May 23, 2001
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's tennis head coach Sean Burns announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent during this spring's signing period. The Class of 2005 will include Taylor Bedilion of San Anselmo, Josh Braley of Geneva, Ill., and Chris Lam of Honolulu, Hawaii. With the addition of Francisco Zepponi of Pleasanton, signed during last November's signing period, Burns will bring in four newcomers to the program in the fall.
"This is an exceptional class for Santa Clara tennis," Burns said. "They all will have a chance to impact the program immediately."
Three of the newcomers are already ranked in the U.S. Tennis Association's national 18's rankings, and the fourth is knocking on the door. Zepponi is ranked 78th to top the list, while Lam is ranked 91st and Bedilion 98th. Braley is ranked 118th nationally.
Additionally, all four have recorded wins over opponents ranked in the top 25. One of Bedilion's best wins came against Chip Webb, ranked 20th in U.S. 18's. His top tournament victory came at the Spare Tim Super Series. An aggressive baseliner, Bedilion was also considering UC Santa Barbara and West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's.
Braley posted one of his best victories over Tom Hanus, ranked 23rd in U.S. 18's as he became the 2000 Illinois State High School Champion. He considered taking his all-court game to Kansas and Southern Methodist before signing with the Broncos.
Lam is a National Open Doubles champion whose best win was recorded against the 16's sixth-ranked player, Brian Wan. Like Bedilion, Lam is aggressive on the baseline. Other college options were Oregon and UC Irvine.
Zepponi is one of the top three players in Northern California and has won the 16's Maze Cup. His biggest win was an upset of then 16's fourth-ranked Ryan Heinberg. Additionally, he won four rounds at the SuperNationals in Kalamazoo, Mich., last summer. Burns said Zepponi will bring a wide array of shots, superior movement and aggressive mentality to the team in the fall. He was also recruited by California, Minnesota and multi-WCC champion Pepperdine.
"By defeating some of the top-ranked players in the country, these four student-athletes have demonstrated that they can compete with anyone," Burns said.
The Broncos finished with a 15-9 record in 2001, placing third at the WCC Championships. With the graduation of only one senior from the program, the addition of these recruits to an already-talented roster will give the team unprecedented depth.
"One quality we've been focusing on during recruiting this past year is speed," Burns said. " These incoming freshmen are very quick and will greatly enhance our team's overall speed.
"Predicting who will play where next year will be virtually impossible," he continued, "but I already know every practice and every match will be extremely competitive."
Bronco Class of 2005
|Name||Height||Weight||Hometown/Last School||Current USTA Ranking, 18's|
|Taylor Bedilion||5-7||140||San Anselmo, Calif./Drake HS||98|
|Josh Braley||5-11||160||Geneva, Ill./Geneva Community HS||118|
|Chris Lam||5-10||160||Honolulu, Hawaii/NA (home schooled)||91|
|Francisco Zepponi||5-10||160||Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley HS||78|