When West Valley and Head Coach Lauren Hickey revived Viking women's tennis in 2019 after a three-decade hiatus, three of Hickey's first recruits were Arlenne Quinones, Abigail Salazar and Sovanny Thach. To call these three student athletes the lynchpins and the foundation of an athletic program would be accurate. To call them three of the most improved players in NorCal women's tennis would be an understatement.
West Valley went 1-14 in its first season in 30 years, but in that win, a dominant 7-2 triumph over Mission, Quinones, Salazar and Thach each picked up wins in both singles and doubles and provided a preview of things to come.
The Vikings were 5-5 overall, 3-4 in the rugged Coast Conference in 2020 when play was halted in late March. The season ended with a program-defining 5-4 win over 8-4 Chabot in late March. Quinones teamed with Olivia Ocher to take the #2 doubles match 8-4, and then essentially clinched the Viking "W" with a 6-1, 6-2 victory in her #6 singles match. Quinones also recorded twin wins against Cańada on March 6, winning her #4 singles match 6-0, 6-4, and taking the #2 doubles match with Ocher 8-2. In maybe the most exciting match of the season, Quinones rallied for a 6-0, 0-6, 9-6 #3 singles win to clinch a 5-4 victory over Foothill on Feb. 28.
Salazar opened the season with a pair of big wins against Santa Rosa and Solano. Against Santa Rosa, a 5-0 WVC sweep, Salazar teamed with June Li for an 8-0 #3 doubles win. That same afternoon against Solano, a 5-2 Viking win, she took her #4 singles match 6-4, 6-0.
Thach had a big part in that home-opening win against Santa Rosa. She partnered with Ocher in the #2 doubles match as they came away with an 8-2 win. Against Foothill a month later, Thach dominated her #1 singles match 6-1, 6-0 to help secure the conference win against the Owls.
There were only three consistencies for Hickey's Vikings as they improved to 5-5 in 2020 from 1-14 in their inaugural season: Arlenne Quinones, Abigail Salazar and Sovanny Thach. West Valley women's tennis is in a forward lean thanks to three women who were there at the start.