Story by Marcus Tolero
The City College of San Francisco tennis team heads into the postseason after completing one of their best regular seasons in recent memory.
The Rams closed the year with an 11-6 overall record and finished third in the competitive Coast Conference with a 10-4 record. In the latest CCCAA NorCal Regional Rankings released in mid-March, the Rams were no.8 with conference rivals De Anza College and Chabot College ranked no.1 and no. 3 on the list, respectively.
Head Coach Kelly Hickey said her team’s performance up to this point has gone beyond expectation.
“This season has gone better than I expected in a lot of ways. The surprise is the strength of our team matched up against the rest of the conference. Canada College is tough, and Foothill I haven’t had a victory on in quite some time. Being able to get wins in that very first week of conference against them was a big confidence boost for the team, and really showed us our level (of play) and set the tone for the rest of the season,” Hickey said. “After those victories, our expectations were set higher.”
The Coast Conference is arguably one of the toughest conferences in the State. Although games against perennial powerhouses De Anza and Chabot are always tough, the experience of playing playoff teams within the conference has hardened Hickey’s group. CCSF displayed consistent tennis throughout conference play. They had a season high four-game winning streak in February and had two three-game winning streaks in the final month of the regular season.
“Competing against those teams in our conference only helps us.”
Heading into Thursday’s conference tournament the Rams will be led Zee Aynaci, Abigail Campos, Yvonne Ng, and Claudia Houdre. Aynaci received the seventh seed in singles, and the doubles teams of Aynaci/Campos and Ng/Houdre received the no. 6 and no. 11 seeds, respectively.
Although their seeding in the upcoming tournament falls outside of the top five, Hickey said it wouldn’t be surprising if they advance.
“It wouldn’t be an upset if they beat their opponents. I lobbied for them to get a higher seed, but it didn’t work out that way,” Hickey said. “I’m hoping they play with a chip on their shoulder and play with some edge. If they play to their potential, they will do well.”
The Rams postseason runs begins today at the Coast Conference Tournament (4/5-4/7)