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Debbie Ekola steps down as coach

By Dave Loveton, sports information
Monday, July 2, 2012

She led Vaqueros to 3 straight playoff appearances

Debbie Ekola
 Debbie Ekola has resigned her position as SBCC women’s tennis coach, athletic director Ryan Byrne announced on Monday.
“I want to spend more time with my family and watch my youngest son, Spencer, who’s starting his high school tennis career,” said Ekola. “I’ve had a great time coaching at SBCC.”

 The Vaqueros are coming off the best season in her four years at the helm. They went 13-3 overall and 6-2 in the Western State Conference to finish second for the third straight year. Santa Barbara is 33-10 over the last three seasons and made the team playoffs each year.
 Sophie Angner, a freshman from Sweden, reached the singles semifinals three straight weeks at Ojai, the Southern Cal Regional and the State Championships in San Diego. Angner and Talia Hudson went 20-4 and finished second in the state doubles tourney.
 “This is the best team I’ve had, by far,” said Ekola, whose teams went 22-6 in the last three WSC campaigns. “Both individually and in team competition, we were tough.”
 In 2009, Ekola’s first year, the Vaqueros went 3-9. One year later, they were 10-3. Her four-year record was 36-19.
 “What Debbie has done here has been incredible,” said Byrne. “Her relentless efforts to turn the program around really took a lot of energy, effort and skill. She really poured her heart and soul into the program.
 “Debbie is so dedicated, positive and energetic. Her impact here with the tennis student-athletes has been immeasurable. She has consistently gone above and beyond the requirements of the job to serve our students in the best manner possible.
 “She represents the best of what community college athletics provides and is truly a remarkable teacher and coach.”

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