Men's Tennis Goes Down to the Wire with USF

Feb. 4, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara University men's tennis team went down to the wire with West Coast Conference rival San Francisco, but it was the Dons who earned a 4-3 victory this evening at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. The Broncos' record falls to 2-4, 0-1 in league play, while the Dons improve their mark to 2-3, 1-0.

Rafael Corazza earned a come-from-behind victory to clinch the team win for USF, defeating Ben Hidalgo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on court six. In fact, four of the six singles matches went to three sets, displaying the intensity of today's contest.

The Broncos took charge and won the doubles point, as Gernot Fischer and Eric Kochanski battled to a 9-8 victory over Axel Elvik and Mason Fuller at the top doubles position. Erich Chen and Taylor Bedilion formed a tandem that earned an 8-5 victory on court two.

In singles, Bedilion and Francisco Zepponi won in three sets, but Pablo Pires de Almeida, Elvik and Romain Van Rillas notched victories for the Dons on courts one, two and four, setting the stage for the deciding match at No. 6 singles.

Last year's battle at the Olympic Club was eerily similar to today's contest, with the teams reversed, as USF won the doubles point in 2003 but lost the team victory when the Broncos rallied, capped by Rick Ruso's win on court five to pull the 4-3 upset.

The Broncos will return to action next weekend, hosting 37th-ranked Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Santa Clara University Tennis Center. That following Monday will see SCU battle Cal Poly, also a home match with a 1 p.m. first serve.

San Francisco def. Santa Clara 4-3

Doubles

1. No. 49 Fischer/Kochanski (SCU) def. Elvik/Fuller (USF) 9-8 (2)
2. Chen/Bedilion (SCU) def. Van Rillas/Pires de Almeida (USF) 8-5
3. Kienle/Hogan (USF) def. McQuaid/Rasmussen (SCU) 9-8 (5)

Singles

1. Pablo Pires de Almeida (USF) def. Gernot Fischer (SCU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
2. Axel Elvik (USF) def. Erich Chen (SCU) 6-2, 7-5
3. Taylor Bedilion (SCU) def. Mason Fuller (USF) 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4
4. Romain Van Rillas (USF) def. Eric Kochanski (SCU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Francisco Zepponi (SCU) def. Andrew Hogan (USF) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
6. Rafael Corazza (USF) def. Ben Hidalgo (SCU)* 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

* Clinched Team Victory