June 11, 2003

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June 11, 2003

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Congratulations and Farewell Federico and Mike!
Santa Clara men's tennis honored its two lone seniors prior to the start of their match with the University of the Pacific (also known as "U of the P"). Following a pre-match ceremony where both Federico Mattioli and Michael Bruggemann were presented with framed photo collages, the seniors fired up the Broncos in the final regular season dual match.

Mike paired with junior Erich Chen at their familiar No. 1 doubles position and earned an 8-6 victory, while Guga teamed with sophomore Taylor Bedilion for an 8-1 drumming of their Tiger opponents.

Mike's doubles victory gave him a combined doubles total of 60 career wins, tying him for the top mark in the Santa Clara record books (which he would later break vs. Gonzaga in the WCC Championships).

After clinching the doubles point to go up 1-0, the Broncos increased their lead to 2-0 when Bruggemann scored a 6-3, 6-3 singles victory over fellow Hawaiian Tyler Black. Over on court three, sophomore Francisco Zepponi scored an impressive three-set victory over Niclas Otte that pushed the Bronco lead to 3-0. Soon-to-be-senior Chen then clinched the match with a solid 7-6 (5), 7-5 straight-set victory on court one.

"It was very impressive that these guys came out and battled as hard as they did after yesterday's five-hour match," SCU head coach George Husack said. "We had four guys cramping, while others had sore muscles and joints. They just wouldn't give in and their competitive efforts paid off in the end."

Federico and Mike now have their sights set on another special day later this month - graduation. On June 14, the pair will dawn a cap and gown with fellow teammates Rick Ruso and Ben Hidalgo at undergraduate commencement. While the ceremony will mark the end of Federico and Mike's Bronco careers, Rick and Ben will return next season as they are both eligible to compete for the Broncos. The two, however, will have a different set of books in their backpacks as they pursue their graduate degrees in the MBA program.

Scholar Athlete of the Week...Again!
Redshirt sophomore Benito Hidalgo was named Bronco Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Week for the week of April 14-20. Sponsored by Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, the weekly award is given to a male and female Bronco student-athlete based on their academic and athletic achievements during the school year. Ben is the fourth and final men's tennis player chosen during the year.

A native of Foster City now living in Plano, Texas, Ben has been a huge vocal presence and solid contributor to the Bronco squad this season. His work ethic and constant passion to improve his game in every aspect has had a tremendous impact on all Bronco players and coaches. A business marketing major graduating early this June, Ben has maintained a 3.53 gpa as well as recorded a perfect 4.0 during the fall quarter. He will begin graduate school next fall in pursuit of an MBA while still grinding on the Bronco tennis courts. Congratulations Ito!

Broncos Voted Most Spirited
For a second consecutive year, Santa Clara men's tennis was the recipient of the Bronco Spirit Award. The honor is given to one male and one female Bronco team that best displays the tangible attributes of Bronco spirit and is recognized as outstanding examples of spirit among the student-athlete population. This season, Bronco tennis players were seen wearing face paint and school colors at a number of athletic events including the WCC Cross-Country Championships, at home and on the road with women's soccer, on the baseline of every women's volleyball game, cheering on their fellow student-athletes at a crew regatta and giving it all they could at softball and basketball games. The team received the honor at the 2003 Senior Awards Night and shared the stage with the most spirited female team and defending champion, Bronco softball.