. Because three different teams from our SCIAC conference were represented at the tournament (La Verne for women’s singles, CMS for men’s singles, Pomona-Pitzer for women’s doubles), we all decided to stick together for this fun, social night. Dinner was catered to the venue fresh from the nearby hotel. After a night of bonding with our conference, we all headed back to our hotels for the rest of the night.

Following the first day of matches, two enjoyable events were lined up for the night: a nice dinner and mini-golfing! The three conference teams met up again for dinner at El Gaucho Inca, a Peruvian/Argentinian restaurant that received very high ratings online. The menu was extensive and covered a wide array of foods, reflected in our personal dishes. Being as hungry as we were, the most common order was some form of steak, with a couple people ordering ribeye or Picanha. My order of ribeye came with a delicious chimichurri sauce and wonderfully textured mashed potatoes. After eating every speck off of my plate, I felt extremely satisfied with my choice, and it was no wonder that this restaurant was so highly reviewed. We left happy and ready to take on the next part of our night.

Castle Golf was the mini-golfing course closest to our hotel, but considering how fun it was, we probably would not have minded a longer travel time for what we got. The decorations at the course were absolutely adorable and awesome, whether it was the numerous mini-castles spread out across the park,  the statues of knights in armor, or the many other parts that made it other-worldly. The most special part the course was a certain area where we had to cross a bridge to get to the next hole, and there is a bell to ring which attracts the catfish in the body of water below us. Because we were supplied with fish food when we entered, we were able to not only see the catfish but also feed them. Even though I finished in dead last behind Drew and Sammy, I am quite certain that because of the nature of mini-golfing, we all had so much fun!

The second day of matches left us little time to ourselves, so it mostly was just made up of dinner and a bit of leisure time. Instead of our original plan of heading to a nearby Olive Garden, we decided that it would be fun to try out gator meat while we were in Florida. A diner named Gatorbites was located about 25 minutes from our hotel and also received pretty good ratings online. One of my close friends from high school also happened to be in Florida for the same tournament, so I dined with her team to catch up with her. It was a meal full of Gator Burgers, Gator Bites, and laughter with friends both old and new. Gator meat is certainly something special; the texture is obviously quite different from other types of meat but was very enjoyable. After dinner, I continued to lounge around with my high school friend, talking about all sorts of things and just generally enjoying each other’s company. It served as an excellent close to my Ft. Myers experience, as we were going to be on a flight first thing in the morning the next day. All in all, although Ft. Myers is a bit removed from the central areas of tourism such as Miami and Orlando, we made the best of the experience and had a lot of fun in our free time. However, we are also excited to get back to Claremont and our college friends, and for me, I am personally excited to get to spend the rest of my weekend with my parents at home before returning to my favorite people on campus, the tennis team!


Oct. 8, 2013
Fall Regionals Part II: Team Spirit, Go Sagehens!

When a tennis player is out on the court, it’s been said that she can rely on no one but herself. While this is true for many players, it just simply does not hold true for a Sagehen. Not only do our players have limitless internal fight in them, they are backed by a group of girls that stand by their teammates to the end. The Sagehens are not just teammates; we are a family and best friends.

This year’s Fall Regionals debuted six new Sagehens amongst the returners on the team. Even though we have only known each other for a month since school started, the team makes sure to treat everyone equally with love and respect; it does not matter whether we’ve been on the team for four years or one month. The tradition of creating a familial atmosphere is one of the things that we stress most on this team, and it is definitely one of the best parts about the program. However, more than anything, the best part about Fall Regionals every year is the team bonding, displayed wonderfully by the amount of team spirit over the weekend.

There is a reason that at the end-of-season banquet, we do not give out “MVP”, “Most Improved”, “Senior of the Year”, or other such awards. Instead, the two biggest honors a player can receive are the “Sagehen Spirit” and “Dinosaur” awards. The former goes to two players on the team who have shown outstanding spirit and support for the program, and the latter is an award given to the two fiercest competitors, or as our coach says, “strikes fear in the enemy….is always hungry for the win” (both awards are voted on by the team). This shows that above personal records and team results, we put a heavy emphasis on passion, spirit, and support. This past weekend, we came out ready to give it our all. Even though we had to wake up early for breakfast and warm-up, I always found time to apply my “war paint”, two seemingly simple lines of blue and orange that went a long way. Arthi came out with her Cecil Sagehen temporary tattoo on her arm. Throughout the weekend, everyone had on our fresh, newly-made Sagehen Tennis tank tops in both white and “in-your-face” orange. Aside from gear, the most important thing was something we did not have to buy: our voices.

It is no secret that we are LOUD. Not obnoxiously loud, just loud to the point where we are giving our utmost support to our teammates. We also stick together. Whether or not we personally have a match that day, we are out at the courts, cheering the remaining Sagehens on, even at all the morning and night matches. During my doubles match in the finals of the tournament, I was two courts over, but I could still hear my teammates as clearly as if they were right next to me, and honestly, sometimes that can really make the difference (especially in our very close 7-6, 7-6 final match). After I lost my singles match, I gave myself maybe one or two minutes to reflect on the match, and immediately got back onto the bleachers to cheer for my teammates who were still on the court. Being on a tennis team is about being selfless. Sure, when I’m on the tennis court playing singles, I have to focus solely on my own game, but once I’m off the court, I’m no longer a singles player, I’m a teammate, a best friend, and for lack of a better term, a cheerleader. I never knew how much my voice and actions could affect others until a teammate came up to me last season after a hard-fought win, and hugged me, thanking me for supporting her throughout her entire match even though she was playing one of my closest friends.

All in all, the team spirit and bonding with teammates is really what makes college tennis, especially the Pomona-Pitzer program, really special. Every person on the team is as important as the next, and everyone deserves full-on support from their teammates. Even though I came out of the tournament with a good record and results, even if I hadn’t, I would not be any less happy because most importantly, every Sagehen came out of the tournament as a better teammate, and the love we have for each other is what reigns above all.


Oct. 1, 2013
Fall Regionals part I: Young Blood

This past weekend, there was some amazing tennis going on at both the Pomona-Pitzer and CMS courts. There’s absolutely no question that Division III tennis has become a force to be reckoned with, full of amazing players who achieve greatness academically as well as pour their hearts out on the courts, playing for the pure love of the sport. Comments were made here and there about how the draw this year was probably the “deepest” it has ever been, and for good reason: more and more great junior players are choosing DIII schools, and the standards are always being raised. This being my second year here at Pomona-Pitzer and participating in college tennis in general, I’ve already seen a difference from the past year to the current fall season, namely the fresh faces from all the schools that participated in the fall regionals.

