By Rico Chow, '12
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara men's tennis team had a great start in the ITA Northwest Regional Tournament in Stanford University. The first tournament of the season brought the Broncos a theme for this year.
"We were disappointed with the doubles because we almost beat the team who won the tournament," says Bronco head coach Derek Mills. "If we had started a couple of the games together where they both played well, we would have blown them out. We never had our guys playing well at the same time and it was always one guy picking up the other."
The best player of the tournament was Junior Kyle Dandan, who led SCU to the Round of 16 in singles and quarterfinals in doubles with Nico Vinel. The highlight of the tournament was Dandan and Vinel doubles team's close match against No. 4 seed team from Cal, whom eventually won the tournament. They fell short by one game (8-9) to proceed the semifinals of the ITA Doubles Tournament.
In the second round of the ITA Singles Tournament, Muchynski played the No. 1 player from the Pacific (6-4,7-6) and "had him on the rope but he couldn't finish," said Mills. "Our theme this year is to finish what we start because if we could have finished couple of the matches, we would have played much better in this tournament."
A blue-chip freshman John Lamble showed that he has a bright future potential as a Bronco after defeating the No. 17 seed player from Portland (7-5, 6-0) and a freshman player from Oregon (6-1, 6-2) to proceed the Round of 32 in the ITA Singles Tournament. He also played doubles with Maxime Armengaud and earned a victory against Sacramento State as well (8-5).
Freshman singles player Keith Kamono and the doubles players Engene Muchynski and Tom Pham were unbeaten in consolation matches when all consolations tournament were canceled due to the weather on Sunday.
"Overall it was a pretty solid tournament for us but we definitely left some opportunities sitting on the table. Hopefully next time we can take advantage of those opportunities so we can go further into the tournament," said Mills.
The Broncos' hopes are high and the players are already looking forward to the next tournament the Gael Classic at Moraga, Calif. from Fri., Oct. 29 to Sun. Oct 31.