Nov. 23, 2005
Busy Season for the Broncos
The Broncos embarked on a new season with many events planned for the fall: the traditional retreat to Lake Tahoe; the team's kick-off practice, Midnight Madness, and first week of workouts, Bronco Boot Camp; a trio of fall tournaments; recruit hosting weekends; spirited participation at Bronco sporting events; and of course, hitting the books. Four bright-eyed freshmen arrived on campus last September and were welcomed by six returning Broncos. The youthful and talented squad quickly got to know each other in Tahoe as they discussed goals for the season, shared team traditions and stories, conditioned with morning runs, participated in team oriented competitions and relaxed with their ipods and many games of Texas hold'em. A photo gallery of the Broncos' first week of activities can be found online at www.santaclarabroncos.com.
Fall tournaments included a first-ever trip to Waco for the Baylor Intercollegiates where Bobby Rasmussen caputured the consolation singles title in the gold division. At the 2nd annual Bronco Classic, freshman Tommy Hicks won the Flight C singles crown and Jan Macek and Rasmussen reached the Flight A doubles final. The Wilson/ITA Regional Championships, the fall's largest event,returned to SCU with fifteen teams, over one-hundred participants and many Bronco faithful (alumni, family and friends). The five-day, sunshine-filled event was highlighted by continued solid doubles play by Macek/Rasmussen, Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields and Brian Brogan/AJ Kerin (the pair defeated John Petit/Dean Wallace, Cal), as well as impressive singles results from Hicks (def. Jeff Zeller, Stanford), Brogan (def. Milos Popovic, Nevada), Shields (def. Dean Wallace,Cal), Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong (def. Darragh Rowan, Portland) and Chris Iwamura (def. Alp Ozpinar, Saint Mary's). As team practice concluded in early November and a new strength and conditioning program began soon thereafter, there was a lot to be proud of and thankful for during the fall campaign, as well as a lot to look forward to this season.
Top Local Player Signs with Santa Clara
Steven Benvenuto of San Mateo, Calif., signed a National Letter of Intent this month to attend SCU and compete for the Broncos in September 2006. He currently attends Aragon High School and has had one of the most successful prep careers in the local area. Rated among the Top-75 high school seniors nationally in singles and No. 14 in the USTA Boys 18s national doubles rankings, Benvenuto is expected to make an immediate impact on the court.
"We are ecstatic about Steven joining the Bronco program. He is a very big, strong and talented tennis player that continues to impress many on the junior tournament scene," said coach George Husack.
The No. 1 player on Aragon's varsity squad during his sophomore through senior years, Benvenuto captured the PAL singles title as a junior and went on to win the CCS singles championship later that season. He became the first competitor from Aragon to capture the CCS crown and first public high school player to win the title since Erik Van Dillen, a former world No. 1 in doubles, accomplished that feat back in 1966. For his efforts during his junior campaign, Benvenuto was named the San Jose Mercury Boys Tennis Player of the Year.
Jan Macek was named Bronco Scholar-Athlete of the Week during the fall quarter with his impressive 3.61 cumulative gpa in business finance...Sidelined with a foot injury, Aneal Vallurupalli returned to the courts after the Regionals and quickly got back into the swing of things...AJ Kerin landed the top spot on the team's ping-pong ladder after the fall quarter...Former Bronco Ryan Livesay (2001) now lives in New York and works as a financial sales representative for Bloomberg...Sophomore Tyler Wilson transferred to Oregon State this fall to study and pursue a career in dentistry...Former Bronco Ben Cabell (1996) is an assistant coach for the women's tennis program...Brien Shamp, owner of Optimal Fitness Center in San Carlos, joined the Bronco staff as strength/conditioning coach and is assisted by current Bronco and competitive power-lifter Mike Salemi...Happy Holidays!