The young blood is always exciting. In the semifinals of the women’s singles draw, three of the four were underclassmen (two sophomores, one freshman), and the finals was a matchup between a sophomore who was the SCIAC conference rookie of the year last year, and a freshman who might be en route to earning the title herself in the spring. The doubles semifinals was a more even mix, although it was slightly funny; each of the four doubles teams comprised of one sophomore and one senior. Although all the sophomores were also in it for the team and personal glory, it felt almost as if we were competing against each other to see which sophomore would be the one to help their partner achieve the All-American status in their last year and go to Nationals (Luckily, Sammy and I prevailed, and this wasn’t Sammy’s first time being an All-American because she is awesome).

Obviously, I’m not overlooking the upperclassmen, for they were also well-represented in the later rounds of the tournament. Through physical setbacks and all, Sammy Chao had a great tournament, and we are all very, very proud of her. Arthi Padmanabhan also had a great showing in her last fall regionals. All of the participating players should be proud of what they have achieved, but even more importantly, be able to come out of the tournament as a better player and teammate. Fall Regionals is only the beginning; it is a learning experience for everyone, and a wonderful way for us to kick it into gear as we prepare for the rest of the semester in anticipation of the spring season after winter break.

Stay tuned for part two of the Fall Regionals blog! The next one will be more focused on the Hens, I promise.


Sept. 18, 2013
Starting the Year Off Right: Team Traditions

Hello to everyone checking back, and welcome to those new to the Sagehen Women’s Tennis team blog! Thank you for joining us as we kick off a new school year full of exciting team news, insider info, and of course, freshmen! First looks at the incoming class for the fall semester will be updated soon, so always remember to check back frequently to get in-the-know with the new and returning Hens for the 2013-2014 school year.

In recent news, the Hens started the year off right with a very important celebration: Mae’s birthday! Mae Coyiuto, ’16, celebrated her second birthday in a row here in the States as an international student from the Phillipines. With such an important day for such an important person, it was only fair that we celebrated by pulling out not just one, but TWO team traditions! With empty bellies, the team packed onto three cars to head off to our first destination: Korean tofu in Rancho Cucamonga! For those unfamiliar with Korean tofu, the name refers to a specialty soup made famous by the Korean culture, in which wonderfully silky and soft pieces of tofu are mixed along with other delicious ingredients in a bubbling soup. Foodies can choose from a variety of tofu soups, such as beef, kimchi (Korean spiced cabbage), pork, vegetarian, dumpling, and much, much more. If ordering the tofu soup by itself, it is usually accompanied with a bowl of rice as well as raw eggs. Here’s the trick: When the soup is served, it is boiling hot. For a delicious kick to your soup, cracking an egg into it will actually cook the egg because of the soup’s temperature! But if tofu soup is not your thing (or you want more food), there are also a lot of other choices, such as Bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), spicy pork/chicken platters, bibimbap (Korean speciality bowl), as well as a variety of other simple and delicious Korean delicacies.

After satisfying our appetites with the large portions of Korean food, we headed back to Pomona and Pitzer to set-up for our second team tradition of the day: Karaoke night! Using YouTube hooked up to a projector, the Sagehens sang and danced the night away. In the middle of the celebration, a special surprise was in store for the birthday girl: some of the seniors had baked an amazing cake for the whole team to enjoy. After singing the birthday song and finishing dessert, the night continued on until it finally came to a gradual close.

This was definitely a great way to begin the tennis year, as it was a very special day for team bonding as well as a wonderful opportunity for the freshmen to have a sneak peek at some of the team traditions. If this beginning is any indication of the year to come, then I will just say that I can hardly wait!



2012-13 Season

May 6, 2013
Sagehens to Continue Post-season Run

Excellent news for the Sagehens today: We just got the bid for the NCAA tournament! After SCIACs, our bid for the NCAA tournament was still “at-large”, but today (5/6), with the unveiling of the official tournament draw, we found out that not only had we secured a spot at the prestigious tournament, but placed a second seed in our region! This gives the Hens a bye for the first round, then challenging either Redlands or Whitman for the following round. After a finalist finish at the SCIAC tournament, the Hens are pumped to continue challenging ourselves and our opponents for the remainder of the post-season. The regionals will most likely be hosted at the Claremont courts and the Pauley courts, so be sure to come out and support! For those interested, this is the link for the draws that came out earlier today. http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/external/gametool/brackets/tennis-women_d3_2012.pdf


May 3, 2013
Meet the team, Part XIII (Jamie)

Jamie Solomon, aka. Solomonster, '13, Los Gatos, California

Q: Use three adjectives to describe the team!
A: Silly, kind, and loyal. The best combination in my opinion.

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?

A: "Hello" by Martin Solveig and Dragonette. It's the first song on the mix, and I love how the minute I turn the music on, the team is amped up and ready to go. I also love "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson, because it's the song I listened to over and over again while I was rehabbing my knee. As I did my exercises, I hoped that I could eventually listen to the song on the court. I love that I have been able to do that before many matches.

Q: Favorite nicknames on the team?
A: "Wea Wynn" is great one :) I also love "Coyote."

Q: What has been the hardest thing you've had to overcome on the team?
A: Being away from the team while I was injured in the fall was tough. Now I can really appreciate every minute I'm on the court with them.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most in the rest of season?
A: Enjoying the last couple weeks of season with my friends. And kicking some butt in the process.

Q: Favorite team tradition?
A: I like the little things, like getting dinner after practice and high five-ing everyone when your name is called out in the lineup before matches.

Q: Flatter your fellow seniors!
A: It's hard to put into words how much I care for Kara and Hsu. I just feel blessed that I know these girls will be life long friends of mine. Jess is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She deeply cares about her friends, and frequently puts others before herself. Kara makes me smile everyday. One look of hers will make me giggle uncontrollably. She's so dang witty and she's as sweet as a cupcake. She's also the best friend a girl could ask for. I feel bad for people that don't know her. 



