April 16, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The West Coast Conference Championships are just around the corner and the Santa Clara men's tennis team is preparing to make a run at its league opponents by hosting a doubleheader Monday afternoon. West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's will take on Santa Clara (12-12), 5-1 WCC) at the Degheri Tennis Center, followed by Fresno Pacific. Game times are slated for 2 and 6 p.m., respectively.
"This will be the start of a big week for our program as the doubleheader will prepare us for the upcoming WCC tournament, said head coach George Husack. "We continue to improve with each practice and match so I anticipate a good regular season finish for us."
Saint Mary's enters Monday's contest sporting an overall record of 8-8 after a 5-2 victory Nevada this past Thursday. The two teams squared off last on March 13, with Santa Clara coming away with a 5-2 road win. For the Gaels, graduate student Julien Tizot has established himself as the top player on the team and junior Adam Fauvre and sophomore Platonov has supplied depth in both singles and doubles line-up. In addition, SMC has counted on the play of freshmen Achim Christner and Alp Ozpinar to bolster play in the starting line-up. Michael Wayman is in his ninth season as the director of tennis at Saint Mary's College and since 1996.
Fresno Pacific currently boasts an overall mark of 12-6, with its most recent contest ending in a 4-3 loss to UC Santa Cruz. Underclassmen dominate the top of the singles ladder, as sophomre Matt Carroll and freshmen and Petr Sitnikov and Marco Foelz have made huge contributions to the Sunbirds this year playing the No. 1, 2, and 3 positions respectively. Neil Castro is the head coach of the men's tennis team at Fresno Pacific and also coaches the women's squad.
"Saint Mary's is a conference rival and a team that will be gunning for a reversal of the result they had with us early this year," stated Husack. "Fresno Pacific, a new NAIA program, will bring a talented group of players to SCU for the first time and be looking to add to their success this season."
The doubleheader also represents the final regular season collegiate matches of junior Jan Macek's career, as he will earn his bachelors degree in business this June. An exceptional student-athlete both in the classroom and on the tennis court, Jan will shoot for his sixth conference singles win in seven dual matches at the no. 1 position.
Following Monday's matches, Santa Clara will travel to Moraga, Calif. to begin its quest for a league title and a berth into the NCAA Tournament. Opponent and schedule will be determined later on in the week.