Oct. 23, 2003
Midnight Madness Kicks Off The New Season...
SCU Men's Tennis opened the 2003-04 season with their version of "Midnight Madness". Practice kicked off at 10 p.m. on Monday, September 15 and ended at 12:30 a.m. early Tuesday morning.
"Most of the guys were on campus working out for more than six weeks and 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. Senior transfer Gernot Fischer arrived on campus by way of Tennessee Tech, while junior Eric Kochanski transferred after two seasons at West Virginia University.
"I love being able to practice outside everyday and not 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."
"Now we live a couple of doors from each other in the dorms and are playing on the same team. It's awesome!"
The Broncos also headed to Lake Tahoe for a team retreat. Players and coaches discussed thoughts and goals for the upcoming season, as well as shared many stories and laughs in a beautiful setting. "We are solid throughout the lineup and I believe even better than our team in 2002 (which earned a program-high #55 national ranking)," junior Francisco Zepponi said. "I'm looking forward to seeing us battle for a WCC championship and accomplishing some special things along the way... like making the NCAAs."
Quick Start At Tiger Invite...
The Broncos kicked off their tournament season in fine fashion winning three titles at the recently completed UOP Tiger Fall Invite. Senior Gernot Fischer captured the 'A Flight' singles crown, while freshman Kevin McQuaid snatched both the 'C Flight' singles and 'B Flight' doubles championships. Bobby Rasmussen and Ben Hidalgo advanced to the semifinals, with McQuaid defeating Hidalgo in the final. Kevin then paired with Bobby to top Ben and sophomore Ted Blosser in the doubles final.
"It means so much to start my Bronco career with titles in singles and doubles," McQuaid said. "I thought I played better each match of the tournament."
Gernot defeated UOP's Arnar Sigurdsson, an Icelandic Davis Cup player, in his respective final. "I'm happy that I won my first tournament for the Broncos," Fischer said. "It was a tough match. I played well in the first set, then I struggled a little bit in the middle; it was a grind. I finally won in the tiebreak. I think I played better match to match throughout the tournament. It was a tough weekend."
Senior Erich Chen and graduate Michael Bruggemann mastered all the elements to win the 33rd annual Kailua Racquet Club Men's Night Doubles in early August. The former teammates rallied from an 0-4 deficit in the fifth and final set to defeat six-time champion Ryan Ideta and partner Erik Sandblom in a four-hour thriller 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.
Erich and Mike, the seventh seeds, had been two points from the title at 5-4 in the fourth, but could not close it out. In fact, they had to fight off match points in the fifth with picture perfect returns and crisp volleys to even the set at 5-5. Mike then held serve and the rally was next to complete as the Broncos broke Ideta at love to win it all. Chen picked up his partner in jubilation.
"I haven't played this much tennis in my whole life," Bruggemann said. "Erich has a big game and I just cleaned up after him." Making his third appearance in the event, Chen thanked the crowd for making a Californian feel so at home and promised he'd be back to defend the crown. "I love it here," Chen said. "This is the best tournament I play."
Former All-West Coast Conference player and Bronco of the Year, Lars Nelson, married Alison Skoug on August 23, 2003 in Madison, Wisconsin. The couple's first song was "My Destiny" by Lionel Richie as they danced all night long with friends and family. Following a two-stop honeymoon in northern Wisconsin and Big Sur, California, Lars and Ali returned to their home in San Diego - only a hop, skip and a jump from the beach. Congrats!
Scholar Athlete of the Week...
Junior Taylor Bedilion was named Applebee's Scholar-Athlete of the Week on September 25 along with women's volleyball player Kim McGiven. Last season, Taylor earned this award with three other men's tennis players. They included Erich Chen, Rick Ruso and Ben Hidalgo.
Bronco birthdays...Ben Hidalgo celebrated his 21st in Vegas on Sept 9, Rick Ruso turned 23 on Oct 13, Taylor Bedilion turned 21 on Oct 22 and both George Husack and graduate Michael Bruggemann celebrated on Oct 25 - George, 35, and Mike, 24... Marcell Hlousek is now permanent with the Santa Clara Fire Dept... Brett Masi has four TVs to watch in his living room.
Fall Sports In The Rankings...
For the first time in school history, SCU has four teams ranked in the national Top-20. These include M. Soccer (#6), W. Soccer (#8), W.Volleyball (#12) and M. Water Polo (#17).