April 30, 2013
Sagehens at Ojai

In the late afternoon of Wednesday, April 24, six Hens and the two coaches loaded two cars for departure. We were Ojai bound! More specifically Ventura, but that is beside the point. We were going to be participants in the 113th Ojai Valley Tennis Championships, an esteemed tournament known to produce top players. After arriving at the Pierpont, the hotel in which we stayed, we figured out some logistics for the night and following morning and almost immediately headed straight for our beds (tempurpedic mattresses, Queen sized. Who said we weren’t spoiled?) After an early morning warmup, we were ready to take on the first opponents of the day. All singles got through the first round, and both doubles teams got through their second rounds (both had byes first rounds). Success continued for many Hens, as most advanced through to the second day, and some to the third. The Sagehens fought hard, with the highlights being Mae Coyiuto reaching the singles semifinals and Sammy Chao and Kara Wang reaching the double semifinals. The last matches proved to be tough as both split sets before falling to the eventual finalists.

However, the trip to Ojai is not always just about tennis. This trip between regular season and SCIACs proved to be a wonderful bonding experience for the participating players, as well as the rest of team, who were in frequent contact with the participants, waiting for live updates from Kara and sending video clips of support and congratulations to the players. Personally, the trip was rewarding because not only did I spend time with my team, but I also got to spend time with players and friends from other teams, especially the familiar faces from our conference as well as some I knew from back home. Although Ojai was full of fierce competition, it was also somewhat of a break from the routine of regular season, which I enjoyed. With this episode over, the team will be gearing up for the upcoming SCIACs later this week. Support the Hens as we try to win conference this year!


April 28, 2013
Meet the team, Part XII (Jess)

Jessica Hsu, '13, Henderson, Nevada

Q: What are the three biggest strengths of the team?

A: The respect we have for our coaches and for each other allows us to openly discuss what we can do as a team to improve and learn from each other. In addition, the team loves to tease and support each other in such friendly (often hilarious) and sweet ways which I believe is a key part to bringing and keeping the team together. Lastly, everyone is so willing to work hard throughout the season and our fighting spirit during practice and matches is what continues to make us better as players and people.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most for the rest of season?
A: SCIACS! Regionals! Team hangouts!

Q: Favorite team tradition?
A: Going on-court for the last remaining player during matches and secret sagehen.

Q: If you were trying to convince someone to join the tennis team, what would you say?
A: I would tell them that some of the biggest parts of why I love the team is the high energy, commitment, and level of support, love, and respect that everyone has for each other

Q: Favorite things to do with the team off-court?
A: Eat, listen to childhood stories, eat, study, talk, and eat!

Q: Thoughts on the coaching duo
A: They are absolutely fantastic and have great insights into tennis and life. They are also highly supportive and committed to us and our welfare.

Q: Flatter your fellow seniors!
A: They are some of my best friends. Both of them are extremely dedicated and hard working. I love Jamie's intensity on court and silliness off of it and her consistency and backhands are to die for. Kara is also very silly but is so strong on court and I keep wishing I had her stomach crunching volleys! They are the definition of people you would want as teammates and friends.

 

April 24, 2013 
Sagehens Close Out Regular Season Strong

After the much anticipated match against Redlands was finally over, the regular season officially came to a close. But what a finish! After a string of tough matches following spring break, we found ourselves in a bit of a “slump”, but worked our way out of it by emphasizing physical fitness and mental toughness. This led to a winning streak reminiscent of the season’s beginning, with more confidence being built with each win and culminating with a feel-good win over Redlands.

Coming into the match, Redlands was having a very good season, with their only loss coming to CMS, catapulting their ranking up to number 9 in the nation. Obviously, their confidence was riding high and they were out to play their hardest against us. However, the Sagehens were ready to fight back, and fight hard. In our post-match meeting, Coach Becca mentioned how our attitudes and confidence on the court against Redlands made us seem to be a completely different team than we were during the tough week after break. We came out pumped, reflected in our 2-1 finish in doubles, gaining the lead and momentum going into singles. Through the hard work that we put in, singles ended up in our favor, with the first four matches coming off the court all being wins, pushing us to a 6-1 lead, with the match already clinched after the third singles win. The last two matches were battles, leading to hard-earned wins for two Redlands players. After the clinch, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of relief. I was personally nervous going into the match, but seeing how well our team performed made me extremely happy and proud. Post-match, almost everyone was all-smiles because we all knew this was a good win for us, and great momentum for the rest of the year.

Coming up next is the Ojai tournament, in which our top three singles players and top two doubles players are entered into a draw full of other DIII schools (exception: Sammy Chao has withdrawn from her place in singles and will be replaced by another Sagehen). The Ojai, as it is simply referred to, lasts from Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28. This individual tournament will provide valuable experience for the participating players as well as serve a nice bridge between the end of regular season and the SCIAC tournament coming up the week after. Stay tuned for results and an insider look at the team at Ojai!


April 23, 2013
Meet the team, Part XI (Constance)

Constance Wu, '14, Palo Alto, California

Q: What is your favorite nickname on the team?
A: I can't decide, simply since there are so many wonderful ones!  I do love when we yell "Chao time" for Sammy, and calling Jamie Solomonster :)

Q: What was your favorite match so far this season? Individually or as a team
A: My favorite match was the one against CMS; I think the fighting spirit of the team was really great that day.  (It also helps that it was my 21st birthday, and that we went as a team to Korean Tofu afterwards/had ice cream cake)

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?
A: I love "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera

Q: Any favorite traditions on the team?
A: I like how the whole team greatly enjoys food, and how we always go to dinner after practice together.  I also like when we have study parties outside of practice where we take over a classroom and generally have a good time (while also being productive, of course...)

Q: Thoughts about Ann and Becca
A: Both Ann and Becca are amazing coaches; they really push us to be the best players that we can, and spend so much effort in getting to know us and understand what we are going through as players, students, people, etc.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?
A: Spending more time with my fantastic teammates :D

Q: Flatter a fellow junior (Alex Antonoplis)
A: I met Alex on OA (orientation adventure), and she is literally one of the nicest people I've ever met.   I played doubles with her last year, and am also her lab partner as a chemistry major.  She ALWAYS has a smile, and always is positive about everything.  She works hard, never complains, and is always willing to help cheer up other people (she has been a great friend to me for the past three years).  In my opinion, every room Alex ever walks into will automatically be brighter because she's pretty much a human ray of sunshine.


