Two sisters qualify for All-Conference tennis team

Sisters+%28from+left%29+Kassie+and+Maddie+Ortiz+are+members+of+the+Santa+Barbara+City+College+All+Western+State+Conference+tennis+team%2C+Thursday%2C+April+21%2C+at+Pershing+Park+tennis+courts+Santa+Barbara.

J.C. Corliss

Sisters (from left) Kassie and Maddie Ortiz are members of the Santa Barbara City College All Western State Conference tennis team, Thursday, April 21, at Pershing Park tennis courts Santa Barbara.

ZAC GOTTLIEB, Channels Staff

It was a family affair as freshman sisters Madison and Kassandra Ortiz made the All-Western State Conference team for City College’s women’s tennis.

Four commendable City College women’s tennis players were named in the conference teams with Madison making the first-team All-Conference in singles and doubles, and Kassandra making the second-team for her work this season. Tyler Bunderson was a second-team All-Conference selection for singles and Gabrielle Goss also made the second team.

“It really means a lot to be named in this team, it amounts to something tangible,” Madison said. “It reflects all the hard work that I put in, not just in the season but in my whole life.”

Madison has been playing tennis since she was only four-years-old, under the watchful eye of her older sister and father Patrick Ortiz, who was the tennis coach at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria.

“She definitely motivates me to be better,” Kassandra said. “She truly puts her whole heart into it when she is playing. When’s she’s out there she is screaming, she’s going for every ball, she’s instructing her partner on what do, it’s always great watching her do that.”

One of the main reasons Madison joined the team was due to the fact her sister Kassandra has an anxiety disorder and they felt that it would make it easier for her. Kassandra wanted to thank her sister and parents for all they did for her over the season.

“They would take off work, rent a car and actually drive me to all of my away matches because of my disorder,” Kassandra said. “When I’m on my way to a big match I just get really nervous, it would be about stuff that wouldn’t even relate, just an anxiety disorder in general. If it wasn’t for my sister and for my family I would never be able to get to those matches in the first place.”

She also thanks the sport of tennis most of all for helping her with the disorder.

“I get there and I’m anxious, I’m thinking; What if when I’m running I get an anxiety attack? What will my teammates think? But then I start playing and all my stress and anxiety just goes into hitting that ball and I just completely let it go and forget about it,” Kassandra said. “I’m playing the sport I love and it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Head coach Randy Moharram was praised by his players for instilling a community sense amongst the team.

“We were screaming for each other when the names were being announced,” Bunderson said. “We were definitely the loudest team out there.”

“We were all so proud of each other, we encourage one another all season long,” Kassandra said. “Every time any of us would succeed, it would feel like we all did which is this mutual feeling that we all had. None of us would have got to where we are without each other.”