Le Bringing Bronco Tennis to New Heights
Sophomore standout named WCC Player of the Year
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 09:05
It has been quite some time since Santa Clara’s tennis program has seen a player of sophomore Katie Le’s caliber. Most current students at the school were around 11 years old the last time a Santa Clara women’s tennis player was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2003. Before Christina Limbers (2003’s award winner), Santa Clara had never been awarded such an honor.
This year, Le brought the award back to Santa Clara after going 18-5 in the No. 1 singles spot all season and teaming up with junior Jessica Agra to earn an All-WCC First Team honor for doubles.
“I’m extremely happy to be named WCC player of the year,” said Le. “There are several deserving players in our conference as well, and I am honored to have been picked as the player of the year.”
Le also earned Santa Clara’s first-ever individual bid to the NCAA Tournament for a men’s or women’s tennis player. She received an at-large bid to compete in the singles competition, which will take place May 23-28 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, GA.
Le’s standout performance this season is a testament to her hard work ethic, as she has shown much improvement since her WCC Freshman of the Year campaign last season.
“I feel like I’ve been working very hard this past year to improve areas of my game that I have been struggling with, along with my strength and conditioning,” said Le. “Now, it all seems to be paying off.”
The improvement has been noticeable. Le’s individual ranking soared as high as No. 38 this season for singles and she currently sits at No. 49 in the nation heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Fifth-year Head Coach Ben Cabell has been very proud of his sophomore standout, and figured that it was only a matter of time before she achieved the chance to perform on the national stage.
“It was the goal since the end of last season,” said Cabell. “After her performance last year, we knew if she put in the hard work she could get to this day.”
As a recipient of an at-large bid, it was not guaranteed that Le would qualify for the NCAA Tournament, so the news that she had been selected was thrilling for her.
“I have been training all year long to maintain and improve my ranking in the hopes of playing in the NCAA tournament,” said Le.
Although Le has achieved one of her goals, she is certainly not settling.
“I am continuing to practice everyday, and am also doing individual workouts on the side,” Le said. “I am also focusing on preparing mentally to play in Georgia, which is an area I am unfamiliar with.”
Meanwhile, in addition to her performance on the court, Le has also held up a 3.81 grade point average as a computer engineering major. The key, she explained, is a mastery of time management.
“I consider myself a very motivated and focused person, and I’ve developed a work ethic that allows me to practice, finish my homework, while making time for having fun with friends,” Le said. “I rarely procrastinate, and in the end, balancing tennis and schoolwork revolves around managing my time well.”
Le’s outstanding season on and off the court won’t end until after the NCAA Tournament. She will be up against the best in the nation, but she is also one of the best in the nation.
Contact Ryan Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 554-4852.