LeSage ends Tennis coaching on high note

Posted By Horizon Staff April 16th, 2013 in Sports : 0 COMMENTS

Donald Scherschligt
Design Editor

CAN WE MAKE THIS INTRO MORE INTERESTING After coaching the Women’s Tennis team at Westmont College for 28 years, head coach Kathy LeSage will retire at the end of the 2013 season. LeSage also coached tennis for three years at San Marcos High School and was an assistant coach at Santa Barbara City College for a year. LeSage said, “I’m retiring from coaching so that I can spend more time enjoying my daughter’s final two years of high school.” LeSage will continue at Westmont as a faculty member.

LeSage’s interest in strategy games and puzzles originally got her interested in coaching tennis. “Playing tennis combines physical skills as well as sometimes clever strategies in order to gain the upper hand. It’s like playing a chess match, which fits perfectly with my personality,” she said.

Looking back, one of LeSage’s favorite and funniest memories from her years of coaching is from her time coaching the Men’s Tennis team in 1993.

“One of the guys on my team was sprinting to retrieve a ball that ran him into the fence,” she said. “As he pushed off the fence to get back to center court, he got his foot stuck under the bottom of the fence. He tugged hard enough and pulled his foot out of his shoe and continued playing the point. He ended up winning the point while wearing only one shoe.”

LeSage’s players view her as a role model. “Coach LeSage knows how to develop relationships on and off the court with the players so there’s a level of comfort. You see her as a coach but also as a mentor. She knows how to push us really hard and motivate us through goals. At GSAC, there were three important doubles matches going at one time, and she was able to work with each team at the same time. She spread herself thin, but she was doing a great job of it. She just kept reminding us to leave our hearts on the court and above all else, to play for God,” fourth-year Tara Yekrang said.

Of course, LeSage wanted to leave her team on top, and the girls this season definitely granted that wish.

“This has been a dream season,” LeSage said. “Our record speaks for itself: 17-2 overall, GSAC tournament and regular season champions, ranked nationally number seven in the NAIA. There is an amazing diverse group of godly women on this team. I’m incredible grateful for the opportunity to be an instrument in developing strong Christian women through sport.”

The Women’s Tennis team went undefeated 10-0 in GSAC, defeating Vanguard in the championship round. The Men’s Tennis team had a great conference season as well, despite losing to Vanguard in the championships. Their record is 8-2 in the GSAC, and their overall record is 11-10.

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