Bronco Tennis Celebrates Midnight Madness

Sept. 21, 2005

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Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's tennis team kicks off its season this weekend by traveling to Waco, Texas to participate in the H.E.B. Baylor Intercollegiates.  The all-day tournament runs from September 23-25 and play will take place at the Baylor Tennis Center.

The Broncos actually opened up their season with an annual three-day retreat to Lake Tahoe, giving players and coaches the opportunity to get to know one another, discuss thoughts and goals for the upcoming season, as well as share many stories and laughs in a beautiful setting.

The team then returned from the mountains in time for their own version of "Midnight Madness". The traditional opening practice began at 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night and concluded a few minutes past midnight Thursday morning.

"This was an eventful week for all of us," said head coach George Husack. "There's a lot of youthful energy on this team as the guys got off to a great start both on and off the court."

Santa Clara welcomes four newcomers to the team. The strong freshmen class include California standouts Brian Brogan of nearby Los Gatos and Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong of San Francisco, as well as Tommy Hicks, one of the top players from the Pacific Northwest, and Aneal Vallurupalli, a strong and talented competitor from Plano, Texas.

"The retreat was a lot of fun," said freshman Hirakawa-Wong. "I spent some time with the players on my recruiting trip, but this was different. Friendships were quickly and easily formed. The returners made it very comfortable for us."

Redshirt sophomore Kevin McQuaid also made his return to the courts after being sidelined with a knee injury last season.

"I'm so excited to be back playing again," said McQuaid. "It has been such a long time since I've drilled and played points. I've been waiting for this opportunity for a while."

"Bronco Boot Camp" continued with double session workouts for the remainder of the week before classes began on Monday. Hirakawa-Wong was voted the team's "Grinder of the Week" for his outstanding effort throughout the week.

"There's a lot of tennis to be played between now and the end of May and I'm looking forward to seeing how this team performs throughout the year," said Husack.