Women’s tennis coach has a good first year

Mariel Mostacero

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The Lady Knights tennis team recently played at the SoCal Regionals on May 2-4, marking the end of their season as the semester ends. First-year coach Jami Yonekura-Jones believes the season ended on a high note, especially with this being her first year at City College.
Since it was my first season at SDCC, I feel that the season went pretty well. I had a nice group of girls who worked hard and learned a lot throughout the past few months and I learned along with them,” Yonekura-Jones said in an email interview.
While Yonekura-Jones has coached at Long Beach University and been recognized as a professional tennis player since 1988, she returned to San Diego, her hometown, to train City College students.
The tennis matches proved difficult, as the team ended with the record of 0-10 prior to the regionals. There were new players who competed during the season, and they went up against championship veterans this year.
Our toughest match was probably our first match against Grossmont who has won the conference and state many times. At that point of the season, some of our girls had never played a match and did not have much experience,” Yonekura-Jones said.
The players have been able to improve, and make the effort to become a stronger team upon returning next year. Many of the players will be returning for another season.
Again, since this was my first season, I feel it was a building year, and therefore pretty tough all the way around. However, all of the girls improved with each match and we will have a solid core group returning next year, which is important,” Yonekura-Jones said.
There were also specific students she noticed throughout the spring, including Crystal Ellis, Jennifer Wishmeyer, Claudia Cook, Anna Grageola, Yuliya Zybtseva and Tierra Young who went “above and beyond” during practices and matches. Some even made huge steps in becoming better at tennis, like Andrea Velazquez.
However, Yonekura-Jones feels it is always a group effort.
When you have a small team, everyone is a key player,” Yonekura-Jones said.
Aside from some work on conditioning and consistency, this has been a positive first season for the students and coach. She also hopes there will be more interest shown next year.
We are actively looking for players to join the SDCC Women’s Tennis Team. Anyone who is interested can contact me at jyjones@sdccd.edu or (619) 388-3436.”

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