April 22, 2013
Team Sunday Funday! Disneyland and Club 33

After weeks of planning and anticipation, we were finally at the magical kingdom of Disney! After driving for about 45 minutes to get to our destination from school, we were overfilled with excitement and ready to get our rides on. However, one more amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity awaited us before everything else: Club 33. For those of you who do not know what Club 33 is, it was Disney’s own private space in the theme park, reserved specially for his own personal guests and business partners. Now, it is still extremely private, only open to those with memberships to the club and their own guests. Through some amazing connections within our team, we were able to make reservations at this fine diner! While waiting to be escorted in, the team took a bunch of silly photos outside the door, genuinely excited for what was to come. Once inside, we marveled at the beauty of the interior design as well as the invaluable works of art hanging on almost every wall. The food itself was, as expected, amazing. In addition to our entrée of either Pan Seared Chateaubriand, Free Range Chicken, Steelhead Scottish King Salmon, or Fresh Pasta Three by Three, there was also a mouth-watering selection of delicacies at the lunch buffet bar, such as lobster, Ahi tuna delights, all sorts of cheeses and breads, and much more. The service was of course excellent, and we continued to bond over our love of food, especially excellent food. Before eating, we raised toasts to our wonderful coaching staff and team. Afterwards, food became the main priority!

Disneyland itself was all sorts of fun! Although it was a weekend, we didn’t find the lines to be excessively long, and were able to go on about ten fun rides during our stay. All the rides were so fun, and my personal favorites were Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Astro Blasters, Indiana Jones, and Jungle Cruise. Splash Mountain was the most memorable because we posed for the camera at the drop near the end, and the picture turned out absolutely hilarious. Even though I was born and raised in Southern California and have been to Disneyland multiple times, every single time is like a new experience, because Disneyland is just that amazing. This trip was an amazing team bonding moment for all of us, although we are already extremely close. For me, this trip will definitely go down in the books as one of my favorite moments during my college career!

 

April 19, 2013
Meet the Team, Part X (Arthi)

Arthi Padmanabhan, '14, Saratoga, California

Q: What is your favorite nickname on the team?
A: Solomonster!! I just love watching Jamie, our 5 foot tall power house, wearing her “Solomonster” visor and ripping winners from 6 feet behind the baseline.

Q: What was your favorite match so far this season? Individually or as a team
A: Redlands - winning an important, close match is always exciting, but it was extra special because it was our seniors’ last home match. I’m so glad they got to end their regular season on such a positive note.

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?
A: NSYNC – Tearing Up My Heart. I love the throwback!

Q: Any favorite traditions on the team?
A: Secret Sagehen! Each person is assigned one match to bring something small for the whole team. The gifts range from snack baggies to tie-dyed shirts to bracelets. After 3 years of this tradition, I think I have everything I could ever need, in blue and orange! I have Sagehen-themed shirts, bracelets, hairbands, socks, towels, picture frames, and even a beautiful pair of Sagehen earrings handmade (from clay) by our very own incredibly talented Constance!

Q: Thoughts about Ann and Becca
A: I honestly think this is the best coaching staff we could have asked for. Ann has been coaching for so long, and it shows. She is intense about training and her expectations are high, but she never loses her wise perspective. Becca played on this team not too long ago, so she knows what we most need to hear during changeovers. She is a source of support as well as a driving force for efficient practices and workouts.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?
A: I’m looking forward to SCIAC’s! It’ll be a test, but an exciting one.

Q: Flatter a fellow junior (compliment Sammy in 3-4 sentences)
A: In the last three years, Sammy has become a part of my Pomona family and home family. It’s as much fun to watch her scream “C’mon!” at the top of her lungs as it is to watch my parents’ faces when I bring her home for Thanksgiving and she downs three plates of food in 10 minutes. It’s been an honor to play alongside her and I’m looking forward to our last year!


April 12, 2013
Sagehens Make First Road Trip This Season

One of the perks of being a tennis player at a Southern California school is that the weather is basically nice all year round. Thanks to this and having the beautiful Pauley Tennis Complex, most schools travel to us for matches, so we hardly ever have to leave home court. While this has been a privilege and comfort for us, we eventually had to leave our Sagehen nest. Our first “road trip” was to the Claremont Club for the match against La Verne, but since the Claremont Club is literally about five minutes away from campus, it does not really count. However, today (4/12), we finally got to make a trip further away, by traveling to Cal Tech for our third-to-last regular season match. For me personally, this was the very first road trip, so it was all sorts of exciting!

After having a good lunch, the fourteen Sagehens and two coaches packed into a van and a mini-van. With 104.3 on the radio and good company, we set out for our destination. There wasn’t much traffic on the freeway so we made pretty good time. Then it was time to focus out on the courts. After sealing a good win, we wanted to avoid traffic and decided to go to Lake Avenue for dinner. We had an awesome casual meal at Corner Bakery, while a few people headed to Beard Papa’s for dessert. After satisfying our tummies, we packed back into the vans and headed for school. We played some fun games on the ride back, such as “Contact”, where everyone gives one person an identity, and that person does not know what or who she is, and has to continuously ask yes/no questions until she figures it out. It was a great way to kill the thirty minutes for the ride back, and we were back before we knew it!

As a first road trip, it was pretty memorable, and a bunch of ridiculous photos to prove it (which I definitely won’t be showing you out of embarrassment). We have another road trip coming up tomorrow (4/13) for our match at Anaheim Hills Racquet Club, Chapman’s home court. Then, on Sunday, we have yet another road trip! But for a very different purpose, which I will keep you all posted on!


April 11, 2013
Meet the team, Part IX (Claire)

Claire Willey, '14, Camarillo, California

Q: What is your favorite nickname on the team?

A: C-murder for Constance because I gave it to her

Q: What was your favorite match so far this season? 

A: Vassar? I dunno man, they blur together after so many years

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?

A: Love on top - Beyonce

Q: Any favorite traditions on the team?

A: Secret Sagehen because I like snacks.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?

A: More matches...seeing everyone compete at Ojai.  To be honest I'd love to see some tough matches pulled out in our favor :)

Q: Flatter a fellow junior (Arthi Padmanabhan)

A: Arthi is so calm! She literally is everything I need to be on the court in terms of between the point body language.  And she flattens out nearly every shot that I can hit.


