The 2007 spring sports season has turned into a fruitful one for CSULB athletic teams, which have collected three Big West Conference (BWC) championships in recent weeks.
For the fourth consecutive year, the 49ers captured the BWC women’s tennis crown as they defeated Cal Poly 4-0 in the championship match at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens. The CSULB squad finished the season at 17-9 overall on the season and won seven of its last eight matches.
The 49er women have won five of the past six Big West tennis titles and stand at 5-2 in Big West Championship matches. The 49ers advanced to the conference finals seven straight years, winning titles in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
After winning the BWC title, 49er sophomore Hannah Grady was selected as the BWC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. In all, the 49ers had three singles players named first team all-conference and two doubles teams as well.
Grady, the Big West Player and Freshman of the Year in 2006, finished the regular season 19-7 at No. 1 singles. She has been ranked nationally throughout the year and has six wins this season over nationally-ranked opponents.
Also earning first-team honors in singles were junior Stephanie Bengson and sophomore Katy Williams. Bengson was 18-6 in singles play this year, playing the majority of her matches at No. 3 singles, and won 13 of her last 15 matches. Williams was 14-10 this year.
In doubles, the teams of Grady-Weeks and Bengson-Williams both earned first-team accolades. Grady and Weeks were 18-7 this spring, including a 14-3 mark at No. 2 doubles. Bengson and Williams finished 14-9 this spring, with a 10-7 mark at the No. 1 doubles position.
It also was a banner season individually for the CSULB men’s and women’s golf programs as both Kay Hoey and Brett Lederer were overall individual medalists at the recent 2007 Big West Conference Golf Championships. It is just the fifth time in 21 years that a school has claimed the individual title on both the men’s and women’s sides, and the first time since 2002.
It was Hoey’s fourth tournament title this year and her seventh in her 49er career. She also was named the Big West’s Women’s Golfer of the Year for the second time since 2005.
On the men’s side, Lederer shot a three-under 69 in the final round and finished the tournament with a 12-under 204 to win his first individual title at Long Beach State.
The individual title was the third in the past four years for a 49er men’s golfer and the eighth overall. Ryan Panichpakdee won the 2006 title with a record-breaking score of 200, and Todd Saukkola won the 2004 title on a playoff.
For his efforts, Lederer was selected first team All-Big West Conference for the second time in his 49er career (first in 2004).