Dec. 26, 2002
Happy Holidays to all friends, family and fans of Santa Clara University Men's Tennis!
Summer to Fall Tales
Fall 2002 kicked off last September and included eight weeks of on-court practice, strength and conditioning, competition and a fair share of mini-tennis trash talking. The Broncos returned to the mission campus following a season of many firsts and were accompanied with a tale or two from the summer break. Highlights included the return of Erich Chen and Mike Bruggemann to the islands for Kailua Racquet Club Men's Night Doubles 2002, Northern Exposure outdoor excursions by Taylor Bedilion, Rick Ruso's "Office Space-esque" stories from a summer internship, an Abercrombie & Fitch fashion infatuation by Ben Hidalgo...Plano, Texas-style, the long awaited trek back to SCU de Buenos Aires, Argentina by Federico Mattioli, the discovery by freshman Ted Blosser that he really does like Enrique Iglesias and an artistic display of varying hair colors on the head of Francisco Zepponi. A fresh slate of Bronco Tennis was set to get underway and this time with a couple of new faces and situations. The overall feeling was back to business and the daily grind. The Broncos were ready to get it on.
Senior Mike Bruggemann and junior Erich Chen enjoyed a successful fall doubles campaign garnering one tournament title and one tournament runner-up finish. This was the tandem's first time competing together in collegiate action as they had only played as a team in a pair of men's open summer tournaments.
Unseeded at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic, Mike and Erich won four consecutive matches en route to the tournament final. The Broncos defeated a pair of conference foes from the University of San Diego, included among them was an 8-3 victory over top-seeded Ryan Blair and Jason Pongsrikul. Their tournament run fell just short in the final as they were defeated by Hector Almada and Stefan Suta of Fresno State. This was the second straight doubles final appearance for the Broncos in as many years (Mike and Victor Camargo accomplished a similar feat in 2001). On the singles side of things, Erich won six solid matches to caputre the consolation crown.
Mike and Erich returned the following week at UOP's Tiger Fall Classic. As witnessed in Fresno, the Bronco pair performed brilliantly again with agressive net play set up by consistent service returns. Down 0-2 to#1-seeded Paul Dilloway and Greg Lee of UC Davis in the final, Mike and Erich took eight straight games from the Aggie opponents and scored their first tournament victory. With the title, Mike and Erich placed themselves as one of the top teams in the tough West region and set their sights on unleashing more double-trouble on the national scene this season.
T's Regional Return
If any Bronco fans know Taylor Bedilion, they've witnessed one of the most intense and firey competitors in college tennis. The sophomore from San Anselmo, "T" returned from the disabled list in time for the ITA Regional and determined to make some noise on the courts.
After nearly two months of thorough rehab, the Bronco recorded six victories in the tournament while disposing highly regarded opponents from UOP, Cal and Fresno State. Taylor used his amazing speed, court coverage and crafty serve to set up many put away forehands and volleys.
Following a tough defeat to Cal's Balazs Veress (ITA Top-35) i n the second round, Bedilion scored five straight victories in the feed-in draw to reach the final. There he faced Fresno State's Stefan Suta, the 2002 Bulldog Classic singles champ. T forced his opponent to a 3-set match before running a bit out of gas and fell 6-3, 6-7, 6-1. Bedilion felt very good about his return to the courts and was rewarded with a second Grinder of the Week honor and tournament game ball. Yeah T!