April 10, 2013
Meet the team, Part VIII (Alex)

Alex Antonoplis, '14, La Canada, California

Q: What is your favorite nickname on the team?

A: I love the nickname "Coyote" for Mae. Coyotes are fierce and tenacious, and that perfectly describes Mae's style of play. Personality wise, however, she is sweet and witty; a far cry from the whiny, vicious desert dogs.

Q: What was your favorite match so far this season? Individually or as a team

A: I loved playing Washington University in St. Louis! It was great that they were able to make the journey to Southern California. Our team performed extremely well and I had a sweet come-from-behind victory in singles.

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?

A: This is a very difficult question; our warm-up mix is loaded with groovy tunes! I guess I'd have to say "I want you back" by the Jackson 5 . . . but there's also an N' sync gem that warms (and definitely doesn't tear) up my heart every time I hear it ;) 

Q: Any favorite traditions on the team?

A: I love team meals after practice! There's nothing more satisfying that sitting down to a delicious meal with incredible people after a busy day of classes/activities/tennis. Usually we eat in the dining halls, but sometimes we venture off campus to nearby restaurants. Thank you Jess for discovering Korean Tofu House! Their tofu changed my life and I will forever bibimbap til I drop! 

Q: Thoughts about Ann and Becca

A: Ann and Becca are incredibly wise and talented coaches, inspiring us to be the best tennis players and people we can be. When I was a senior in high school, I met Ann for the first time and was immediately drawn to her warm, engaging personality. Ann takes the time to plan smart practices; not only do we get a great workout in but we also improve so much after each one. Becca's conditioning workouts are also very smart, geared towards developing quick reactions. Becca, like Ann, is also warm and engaging and she also just completed the LA Marathon! She inspires all of us to work our hardest and enjoy ourselves while we're at it. 

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?

A: I'm looking forward to spending time, both on and off the court, with amazing people! I feel so lucky to be a part of this team.

Q: Flatter a fellow junior (compliment Constance in 3-4 sentences)

A: Not only is Constance one of the most hardworking and intelligent people I know, she is also sweet, funny, and so much fun to be around! We have a wonderful friendship which began freshman year on an orientation camping trip, and ever since then we've remained extremely close. She has always been there for me, even when she studied abroad in London (yay for skype!) Constance and I are also in the same major, so we get to spend lots of time together both on and off the court, which makes me very happy :)  


April 8, 2013
Meet the team, Part VII (Sammy)

Sammy Chao, '14, Taipei, Taiwan

Q: What is your favorite nickname on the team?

A: Oh man...this is such a tough question - there are too many good ones to choose from!

I'll just give my top three (in no particular order):

1. Coyote
2. Solomonster
3. Weawynnnn

Q: What was your favorite match so far this season? Individually or as a team.

A: Favorite match so far this season was our match against Case Western. Case Western came out firing ready to play us, and consequently we went down 2-1 after doubles. However, everyone fought hard in singles to take the match 5-4. This match is also my favorite match individually since I hadn't won a singles match in a while, and my win is what clinched the match for the team.

Q: Favorite song on the warm-up mix?

A: Love on Top by Beyonce - it's Queen B herself...need I say more?

Q: Any favorite traditions on the team?

A: I love our Secret Sagehen tradition, especially when the Pitzer kids tie-dye t-shirts for us. They always turn out so well and we get a free shirt! 

Q: Thoughts about Ann and Becca?

A: In short, Ann and Becca are fantastic. I did not have the chance to meet Ann before I came as a freshmen, and I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased when I got to meet her in person. I have so much respect for what she has done individually and how she has built the Pomona-Pitzer tennis program into what it is today. Becca is a godsend - she is such a talented and dedicated tennis player. She is a great assistant coach that is there for us on and off the court. Our program is so blessed to have two incredible women in charge.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most this season?

A: I'm looking forward to seeing how far this team can go. I believe that we have a lot of potential and believe that we have the heart to go far this season. I'm excited to see what challenges come our way and how we handle them. I have confidence that we will be able to meet these challenges and really show people why Pomona-Pitzer is one of the best teams in the country.

Q: Flatter a fellow junior (compliment Claire in 3-4 sentences)

A: Oh gosh...where do I even start. I have to flatter all of them - they're just too cool not to and it would be mean/cruel. I'll go in alphabetical order by first name:

Alex: Alex is probably one of the nicest people I will ever meet in my life. She always has a smile on her face at practice and a cheerful attitude that always brightens up my day. 

Arthi: We joke and call her Princess Arthi, but Arthi is not a princess in any way. She is one of the kindest most thoughtful people I have ever met.

Claire: Claire has a fun and energetic personality that is infectious. During practice, she always works hard regardless of how difficult the drill may be. 

Constance: Constance is like my mom - she looks out for me in every way possible. She is one of the smartest people I know, and I know for a fact that she will do great things in life (as will all the other juniors because they're just that talented). 

All of the juniors have been whatever I needed them to be: a shoulder to cry on, someone to pull on prank on, or someone to just have an all-around good time with. I am so fortunate to have been a part of this class.


April 6, 2013
Meet the team, Part VI (Kira '15)

Kira Woods, '15, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Q: Favorite match to play or watch so far this season:

A: Even though we lost, the CMS match is always my favorite because everyone gets so pumped up.

Q: Favorite song on the warmup mix?

A: I would be crazy if I said anything other than thrift shop. Then again, maybe this girl is on fire is my favorite.

Q: Which match are you looking forward to the most?

A: I'm really looking forward to playing CMS again in SCIACS

Q: Your favorite nickname on the team?

A: I've got to go with Solomonster on this one. What a wonderful play on words. 

Q: Thoughts on the coaches?

A: I'm not going to lie, they're tough. I've never had coaches expect me to work so hard. It's great though, because they know what their doing and every time they push us, I know they're doing it out of love. 

Q: Favorite team tradition?

A: Handel's on Wednesdays. Hands down. Any day I can get my fill of ice cream for 2 or 3 dollars, is a good day. 

Q: Flatter your fellow Sophomore (Marissa Cohen)

A: Marissa is pretty awesome. We've gotten really close this year and I can say that she is definitely one of my best friends at this school. Also, she's my doubles partner, and we have such a good time playing together. She's a really good balance for me on the court because whenever I get down she's such a hilarious ray of sunshine that she can get me out of it.


