by Brandon Rebboah
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- The Santa Clara University men's tennis program begins its 2011-12 season Fri. Oct., 21 at the ITA Regional Tournament hosted by the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash.
Santa Clara will send three players to the four-day tournament. Senior Kyle Dandan (middle), junior Tom Pham (left) and sophomore John Lamble (right) will represent the Broncos in both singles and doubles. Dandan is the highest seeded Santa Clara competitor with a No. 9 seed in singles.
In singles, both Dandan and Pham were awarded first-round byes and await their competitors. Dandan will play the winner of Russell (E. Washington) v. Mayeda (Oregon) in the round of 64. Pham awaits the winner of Eriksson (E. Washington) v. Jeff Hawke (Washington). Lamble will play in the opening round against West Coast Conference opponent Oliver Jamin from Gonzaga.
In doubles play, the tandem of Dandan and Pham were awarded the No. 5 seed and a first round bye. They will play the winner of doubles tandems from Washington and Stanford.
"Whenever we go into a tournament we are looking to win the whole thing," said Santa Clara head coach Derek Mills. "We aren't looking to win a few rounds. We hope at least one of our guys, or teams for doubles, is playing on the last day of the tournament."
After adding a new assistant coach and a new strength coach, the players should be in great shape going into their first tournament.
"The guys should be ready to go," said Mills. "We've conditioned more than we ever have before. They should be fit and ready to go. We have to attack every guy, not look ahead to the next round. We have to take it one match at a time.
Despite other schools opening their seasons earlier, the Broncos have experience on their side. Santa Clara returns every member of last year's squad, including the three who will represent the Mission Campus this weekend.
"These guys know what to expect," added Mills. "It may be our first tournament, but hopefully we can get a couple of matches under our belt and start to roll."
For more on the ITA Regional in Seattle Washington visit the ITA Regional website. SantaClaraBroncos.com will post daily results. Look back at the close of the tournament for a full recap and video Mills early next week.