LISA ALIPAZ | Head Coach
Since 1999, Lisa Alipaz has served as the head women's tennis coach at Saint Mary's, leading the Gaels to a tremendous run of success that has netted her five WCC Coach of the Year awards. Alipaz finished the 2015 season as her 17th year as head coach. She guided the Gaels to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and, after a one-year break, she took them back to the postseason with an at-large berth in 2015. The four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is a first in Saint Mary's athletics history.
Under Alipaz's guidance, the Gaels claimed the program's first ever WCC Championship title in 2010 to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament, then received at-large bids to the NCAA Championships in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. In 2013, the Gaels finished conference play 7-1 to claim their first WCC Championship regular season title in a tie with Santa Clara and Pepperdine. 2014 brought a 15-8 overall record, 6-2 mark in the WCC and a trip to the finals of the WCC Championships in San Diego. The 2014 Gaels narrowly missed selection to the NCAA Tournament but, one year later, Saint Mary's finished in a tie for second in the WCC and returned to the big dance, traveling to Los Angeles to face Northwestern as the only at-large representative from the WCC.
The Gaels have been ranked highly throughout the past six seasons, including a program-best No. 20 ranking on February 28, 2012. Alipaz helped the Gaels finish 2010 with a No. 39 ranking and then concluding the 2011 season at No. 42. SMC finished No. 42 in 2012, No. 37 in 2013, No. 47 in 2014 and No. 44 in 2015.
Alipaz has guided two SMC players to WCC Player of the Year honors, starting with Alex Poorta was in 2011. Jenny Jullien joined that list in 2013, earning WCC Player of the Month honors in three consecutive months en route to the season award. Jullien followed that with her second-straight WCC Player of the Year award in 2014 and became the first SMC tennis player ever named ITA All-America. Alipaz has also had three players named as the top freshman in the conference, including 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year, Catherine Isip. Alipaz also led Anna Chikhikvishvili to this honor in 2009, while Erin Young was named the 2006 WCC Freshman of the Year. Young was the first Saint Mary's women's tennis player to ever be named as the WCC Freshman of the Year.
Against the West Coast Conference, Alipaz has led the Gaels to a fifth place finish or better in 14 of her 17 seasons, including second place finishes in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2015 and third place finishes in 2011 and 2014. Prior to the 2010 WCC Championship season, the runner-up finishes marked the best result by the Saint Mary's women's tennis team in the 24-year history of the WCC Championship. Alipaz was named the WCC Coach of the Year in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Alipaz has produced 16 First Team All-WCC honorees in singles over the past nine years, including a program-best three in 2010, as Isip, Chikhikvishvili, and Poorta were all given first team honors, while Poorta and Isip were repeat selections in 2011. She has had 12 Second Team All-WCC honorees in singles as well over the past nine years. She has also guided the Gaels to success in doubles, as Saint Mary's has had six All-WCC First Team honors and 11 second team honors over the past nine years.
Under Alipaz, the Gaels have had 10 singles players ranked nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, which was a program first when it first happened in 2006. Jenny Jullien became Saint Mary's highest ranked player in program history in 2013, climbing as high as No. 17 that year and went on to be ranked as high as No. 7 in 2014. Catherine Isip and Jullien were ranked most of the 2012 season, while Alex Poorta received her first ranking in 2010, and then climbed the charts her senior season to as high as No. 25 in the country. Alipaz also guided Jessica Hoath to a national ranking in 2008, while Aude Lambert received the first ever ranking for a Saint Mary's player in 2006, when she was ranked as high as No. 126. Danielle Flores began the 2015 spring season in the top 40, checking in at No. 32.
Alipaz is certified by the PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) as a "Professional" (highest level). Graduating Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University in 1995, Alipaz garnered such honors as Academic All-American, Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and was the Arthur Ashe/Tennis Magazine Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner. Alipaz was a four-time ITA Scholar-Athlete, SDSU Female Athlete of the Year, and was awarded a NCAA Post-Graduate scholarship.
In her senior season, Alipaz recorded victories over four top-10 collegiate players, compiled a 21-4 regular season singles record, and earned a final NCAA singles ranking of No. 24 in the nation. The SDSU Women's Tennis team was nationally ranked among the Top-25 Division I schools each of the four years Alipaz was there.
After college, Alipaz played professional tournaments throughout Europe and the US, recording wins over players ranked as high as WTA No. 191. In 1998, Alipaz returned to graduate school and completed course work for a degree in Organizational Psychology. Alipaz has also served as the U18 Northern California National Team coach as well as serving as the head coach for the Northern California Maze Cup team.
Married to Billy Maguy, the couple resides in Lafayette with children Ali and Will.
SIMON HARSTON | Associate Head Coach
Simon Harston enters his third year as Saint Mary's assistant coach for the 2014-15 season.
Harston joined Saint Mary's College in August of 2012 to assist head coach Michael Wayman with the men's team for the 2012-13 season. He continued in that role in 2013-14.
A native of London, England, Harston brings with him a vast knowledge of the game and a proven track record of developing talent. He is looking forward to the challenge of developing the program at Saint Mary's and learning under the tutelage of Coach Wayman.
Harston played professionally on the ATP Tour after graduating from the University of Bath in 2000, and did so until injury forced him to retire in January, 2007. In March of 2006 he was part of the Great Britain National Team that toured the USA playing exhibition matches against many of the top collegiate programs in California and Texas, including Saint Mary's.
During his coaching career, Harston has worked with six junior players ranked inside the ITF Top 100 rankings and coached at the French Open Juniors and Junior Wimbledon. In December 2011, Harston was named coach of the British National Team that finished seventh in the University World Championships in Rouen, France.
Prior to moving to the USA, Harston was Head Coach and Director of Compete Tennis High Performance Center, an LTA funded academy that catered to players from ages five to eighteen. From 2001 to 2012 he also held the position of Touring Coach at The Woodford Wells Club, giving private lessons to a wide range of club members and leading the junior performance program.
Originally from Woodford Green, England, Harston and his wife Autumn now reside in Moraga, CA.