USTA Section: Southern California
Amber Brightly - Graduate
Amanda Ellis - Senior
Allen Jebsen - Junior
Alden Mitchell - Sophomore
Ashley Ohira - Senior
Jordan Rees - Senior
Madeline Segura - Senior
Yaron Steinfeld - Sophomore
Colin Tseng - Freshman
Dave Warren - Sophomore
Teams Defeated: UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly
USTA.com: When did you discover that you had the talent to win as a team?
This team had the talent to win from the very beginning of the year. Last year we had to pull out of Nationals at the last minute and we were all devastated. Redemption is on our minds- it is what has fueled us all year. We pulled out a huge win at the California Cup in the beginning of March against Stanford, Oregon, and the NorCal champs, UC Berekely. We did all of this with only three players from our Nationals roster. Sure, we have talent...but it's our HEART that is going to get us that National title!
USTA.com: How does your team unwind after a day of matches?
We thoroughly enjoy spending time together as a team...especially when the freshman take us to brunch at our dining hall after Sunday practice. We also do a lot of team dinners; we love our mexican fiestas!
USTA.com: When you qualified, how did you celebrate?
After winning the SoCal title, we had a team BBQ under the stars in Madeline's apartment courtyard!
USTA.com: Tell us a bit about how your school is unique.
We are absolutely biased when we say this, but we are going to say it anyway: We have the funniest team in the nation. We have 25 completely different personalities on this team and we all get along really well, mainly because all we do is LAUGH. ALL OF THE TIME.
USTA.com: If you were to list THREE specific things that need to happen in order to win a National Championship, they would be:
1) Keep things rollin! We are on a pretty incredible winning streak right now, and we need to keep this momentum going as we head to Cary.
2) Work on that fitness: We have about ONE month to get faster, stronger, and smarter. Extra practices, anyone?
3) FIGHT ON. It's our school's motto, and we need to remember to FIGHT for every point.
USTA.com: How do you exhibit school spirit?
Well, we take our school flag everywhere we go (yes, you will see it in Cary!). We also might whip out the war paint and eye black...
USTA.com: Share with us a funny story about your team or team member(s).
We recently found out that the manliest, frat-iest, muscle-iest guy on our team is also the most ticklish. Now one of our favorite team activities is surprise attacking Sam when he is not looking.
USTA.com: Share with us an uplifting story about your team or team member(s).
At the California Cup, we had to play the NorCal sectional champs TWICE. The first time we played them, our doubles teams really brought home the win for us. When we played Cal in the finals, they completely changed their line-up and showed us a much stronger team. Both our men's doubles and women's doubles lost their sets, and it was looking grim going into singles. Both of our singles players had struggled the day previous against Cal - but in the end, it was their determination that got us two HUGE unexpected wins. This gave us a tied score going into mixed, and our mixed team won easily. The match seemed like it was over after doubles... so much so that the tournament director had already given Cal the trophy right before singles. This was a huge team win for us, a very proud moment.