Saturday, February 24, 2024

Powerhouse College Tennis Coming to Coronado: Free Event Nov. 3-5

Calling all tennis aficionados and casual fans! November 3-5 is THE weekend for you to head to the Coronado Tennis Center. Once you arrive, you can watch some of the nation’s best women’s collegiate players compete. The Third Annual Torrero Tennis Classic Invitational Tournament, hosted by the University of San Diego (USD), is free, so bring the kids too!
USD players will square off against the best in the country, including players from pre-season #2-ranked University of Georgia (UGA), #9-ranked Pepperdine, and #21-ranked University of Washington (UW). USD coach Nadia Abdala shared that this year’s USD team is even better than last year’s team that finished their season a strong #31 in the country. (Think of this event as an early-season, final-four-caliber tournament of NCAA women’s tennis).

Why You Should Attend

The event will be held for the first time in Coronado and offers a special opportunity for Coronado’s tennis players to stop by to get inspired. Coronado Tennis Director Joel Myers expressed his enthusiasm for the event. “We are thrilled to host [this tournament] at the Coronado Tennis Center. This is a great opportunity to watch some of the best D1 collegiate women players in the country compete in Coronado,” he said. “We encourage everyone in the Coronado tennis community to come out and witness some amazing tennis over the 3-day tournament.”

Although the player list is not yet available, the universities boast an impressive list of top-ranked Division 1 collegiate players. That list includes #6 Dasha Vidmanova (UGA); #11 Janice Tjen and #23 Savannah Broadus (both from Pepperdine), #35 Mell Reasco (UGA); and #58 Kailey Evans (USD). Broadus and Tjen are also the number-one ranked doubles team in the country, while USD’s Evans and Elizabeth Goldsmith come in at #11.

Focus and drive characterize the USD Women’s Tennis Team (Photo credit, Harjanto Sumali).

University of San Diego’s Connections to Coronado

Abdala expressed that her goal “is to show the community how good we are so that we can get their support. We love playing in front of a of a crowd and we love to meet new community members. The goal for this tournament is to create a partnership with those residents that play tennis, and hopefully they see the value in supporting us and coming to watch us play.”
“The main reason to come support is because the level is going to be really, really high, and it’s going to be in people’s backyard,” she said.
Recognize the last name? Abdala’s sister, Laila Abdala Romero, is a popular, longtime tennis pro in Coronado. Coach Nadia Abdala recounted her history with Coronado tennis. “I’ve always had a very strong connection with Coronado tennis. As a junior, my sister and I trained at the Loews hotel, and [Coronado Tennis Pro] Angélica Gavaldón was our coach,” she said. “Obviously, my sister has been working at Coronado for many, many years, so I’ve always felt a very deep, strong connection with Coronado. My sister and I have been talking for many, many years about how to connect USD tennis with Coronado tennis.”
The sisters will have the chance to make that connection a reality the first weekend in November. 

Coach Abdala shared her hope that watching the collegiate players inspires players of all ages. “I think it’s for people to enjoy the competitive nature of college tennis, as well as hopefully inspire young kids and even adults, to stay in tennis and to keep getting better.

Just How Good is Women’s Tennis at the University of San Diego?

The USD team has been strong for years and is on an upward trajectory. For example, last season the team defeated #11 UC Berkeley and #25 Georgia Tech to advance to a premier college tournament, ITA Indoor National Championships, for the first time ever. They also notched two other victories against top-20 opponents. 
But the team and coaching staff want more. “Our aspirations are really high. We want to win the conference. And most importantly, we want to win a national championship,” Abdala said. “So we’re slowly getting there. The team is a little bit stronger every year, which is exciting. Our main goal for the 23-24 season is to break into the top 20 [and stay there] week after week. So I would say that the aspiration is really high. The girls are hungry, the coaches are hungry. That’s why we work really hard. Our motto is, ‘Stay hungry.’”

Why USD Hosts This Tournament

USD is excited to host so that its players can compete against the best in the country and see how they measure up. Abdala believes that her players will be able to hold their own with this field. 

From her vantage point, Abadala also sees that USD sometimes gets left out of the conversation when compared to local universities such as San Diego State. She is hoping to change hearts and minds by getting more exposure for her team. “I think it’s very important for us to make our mark. We have a great group of young ladies that are great students, really incredible tennis players, and most importantly, they’re great people,” she said. “And that’s why I’m very excited for the community to watch them play. They want to get better on and off the court. They want to develop as human beings.”

USD Women’s Tennis poses for a team pic (photo courtesy of USD Athletics).

Tournament Format

Although the players will represent their university, the tournament will feature an individual-tournament format that will crown singles and doubles champions. Each team will bring 4-6 players with them. As with all college tennis play, the format privileges quick starters and strong closers. Singles matches are best two of three sets with no-ad scoring and no lets on the serve. Doubles matches require an even faster start as they are one, (that’s right, one), 6-game set, with no-ad scoring and no lets on the serve.

One advantage for fans? They can watch many matches while they are in attendance. One match will finish relatively quickly and then spectators will have time to watch another in a relatively short period of time. 

Come on out to watch spectacular collegiate division 1 tennis in our home town!

USD Women’s Tennis team is pumped up for play. Be sure to attend the free event Nov 3-5 at the Coronado Tennis Center. (photo courtesy of USD Athletics).

Tournament Information

Who:        University of San Diego Women’s Tennis and players from UGA, UW, Pepperdine
What:       Third Annual Torrero Classic Tennis Invitational Tournament
When:      Friday, November 3, 10:30 am – 3:00 pm
                 Saturday, November 4, 11:45 am – 4:00 pm
                 Sunday, November 5, 11:45 am
Where:     Coronado Tennis Center, 1501 Glorietta Boulevard
Why:        High-level collegiate tennis that fans can watch for free, close to home.
How:        Bring a portable chair. Seating is limited at the courts.

Lisa Lamb
Lisa Lamb
Lisa’s passion for sports journalism stems from her experiences playing high school sports and reading great sports journalists, especially those who write about her favorite basketball team, the San Diego State Aztecs. As a professor of mathematics education, she enjoys analyzing data to highlight the statistics that help bring the story to life. Lisa has lived in Coronado for almost 20 years with her husband and son. She loves the friendly neighborhood community and the walkable access to wonderful restaurants and parks.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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