February 10, 2007

No. 75 Santa Clara Knocks Off No. 72 Arizona In Men's Tennis

Feb. 10, 2007

TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 75 Bronco men's tennis team bounced back on Saturday with a clutch 4-3 win over No. 72 Arizona in Tucson. SCU improved to 4-4 on the season with the win. The Broncos captured the doubles point with a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker by the No. 2 doubles pair of Jan Macek and Bobby Rasmussen. The team's top three slots then all won to give SCU the 4-3 win. Macek clinched the match with a three-set win over Claudio Christen at No. 1 singles. Christen was ranked No. 86 in the nation coming into Saturday's match.

SCU came out strong in doubles with an outstanding performance from No. 1 Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shields. The pair won handily 8-3 over Claudio Christen and Bruno Alcala to give the Broncos 1-0 lead. After a tight 9-8 (7-1) loss by Brian Brogan and Robert Gallman at No. 3, Macek and Rasmussen continued their great run in doubles. The pair pulled out a tiebreaker 7-4 against Peter Zimmer and Milos Romic to give Santa Clara an important 1-0 lead overall.

"Kevin and Blane really played well today," said head coach George Husack. "They came out with a great attitude and had fun out there. They hit some great returns and looked very comfortable. That was a big win to get us going."

In singles, the match went back and forth with dual match in doubt until the final match of the day. Alex Labrosse defeated Tommy Hicks at No. 6 to even the match at 1-1, but Brogan earned a straight sets win over Bruno Alcala at No. 2 to put the Broncos right back on top. After a loss by Gallman 6-1, 7-5 to Ravid Hezi, Jay Wong won his 17th match of the year, defeating Zimmer 7-5, 6-3 to put SCU up 3-2 with two matches remaining. Rasmussen fell in a tight two-setter 7-6 (4), 6-4, meaning that the dual match came down to the No. 1 singles slot between Macek and Christen.

Macek and Christen split two sets, and in the third, Macek went up 5-2 and was serving for the match. However, Christen broke Macek to cut the lead to 5-3 and then went up 40-0 on his serve and appeared on the verge of narrowing the gap even more. But the Broncos top player would not fold, winning five straight points to capture the match and give SCU an important 4-3 victory.

"Jan has battled through the first quarter of the season with a lot of grit and determination," said Husack. "He has played very high quality players and just missed out on closing out his matches. Today was a different story as he competed and performed remarkably. We were all very happy for him to lock up the victory."

"The guys really gutted it out at the end," said Husack. "Yesterday's match took a lot out of them, but they hung in there and finished this road stretch on a very good note. We are now looking forward to the home matches coming up, starting with Hawai'i on Wednesday."

SCU takes on Hawai'i on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. PT at the Degheri Tennis Center on the campus of Santa Clara University.

No. 75 Santa Clara University 4, No. 72 Arizona 3
Doubles: (Order of finish 1, 3, 2)
1. Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields def. Claudio Christen/Bruno Alcala (UA) 8-3
2. Jan Macek/Bobby Rasmussen (SCU) def. Peter Zimmer/Milos Romic (UA) 9-8(4)
3. Jason Labrosse/Ravid Hezi (UA) def. Brian Brogan/Robert Gallman (SCU) 9-8(1)

Singles: (Order of finish 6, 2, 4, 3, 5, 1)
1. Jan Macek (SCU) def. Claudio Christen (UA) 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
2. Brian Brogan (SCU) def. Bruno Alcala (UA) 6-4, 6-3
3. Jay Wong (SCU) def. Peter Zimmer (UA) 7-5, 6-3
4. Ravid Hezi (UA) def. Robert Gallman (SCU) 6-1, 7-5
5. Jason Labrosse (UA) def. Bobby Rasmussen (SCU) 7-6(4), 6-4
6. Alex Labrosse (UA) def. Tommy Hicks (SCU) 6-0, 6-2