April 3, 2013
Meet the team, Part V (Marissa, '15)

Marissa Cohen, '15, San Diego, California

Q: Favorite match to play or watch this season?

A: My favorite match to watch was against Case Western. It was a close match and there was a lot of energy on and off the court. 

Q: What's your favorite song on the warm-up mix?

A: My favorite songs on the warm up mix are really anything by Beyonce. I can't decide between all of them...

Q: Which match are you looking forward to the most?

A: I always look forward to the rivalry match against CMS.

Q: Favorite nickname on the team?

A: It's probably a tie between Kara Banana and Coyote for Mae :)

Q: Thoughts on the coaches?

A: Ann and Becca are both very knowledgable and experienced coaches and players. They believe that everyone on the team, regardless of current or previous rankings, has potential to be a great player. They also make sure there is a good balance between camaraderie and competitiveness.

Q: What is your favorite team tradition?

A: My favorite team tradition is getting Some Crust cookies for people on their birthdays. Going to Korean Tofu House together is a close second.

Q: Flatter your fellow sophomore (Kira Woods)

A: Basically I love Kira. She knows me better than most people and is always there to brighten my day. Not only are we doubles partners, but we are also super close friends and have a great time together on and off the court. Gotta love the super, sagehen, insert positive adjective that starts with 's', sophomores! :)


April 2, 2013

Meet the team, Part IV (Lea Lynn, ’16)

Lea Lynn Yen, ’16, Fullerton, California

Q: What do you like about the tennis team?

A: What is there not to love? I love each and every single person on the team with all my heart, and they all take care of me so well. We have so much fun together, whether it's out on the courts, hanging out off-campus, or at parties. We are all part of this wonderful, wonderful family.

Q: Favorite match so far?

A: My personal favorite match was my singles win against Middlebury. It was a great chance to challenge myself by playing in the line-up at no. 5 that day, and I pulled it out after splitting sets and winning the 10-point tiebreaker with everyone watching. I didn't play so well the next day, but in that moment, I felt like I was invincible. 

Q: How do you like your fellow ’16-ers?

A: We're definitely a very diverse group based on our backgrounds and our interests, but it doesn't stop us from being great friends. I love them all to death, and they are each so incredibly humble even though they are absolutely amazing, accomplished people. 

Q: Thoughts on the upperclassmen?

A: I call them my mommies. They are the most caring people I've ever met. Everyone's so accepting of the freshmen and it just makes us feel so loved. Also, they give the best hugs. 

Q: How about the coaches?

A: Coach Ann was one of the biggest reasons I decided to continue playing tennis in college. When I met her, I knew I wanted to play for her because I could just sense her dedication to the sport and the program here at Pomona-Pitzer. She's tough, but she's fair, and she has the best one-liners that gets the whole team laughing. Most of all, she cares about each and every single one of us. Becca is like our older sister that's been through it all, and she's wise beyond her years. She's very perceptive when she coaches us, and I really appreciate that. She's also incredibly friendly and a great person!

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I'm looking forward to improving our record on the season. There's always tough matches ahead of us, but I think we have so much potential as a team. I'm also looking forward to more hangouts with everyone, because the time I spend with my fellow teammates are some of the best times I've ever had!

Q: Flatter a fellow freshman (Priya Amritraj)

A: Priya is full of surprises, in the best way possible. She was really quiet when we all first met, but she has an incredibly mean game. She tries so hard for every ball, and the training she puts in really shows on the court. Off-court, she's one of the sweetest and most people I know. She's quick to flatter others, but she hardly lets us compliment her, although she deserves all the compliments in the book. I'm so lucky to be on the team with her!


March 31, 2013
Meet the Team, Part III (Marie)

Marie Fleming, '16, Boston, Massachusetts

What do you like about the tennis team?:

I like how genuinely concerned and supportive the girls are. I really feel cared for by them. It feels like I’ve inherited another family and it seems as though there has been a legacy of remarkable women who have established this family.

What has been your favorite match so far?:

Last doubles match against Williams. It was a close tiebreaker and we prevailed. The close matches are the ones you don’t forget.

Favorite song on the warm-up mix?

Countdown by Beyonce. It makes me want to dance!

Thoughts on upperclassmen:

I feel so fortunate to have this group of upperclassmen. There is no sense of hierarchy but we underclassmen have the utmost respect for our upperclassmen and they guide us through the ropes. They have created a welcoming, safe, and extremely fun environment for us young-ones. Their superb display of leadership is a great example for we underclassmen, we have big shoes to fill!

Thoughts on Ann and Becca (be nice but honest):

Ann and Becca are so down to earth and supportive… but between encouragement and constructive criticism, they are both as silly as can be. I’ve accumulated some pretty hilarious quotes from the two of them. They are both very approachable, and the mixture of Ann’s experience and relatable Becca make for reliable coaching staff.  

What are you looking forward to this season?:

Getting to know the girls on the team better and of course supporting and hopefully winning alongside them!

Flatter a fellow freshman (Lea Lynn Yen)

Lea Lynn has become like a sister to me! I’m so fortunate to have bonded so much with her. She’s a real grinder on the court, through injury and all. You don’t want to mess with her deep & heavy groundstrokes and her huge serve. Its obvious that Lea Lynn is a leader and I look forward to the rest of the season (and next 3 years) with her!


March 30, 2013
Meet the team, Part II (Mae, ’16)

Mae Coyiuto, ’16, Makati City, Philippines

Q: What do you like about the tennis team?

A: Our tennis team is a family. It's really the best part of my college life. I think what I like the most about the tennis team is how we all accept one another. Everyone is brilliant, accomplished and even weird in their own ways, but you'll always feel welcome in this family. Win or lose, you'll ALWAYS feel the love. 

Q: Favorite match so far?

A: I think my favorite match would be the one against La Verne. It was my first ever intercollegiate match and I don't think I'll ever forget it. I was so nervous about playing and also having to do the introduction, but I also felt so excited. It was an indescribable feeling to come together and cheer your teammates on. It feels good to win, but it feels ten times better when you know you're contributing to a team victory. 

Q: How do you like your fellow ’16-ers?

