Dec. 19, 2003
Serving It Up In The Community...
SCU men's tennis received the inaugural USTA/ITA Community Service Award for northern California. Seven schools across the nation were honored for significant contributions in developing programs through community centers, schools, parks, community tennis associations, inner city, suburban or rural programs. More than than 2,000 schools at the Division I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels were eligible for the award.
Last June, the Broncos successfully completed the Pathways to Success Program ("PSP") through a partnership with Youth Tennis Advantage and local middle-school Peter Burnett Academy. An after-school program designed to expose low-income students to the college environment, PSP kicked off last spring at Santa Clara with six weeks of tennis instruction and development, academic tutoring and personal mentoring.
The Broncos also hosted a day of tennis, food and fun last month for nearly 50 boys and girls from Hunters Point, Mission Playground and Oakland (pictured above).
Over the years the team has participated in the American Heart Association's HeartWalk and numerous Jingle Bell Runs organized by the American Arthritis Foundation, moved residents into HomeSafe, a local women's shelter, took part in 'celebrity readers week' at Emanuele Elementary School and have delivered gifts during the holidays.
Gernot Fischer and Eric Kochanski have been ranked ninth in the preseason regional rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The duo went 4-2 during fall play, and became the first Bronco tandem to advance to a regional championship when they earned a berth in the final at the ITA Regional, hosted by the University of Oregon in October. The pair defeated No. 5 seeds Quinn Borchard and Roman Borvanov of Portland and No. 3 seeds Thomas Bieri and Manuel Kost of Oregon en route to the finals, where they dropped a hard-fought match to the No. 1 seeded duo of Alex Slovic and Alex Vlaski of Washington.
"Eric and Gernot have a solid doubles arsenal - big serves, solid returns and lots of net movement," head coach George Husack said. "It's pretty impressive to see how well they complement each other despite only playing very little together in the fall. I believe their relationship off the court and mutual respect for each other has contributed to their success." National individual and team rankings will be released on January 13.
Bay Area Prospect Commits...
Santa Clara Men's Tennis announced the signing of Bay Area product Blane Shields during the early commitment period in November. A senior at San Marin High School in Novato, Shields is a two-sport athlete having competed in baseball and tennis.
"Our goal is to add three players this year and we're happy to have kicked off our recruiting campaign with Blane," commented head coach George Husack. "Blane is a tremendous athlete with a great deal of upside. I believe Santa Clara is the perfect place for him to reach his goals in tennis while enjoying the excitement of our program and university."
Shields has been ranked as high as No. 5 in the Northern California Boys 16s singles rankings and No. 82 in the USTA National Boys 16s singles rankings. Last August, he dominated the Sonoma State Junior Open, dropping only 13 total games in five rounds of play en route to the title.
Former head coach Sean Burns celebrated graduation from the MBA program at Trinity College last November 14th in Dublin, Ireland...he has since returned to the Bay Area and has been seen on campus pummeling foes in ping-pong at the Malley Fitness Center...Francisco Zepponi will celebrate his 21st birthday on January 8, 2004, the third Bronco to reach this age this season...Ted Blosser's favorite hangout is the new Hollister clothing store at Valley Fair...Rick Ruso no longer has flowing blond locks after a recent visit to the barber, while Ben Hidalgo completely shaved his head bald...must be an MBA initiation thing...Brett Masi's new favorite snack?...sno-cones.
Yr: Freshman Major: Business
Home: Huntington Beach, CA
Fav Food: Pepperoni Pizza
Least Favorite: Seafood
Favorite place on campus: tennis courts & weight room
Favorite movie: Dumb and Dumber
Favorite song: 'My Name Is...' by Eminem
Favorite sports teams: Anaheim Angels, Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos, LA Kings
If I wasn't playing tennis, I'd be: playing on the Bronco soccer team If there was a movie about me, it would be: Rocky, starring Sly Stallone
Bronco Wish List For Santa...
When Santa makes his way down the chimney, these Broncos are hoping to find the following gifts under their tree:
Ted: new watch
Erich: Panasonic flat screen TV
Gernot: Playstation 2
Benny: Armani suit
Eric: MP3 player...to replace the broken one
Kevin: More clothes...equals less laundry
Bobby: Italy soccer jersey made by Puma
Rick: '7-minute Abs' workout video
Francisco: gear from Hollister Clothing Co.
Brett: shirt and tie...very non-SoCal
Marcell: new tennis shoes
George: trip to Hawaii