March 7, 2007
The No. 59 Santa Clara Broncos head to San Francisco for some unfinished business with the USF Dons. The Broncos and Dons had two previous matches postponed due to weather earlier this season. The two West Coast Conference rivals square off at 2:30 p.m. PT in San Francisco on Wednesday, March 7, the second straight road match for SCU. The Broncos then travel to San Luis Obispo this weekend to play Cal Poly on Sunday, March 11 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
Santa Clara continued its winning ways with two victories to stretch its winning streak to seven. The Broncos defeated the Portland Pilots on March 2, 7-0. SCU won two out of three doubles match to take the doubles point and then swept singles 6-0 on the strength of four straight-set wins. Robert Gallman had a come-from-behind three set win at No. 4, while Brian Brogan also gutted out a three-setter in a supertiebreaker. Following that home win, the Broncos headed to Moraga where they defeated No. 72 Saint Mary's 5-2 for their third road win of the year. The team again took the doubles point, winning two out of three and used that momentum to pull out four out of six singles matches. Jay Wong won his seventh straight match, while Bobby Rasmussen and Tommy Hicks each pushed their winning streaks to five.
Broncos On The Move Again
The Broncos continued their climb up the FILA Rankings this week, moving from No. 64 to No. 59. Not since 2002 has the men's tennis program achieved a national ranking when they were a program-best No. 55 in the nation. No. 59 is the third highest ranking in program history.
History vs. San Francisco
SCU was leading in five out of six singles matches on Feb. 22 when its match against San Francisco was postponed due to rain. The match will now be played on April 4. Santa Clara did play three matches against the San Francisco Dons in 2006, winning two and losing the final match in the West Coast Conference tournament. SCU cruised to a 6-1 victory on Feb. 15, winning the doubles point and then getting singles wins from Jan Macek, Brian Brogan, Tommy Hicks, A.J. Kerin and Blane Shields. In the rematch on March 8, the Broncos won 5-2, again winning the doubles point to start things off. Macek, Kevin McQuaid, Shields and Hicks then won singles matches to finish off a regular season sweep of USF. However, the Dons had the last laugh in 2006, defeating the Broncos 4-1 in the WCC Tournament on April 23. USF won doubles and then went up 2-0 in the match following a loss by Bobby Rasmussen in singles. Hicks and Macek then lost their matches to give USF the win. Kerin won his match, but it was not enough for the Broncos.
Scouting the Opposition
San Francisco owns a 5-4 record this year coming into Wednesday's match against the Broncos and just recently fell out of the FILA rankings. The Dons lost their last match 6-1 to No. 48 East Tennessee State in San Antonio. USF also played Texas-San Antonio on the trip and lost by the same 6-1 score. San Francisco defeated Northern Arizona (6-1), Loyola Marymount (7-0), No. 73 Hawai'i (4-3) and Gonzaga (6-1) earlier this season for a four-match win streak. However, a 4-3 loss to Saint Mary's ended that streak.
Santa Clara has won seven straight matches following its wins over Portland and Saint Mary's last week. The Broncos have not won seven in a row since a 12-match winning streak from March 2-April 7, 2002.
Macek/Rasmussen and McQuaid/Shields Moving Up Record Books
The doubles teams of Jan Macek/Bobby Rasmussen and Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields are moving up the record books in career doubles victories. McQuaid and Shields won a school record 20 matches last year to move to No. 4 all-time in doubles wins. The pair has won five matches this year and are now tied with Tony Del Rosario and Frank Seitz for third all-time with 25 wins. Macek and Rasmussen started the year with 18 career wins together and have burst out of the gate this spring, posting a 14-3 record so far to move into sole possession of second place all-time with 32 wins. Macek and Rasmussen are still 15 wins away from the all-time leaders, Marcell Hlousek and Jeremy Testwuide, who won 47 matches together at SCU from 1997-99.
Macek/Rasmussen Nearing Top-10 In Combined Doubles
Bobby Rasmussen reached 49 career combined doubles wins and Jan Macek reached 46 with the pair's win against Saint Mary's on March 4. Matt Cox (1998-2001) currently holds down the No. 9 spot in Broncos history with 51 combined wins in doubles. With a strong finish this spring, both Rasmussen and Macek will move into the Top-10 all-time.
Rasmussen Aiming For Top-10 In Singles
Senior Bobby Rasmussen has gotten off to a fantastic start to the spring season in singles, posting an 11-4 record to move his career singles record to 56-48. He is now tied with Marcel Hlousek for eighth all-time in career singles wins. Rasmussen is currently on a five-match win streak.
Wong Super Frosh
Freshman Jay Wong continues to have an outstanding first season on the Mission Campus. The San Jose native has won seven singles matches in a row to push his record to 22-6 on the year. He is now tied for sixth all-time in single-season singles wins. The all-time record for wins in a season is 30, accomplished by Francisco Zepponi when he posted a 30-8 record in 2002. Wong's .786 winning percentage is currently second all-time behind Zepponi's .789 winning percentage in 2002. Wong has won seven matches in a row for SCU.
Sophomore Tommy Hicks won 24 singles matches as a freshman last year. However, he started off struggling in the dual match season this year going winless in his first five matches. However, the Portland, Ore. native has recovered nicely, winning five in a row to even his dual match record at 5-5 and move his overall record to 13-10 on the year.
Junior Blane Shields has made a name for himself as a doubles specialist at SCU. However, he has proven to be a great singles player as well this season. After going 7-2 in the fall in singles, Shields has been perfect this spring. He is currently 4-0 at the No. 6 position for George Husack's squad and has clinched two wins for SCU.
The Santa Clara men's tennis team has achieved a number of notable firsts this season on the courts. The team defeated UC Irvine for the first time in program history on Feb. 4, earning a 6-1 win. The team's win over the University of Arizona on Feb. 10 contained a pair of firsts. The Broncos had never beaten Arizona in the past and they had not beaten a Pac-10 team on the road. However, SCU accomplished both tasks with its 4-3 victory. The Broncos can achieve another first this week if they defeat Cal Poly on the road on March 11. They have never won on the road against Cal Poly.
Bronco tennis fans can now follow all home matches live on SantaClaraBroncos.com with live scoring for all matches. Fans can find the link to live scoring on the men's tennis schedule page or on the men's tennis home page under Bronco Bits. To view live scoring, fans must download Java Run Time software from Sun Microsystems, a free web download at java.com.
SCU has already played nine ranked opponents this season, Boise State (25), California (18), Pepperdine (9), UC Irvine (74), Arizona State (57), Arizona (72), Hawai'i (73), Oregon (75) and Saint Mary's (72). Those rankings were at the time of the match. The Broncos played only 10 ranked opponents all of last season.