A: The freshmen- we're all very different from one another, but the freshmen in the team are some of the best people I've met. I was so lost when I first got to college, but I don't feel as lost when I'm with them. Even though we have varying interests, I feel like I can talk to them about almost everything. I'm so grateful that I get to spend four years of my life with these awesome people. 

Q: Thoughts on the upperclassmen?

A: The upperclassmen are filled with my moms, my older sisters, my teachers and my inspirations. It really amazes me at how much they would do for me. I didn't think anyone would be nice enough to drive me 4 hours late at night or would pull out her own mattress pad for me. I learn so much from the upperclassmen about tennis and basically everything else in life. They inspire me to be a better person and I'd consider myself lucky if I turn out to be like one of them. 

Q: How about the coaches?

A: Before I left, I never thought I'd ever get attached to a tennis coach aside from my coach back home. Then I met Ann and Becca. Ann is something else. She has a gift of knowing exactly what to say. Whenever she comes to the court, she gives me what I need to hear. Plus, she's one of the funniest people I've ever met. She's also so humble. She is so accomplished and has done so much, but she always treats each and every one of us with respect. Becca is both a coach and a teammate. I can't imagine myself ever knowing so much about the game like Becca does. She devotes so much time and energy to the team and it wouldn't feel the same without her. Even though I have only met a few teams and am clearly biased, I think we have the best sets of coaches in the whole country. 

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I'm looking forward to playing more matches and trips with the team like Ojai and Disneyland. Even though season has not been all smooth, I'm loving spending my time with the best people on campus! 

Q: Flatter a fellow freshman (Marie Fleming)

A: Marie is a baller. Put her in a tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court and she'll wipe out the competition (I bet she can even do the same if you put her in rugby). Even though she has every right to brag, she never does. She's someone that almost anyone could get along with. She tells so many funny stories and there's never a boring moment when you're with Marie. She's a fighter and she will never give up on a match. She keeps the whole team pumped up and I'm learning to be a better player by just being in the same team with her. 


March 28, 2013
Meet the team, Part I (Priya, ’16)

Throughout the rest of the year, our Sagehens will be answering some questions about the team and season! I hope you enjoy reading these and get a better sense of who these wonderful Hens are!

Priya Amritraj, ’16, Sherman Oaks, California

Q: What do you like about the tennis team?

A: I really like how close the team is. When I first met everyone, they were all really nice and welcoming, but I think that from the beginning of the year until now, we have all become friends—which is pretty great! I hope that we can continue to grow even closer as the season progresses.

Q: What has been your favorite match so far?

A: My favorite match was when we played against La Verne because it was my first college game. I guess it kind of set the precedent for the other games in the season in terms of what is expected of us as players and hopefully in the sense that we will also continue to do well. :)

Q: Thoughts on your fellow freshmen?

A: I really like and admire my fellow freshman! Marie, Lea Lynn, and Mae are all really incredible tennis players. They all have very unique games and it’s always fun to play against them. It’s also great that they are all such awesome people off the courts as well. I’m really honored to be amongst them as a freshman member of the team! :)

Q: Thoughts on upperclassmen?

A: I think that the upperclassmen are also amazing. I’m super awkward when it comes to meeting new people and I think that joining a team in which one spends so much time with her teammates can be a really good or bad experience, depending on the people she’s with. My experience so far has been really incredible because of the upperclassmen! Everyone always tries their hardest and supports one another, which I really admire. I also love that so many of them are just as crazy about cute animals as I am!

Q: How about the coaches?

A: I’m really excited to be on a team that is coached by Ann and Becca. I think that they both can be intense at times, which can be a bit scary, but I know that it’s because they really care about how we do and want us to do our best. I appreciate that they do push us to constantly improve because I think that it is really effective. I look forward to continuing the rest of the season under their coaching!

Q: What are you looking forward to this season?

A: I am looking forward to continue playing matches. I think that it is really great to be able to play and cheer each other on because it’s a really nice balance between playing individually and being on a team. I hope that through playing these matches that I am able to continue improving my game overall.

Q: Flatter a fellow freshman! (Mae Coyiuto)

A: Mae is such an incredible person. First of all, she’s a really spectacular player. She manages to hit the ball hard but is still so consistent; she also gets back almost every single ball and I can’t believe some of the balls she is able to reach. I really admire Mae’s game and hope that I can someday be a good opponent against her. Mae is also an amazingly kind, talented, and creative individual. She has already accomplished so much and I know that she will go on to achieve so many more things just at her time at Pomona. She is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and I am really lucky to play on the team with her. :)


March 27, 2013
Spring Breakers: Sagehen Edition

If anyone caught the reference in the title, I hope you will be relieved that our spring breaks were nothing like the one portrayed in the recent movie. In fact, Coach Ann specifically asked us to stay safe and out of trouble, so we tried our best. So what exactly did we do over break? Here is the inside scoop from some of the team!

Sammy Chao (’14): Went skiing in Flagstaff for a day and went camping and hiking in the Grand Canyon

Constance Wu (’14): Spent time with family and a high school friend who she hasn’t seen since graduation (she studies in Japan)

Kira Woods (’15): Went to Maui, saw tons of whales and adorable goats

Claire Willey (’14): Went to a wedding, hungout with the bf, played with Piper (her dog), and visited UC Santa Barbara

Marissa Cohen (’15): Camped with friends in Joshua tree (through Pomona’s OTL) and went home to visit family and family friends

Arthi Padmanabhan (’14): Spent half the week with Alex and her wonderful family, mostly cooking, hiking, and exploring Pasadena, and went home to visit her dad and Rajah (her dog) for a few days

Kara Wang (’13): Went to Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon (brought to tears by the beautiful snow on the red mountains), and Las Vegas

Jamie Solomon (’13): Went to Austin to see friends from high school and ate lots of queso and breakfast tacos

Mae Coyiuto (’16): Spent time with her mom, sister, and uncle, went to LACMA and Newport Beach, and saw dolphins (cutest things she has ever seen)

Lea Lynn Yen (’16): Went to the LA Marathon to see Coach Becca, hung out at school for a few days, stayed with Mae in LA and went to UCLA, then went home for the rest of break

I hope everyone had or will have a wonderful spring vacation! Spring break is the halfway mark for the semester, and we are still a bit shy of halfway done with season, so please continue coming out and supporting us!


