No. 63 Santa Clara Men's Tennis Enter WCC Championships As No. 2 Seed
April 18, 2007
Santa Clara men's tennis heads to San Diego for the West Coast Conference Championships this weekend. After a record-breaking regular season, the Broncos will enter the championships as the number two seed, the highest in program history, with a 19-6 record. The Broncos will play Loyola Marymount in the first round on Friday, April 20. The semifinals will be played Saturday, April 21 with the final set for Sunday, April 22.
Santa Clara closed out the regular season on a high note with three wins, defeating Nevada, UC San Diego and Sacramento State at the Degheri Tennis Center. SCU beat Nevada 5-2 on April 13 behind singles wins from Jan Macek, Jay Wong, Robert Gallman and Tommy Hicks. Santa Clara also swept the doubles matches. On Sunday, April 15, the Broncos played two difficult matches, facing UC San Diego in the morning and Sacramento State in the afternoon. Against UC San Diego, SCU won the first two doubles matches to clinch the point and then got singles wins from Macek, Brian Brogan, Wong and Blane Shields for a comfortable 5-2 win. The afternoon match-up against Sacramento State would be close all day. The Broncos won doubles with an 8-6 victory by Macek and Bobby Rasmussen at No. 1 to clinch the point. It was Rasmussen's first match after breaking his hand on March 30. In singles, Sacramento State went up 2-1, but the Broncos fought back to win the next three matches to claim the victory. Gallman clinched the win at No. 4. The Hornets won the final match of the day to make it a 4-3 final.
Seniors Jan Macek and Bobby Rasmussen made Senior Day memorable one on April 15 as the doubles pair was reunited for the final home match of the year. The pair had not played together in the previous five matches due to Rasmussen's broken hand. The pair showed no rust as they battled for an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles that clinched the all-important doubles point for SCU. Macek and Rasmussen are now 17-5 in doubles in 2007.
Broncos In the Polls
For the 11th straight week, the Bronco men's tennis team finds itself ranked among the top 75 teams in the country. SCU entered the rankings on Feb. 6 at No. 75 and moved as high as No. 59. This week, SCU is ranked 63rd in the nation.
Wong Makes History
Freshman Jay Wong reached the mountaintop on April 15 with wins against UC San Diego and Sacramento State. The San Jose native's two wins raised his season singles win total to 30, tying him for first all-time in single season wins. His record is now 30-9 in 2006-07. Francisco Zepponi had held the mark by himself since 2002, when he posted a 30-8 record. The Broncos have three matches remaining in the WCC Championships for Wong to pass Zepponi. Zepponi was 19-5 in duals during his record-setting season while Wong is 18-6 this year. Wong needs two wins to surpass Zepponi in dual wins.
Last season, the Broncos finished fourth in the WCC Championships, following a loss to San Francisco in the third-place match. The team's highest finish is second, accomplished once in the team format in 2000 and once in the individual format in 1986.
The men's tennis team has posted 13 wins this season against teams that have been ranked in the national polls this season. The Broncos defeated UC Irvine, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, UCSB, Portland, Saint Mary's, Cal Poly, BYU, Harvard, Sacramento State and USF twice. All of those teams have spent time in the national rankings in 2007.
The doubles point continues to be huge for George Husack's team. The Broncos are 19-0 when winning the doubles point and 0-6 when losing the doubles point.
The Broncos earned their 19th win of the year by beating Sacramento State on April 15. SCU is now one victory shy of the all-time single season school record, set by Cliff Barrett's team in 1986. The team went 20-10 that season. George Husack, who served as an assistant to former head coach Sean Burns, passed his former boss for single season wins with the victory over Sacramento State. Burns career high was 18, set in 1997 (18-6) and equaled in 2002 (18-8).
There is a chance that five Broncos could finish the season with 20 or more wins. Freshman Jay Wong is already a member of the 20-win club this season. Sophomore Bran Brogan, sophomore Tommy Hicks, senior Bobby Rasmussen and junior Blane Shields could all join him in the 20-win club. Brogan, Hicks and Rasmussen all have 18 wins with three matches in the WCC Championships remaining, while Shields has 19 wins.
Following a loss to Stanford on April 4, SCU has bounced back to win four matches in a row. The Broncos have also won 16 of their past 18 matches overall.
The Broncos No. 2 doubles tandem of Robert Gallman and Blane Shields has proven to be nearly an automatic win this year. The pair played together of the first time on March 2 against Portland, an 8-5 win. They then ripped off five more wins to start 6-0. Following back-to-back losses against Harvard and Stanford, the duo has now won three in a row to push its record to 9-2 on the year.
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 six matches this year and is now in sole possession of third all-time with 26 wins. Macek and Rasmussen started the year with 18 career wins together have posted a 17-5 record so far to move into sole possession of second place all-time with 35 wins. Macek and Rasmussen are still 12 wins away from the all-time leaders, Marcell Hlousek and Jeremy Testwuide, who won 47 matches together at SCU from 1997-99. For a single season, Macek and Rasmussen are tied for fourth all-time with 17 wins. Two more wins would catapult them into a tie for second place.
Macek/Rasmussen Both In Top-10 In Combined Doubles
Jan Macek won two doubles matches last weekend, while Bobby Rasmussen won one putting the seniors at 53 and 52 career combined doubles wins respectively. Macek is now ninth in doubles wins and Rasmussen is 10th. Taylor Bedilion '05 is next on the list with 56 doubles wins.
Rasmussen Into Top-10 In Singles
Senior Bobby Rasmussen has had an excellent spring season in singles, posting a 15-4 record to move his career singles record to 60-48. He is now tied with Federico Mattioli for sixth all-time in singles wins at SCU. Rasmussen has won nine straight singles matches for SCU. The senior lost his first five matches in the fall, but since those losses he has posted an 18-4 record.
Shields Still Dominant
Junior Blane Shields concluded his regular season in impressive fashion, winning three doubles matches with Robert Gallman and two out of three singles matches. He is now 12-2 in dual singles matches and 19-5 overall in singles this season.
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 achieved another first in on March 11, defeating Cal Poly on the road for the first time in school history.
SCU has already played 12 ranked opponents this season, Boise State (25), California (18), Pepperdine (9), UC Irvine (74), Arizona State (57), Arizona (72), Hawai'i (73), Oregon (75), Saint Mary's (72), Cornell (75), BYU (69) and Stanford (60). Those rankings were at the time of the match. The Broncos played only 10 ranked opponents all of last season.