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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Tennis and Chick-fil-A — a successful career at City College

Alejandro Gonzalez Valle
Josephine Pulver, a stand-out player for the women’s tennis team, on Monday, May 7, on the Pershing Park tennis courts in Santa Barbara. “I love the intensity of tennis and the strategy behind what goes into a great shot,” said Pulver.

City College tennis player Josephine Pulver has two routines: playing tennis and eating Chick-fil-A. But she will only continue with one more semester as she has decided not to keep playing tennis on a competitive level.

Pulver is a sophomore majoring in global studies and will stay at City College for one more year before transferring. She finished her tennis career after two strong years as a Vaquero and was critical to the team’s success, yielding two trips to the State Tournament for both singles and doubles.

“When I have something on my mind it disappears and I don’t think about it until I’m off the court,” she said. “I’m transferring next year and plan on going to UCLA.”

The Vaqueros finished the season 14-5 and 12-2 in conference, the best season they have had since 2000, when the team went 20-0 and won the State Tournament.

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“I was never a fan of playing doubles until I had Josephine as my partner,” said teammate and doubles partner Pia Valtierra. “She made my first year on the court smoother. She was the perfect partner because of how well-rounded she is.”

In the first round of the tournament, Pulver and Valtierra defeated a duo from Riverside 6-0, 6-1. They then won in a big upset over the thirteenth seeded doubles team from De Anza, the state runner-up in a close match. They advanced to the round of 32 where they lost to the eleventh seeded duo from state champion Cerritos College. In singles, Pulver was knocked out in the first round.

“We knew what our abilities were and what we needed to do,” Pulver said. “I had a pep talk with Pia and said this is our last game. We went on the court not just wanting to win but to have fun.”

“That mentality pushed us to be loose on the court and not stress much. I think that’s what got into the heads of our opponents because they had the pressure on them since they [De Anza] were seeded so high up. They were expected to win, but we won.”

Pulver started playing tennis in ninth grade to avoid having to take a physical education class. Fortunately, she grew to enjoy the game and things worked out for her.

“Josephine was very important to the success of the team,” said head coach Christina Klein. “Most close matches we had came down to her success in singles and doubles. She was very steady during matches and wouldn’t get rattled easily.”

Pulver won a lot of matches throughout the season and earned respect from her coach and teammates as both a true leader and a teammate.

“Her optimism is a huge inspiration to me because she knew how to lift me up when I was down,” said Valtierra. I am impressed by her strong mental state on the court and how well she composes herself. She became more than a teammate to me. She is a friend for life.”

Now that Pulver will not be playing tennis anymore, she can spend more time eating her favorite chicken sandwich.

“My favorite place to eat is Chick-fil-A and I get the spicy deluxe sandwich,” she said. “I go there like every Monday and Wednesday. And sometimes Sundays, which sucks because they close on Sundays but I forget.”

If Pulver does not get into UCLA then she will apply for UCSB or UC Berkeley, but ideally she will attend UCLA after one more year at City College.

“Josephine was a very coachable and respectful player. She had the best sportsmanship on the team,” Klein said. “I would always see her lifting up other teammates if they had something going on. For that I think Josephine displayed strong character by putting her teammates first and proving to be a leader.”

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