March 26, 2013
Coach Becca Lange Destroys LA Marathon

Coach Becca probably wouldn’t like that title, because she asked me not to “embarrass her too much”, but I could not think of a more suitable one. The Los Angeles Marathon, which took place on March 17, was Becca’s first full marathon, although she had participated in half-marathons before. For those who do not know, a full marathon is a whopping twenty-six miles. Because I myself have been working with Becca for more than a semester now, I know for a fact that Becca is incredibly fit and has an undying determination. This certainly carried over when she not only crossed the finish line, but crossed with a time that is admirable to most people. She mentioned that her time was within the range she had been hoping for, which really is a feat considering it was her first ever full marathon.

March 17 was the first Sunday of spring break, which meant most people had already gone on their respective vacations or trips back home, but since junior Sammy Chao, sophomore Kevin Wei (men’s tennis team), and I were still on campus, we decided to venture to Santa Monica to hopefully meet Becca at the finish line. However, this turned out to be wishful thinking, because we ended up being stuck in traffic for a long time, and it did not help that Becca finished so quickly. By the time we finally pushed our way to a couple blocks past the finish line, she had already finished and recuperated. Taking one look at her, I wasn’t able to tell that she had just run twenty-six miles. Still as energetic as ever, she recounted funny things that happened during the marathon, and looked excited to get lunch with us in the heart of Santa Monica. With all this in mind, it only confirms what I’ve thought of her until now: “Becca is a beast!”


March 23, 2013
Sagehens Almost At Midway Point

By completing eight matches before spring break officially begun, we are just one shy of reaching the midway point of matches in the regular season! As you might know, the Sagehens women’s tennis team has eighteen regular season matches to be played, with the last match happening on April 19 against the University of Redlands. I’d like to represent the team in expressing our thanks for all the support we have received so far this year. Thank you to the fellow Sagehens who have stopped by to cheer us on, our friends who may have made a road trip just to see us, and of course, the wonderful parents and family members who support us at almost every single game. We really feed off your enthusiasm and appreciate your presence during our matches!

Looking back on what we have achieved prior to spring break, I would say we are off to a pretty good start. Our record currently stands at 7-1 in the regular season, with wins over four top 30 teams, with Bowdoin College being the only loss thus far. Once spring break ends, it will be back to the grind at practice, with four matches happening nearly back to back on 3/26, 3/27, 3/29, and 3/30, against UC Santa Cruz, Williams College, Middlebury College, and CMS respectively. All four teams are ranked top 30 in the division (Williams, Middlebury, and CMS are ranked in the top 10), so you know there will definitely be some great tennis out on the courts. Come support us at the Pauley courts for the first three matches after spring break, and let’s show CMS what we are made of when they host on Saturday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center. Sage on!

February 25, 2013
What do Sagehens do for fun?

On court, the Sagehens are a formidable team, composed of sportsmanlike yet intense competitors. While the team shares many of their memorable experiences during practice and competition, the Hens definitely never forget how important off-court bonding can be. So, what exactly helps relieve the stress from practice and school?

Being a freshman, I had to be introduced to the traditions of the team. Every team has different people, and therefore different ideas of “fun”, but I found myself fitting right in immediately due to the inviting, warm atmosphere of the returners. One thing to point out immediately: no freshman hazing. I don’t refer to hazing as the traditions that could really hurt someone, but just in general picking on the freshman and making them uncomfortable as a “bonding experience”. Nope, definitely none of that. The bonding that occurs in this team is based on inclusion. Within days after orientation week, a returner took me to my first party. Of course, this is based on my personal experience, but it really shows how welcoming upperclassmen are to the newcomers.

Team parties in general are a fun way to relax on weekends with the team. One of the first was a tennis mixer with the men’s team. Through playing mixed doubles and other games, it was a fun way for the freshman to meet the men whom we share the tennis complex with, and for returners to meet again after a long summer. There are also holiday parties, gatherings during Halloween, Christmas, etc. which is comprised of board games, gift exchanges, and of course, the team tradition of yummy baked goods. One of the most fun experiences was during Halloween practice, when everyone showed up to practice in their costumes, highlighted by Kara’s awesome full-body Kangaroo suit.

Speaking of parties, in fact just yesterday (from when this was written) there was an Oscars-showing party hosted by Alex, where delicious waffles of all kinds were served, and the past weekend hosted yet another co-ed tennis team party. Three weeks ago, a party was arranged for me (Lea Lynn) and Marie, because we had back-to-back birthdays. The party was made complete with karaoke, chips and guacamole, and of course, fresh-baked birthday pie!

In conclusion, we work hard, but we never forget to have fun. No team is complete without its traditions, and baked goods, ice cream, and all other kinds of desserts are a heavy favorite in the team. As the season progresses and the schedule keeps getting tougher, we will always remember to let loose whenever we can.

February 10, 2013
Sagehens Ready for Spring Season
With many players advancing far into the main and consolation draws, the Sagehens made a statement early on in the Fall Regionals: We are back, and we are ready. The Hens have always been known to make their mark in this first showdown of local colleges, and this year was no different. Coming back together (or joining, for the freshman) for one short month, the Hens quickly proved that the momentum from seasons past has not been lost. New faces quickly blended in with the team thanks to the warm, family-like aura from the returners, and each brought fresh talent to the already well-rounded, seasoned team. With the spring season rapidly approaching on the 22nd of February, the team strives to make one point clear: Fall Regionals was only the beginning.
After Fall Regionals, captain practices took over the scene for the rest of the semester. Led by seniors Kara Wang, Jamie Solomon, and Jess Hsu, practices were challenging but definitely fun. The three captains shared their experience with the team, running drills to improve in-game strategy, consistency, footwork, and most importantly, teamwork. Practices were always followed by a fun team dinner, where the team laughed uncontrollably at each other’s stories or witty statements, all while replenishing their energy after the workouts.
Now, after a month-long winter break spent with family and friends, it’s back to the grind with the family away from home. Practices were kicked up a notch to bring out the best in everyone, and although they can be tiring, the Hens return day after day faithfully because they are on the same mission: to be the best. Not just to be the top players in the nation, but to be the best team, with all fourteen hearts beating for the same goal. With the first match coming up in less than two weeks, the Hens will be ready to show the nation what they are made of.
The Sagehens will play their first match away at University of La Verne on February 22. Come out and support the team in their season opener!