Sept. 16, 2003
The Santa Clara University men's tennis program opened the 2003-2004 season with its own version of "Midnight Madness". The inaugural event began at 10 p.m. Monday night and the last sprint completed at 12:30 early Tuesday morning.
"Most of the guys have been on campus working out for more than six weeks and were very anxious to get things officially started," head coach George Husack commented. "The coaching staff thought that spicing things up would be a fun way to kick off the new season."
The Broncos welcomed four newcomers to the team: two transfer students and a pair of freshmen. Gernot Fischer, originally from Freising, Germany, arrived on the mission campus by way of Tennessee Tech. Eric Kochanski spent his last two seasons at West Virginia University before heading west to the Bay Area.
"I love being able to practice outside everyday and not having to worry about the weather," Kochanski said. "We're close to the beach and the team is extremely competitive. I'm excited to get things going."
Kevin McQuaid of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Bobby Rasmussen of Greenwood Village, Colo., began their collegiate careers at the late-night practice and the nerves were nowhere to be seen.
"We grew up playing together in Colorado in the 12s and 14s," McQuaid explained. "Now we live a couple of doors from each other in the dorms and are playing on the same team-that's awesome."
Following a couple of days of practice, the team will head to the mountains for a retreat in Lake Tahoe. The annual trip gives players and coaches the opportunity to discuss thoughts and goals for the upcoming season, as well as share many stories and laughs in a beautiful setting.
"With Gernot, Eric, Kevin and Bobby joining our returners, I see no reason why our team shouldn't contend for the WCC championship," junior Francisco Zepponi said. "We are solid throughout the lineup and I believe even better than our team in 2002 (which earned a program-high #55 national ranking). I'm looking forward to seeing us battle our WCC opponents and accomplishing some special things along the way-like making the NCAAs."