By, Rico Chow '12
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 50-ranked Santa Clara University men's tennis team travels to Fresno, Calif., to take on Western Athletic Conference foe No. 51-ranked Fresno State on Sun., March 13. The Broncos enter the weekend with a 9-4 record (1-1 WCC), including a 6-1 victory against No. 71-ranked University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 21.
Fresno State's match is set to begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Fresno, Calif.
The Bulldogs enter this weekend with a 5-6 record this season but this record does not portray the tough opponents that they have been playing. Eight out of 11 opponents that they played against were nationally-ranked schools and seven of them were in the top 45 nationally.
The key players in Fresno State are the No. 33-ranked doubles pair Rikus de Villiers and Remi Boutillier, whom is ranked 70th place in the nation in singles.
The Broncos lost 4-0 to the then-No. 28 Bulldogs in their last meeting on Feb. 7, 2010. Though SCU pushed all matches to the limit, the Broncos could not come away with the big points.
On the doubles side of play, Santa Clara dropped the No. 1 and 2 matches by a narrow margin. Kyle Dandan and Nicolas Vinel fell to Fresno State's No. 36-then Remi Boutillier and Rikus de Villiers, 8-4, and Jay Wong and Brian Brogan fell to No. 20-then Mirko Zapletal and Taylor Leiby 8-6.
Heading into singles play down 1-0, SCU could not find a way to edge out the Bulldogs. Andrew Kells, Wong, and Vinel dropped the No. 3, 4 and 5 singles matches, respectively, for Fresno to take the match. Kells forced his match up with Tejesvi Veerepalli to a tie breaker, but could not hang on, falling 6-3, 7-6(3).
SCU is looking to revenge the last season's defeat this weekend. This match will be a competitive match.