Men's Tennis Cracks ITA's Top 30 at No. 29, Hosts Three Matches This Week
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- For the third consecutive week, the No. 29 Santa Clara men's tennis team has posted all-time highs in rankings. In the latest ITA ranking, Santa Clara has jumped up to No. 29.
With the school's first ever tennis ranking inside No. 30, at No. 29, Santa Clara (10-3) hosts Yale, Idaho and Sonoma State in a three-match week beginning with Yale on Thurs., March 8 at 3 p.m. On Saturday, March 10 Idaho and Sonoma State visit Degheri Tennis Center at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
This Week's Matches
No. 29 Santa Clara vs. Yale • Degheri Tennis Center (Santa Clara, Calif.) • 3 p.m.
No. 29 Santa Clara vs. Idaho • Degheri Tennis Center (Santa Clara, Calif.) • 11 a.m.
No. 29 Santa Clara vs. Sonoma State • Degheri Tennis Center (Santa Clara, Calif.) • 3 p.m.
Santa Clara (10-3) enters the weekend after decisively beating both UC Irvine and UCSB 7-0 during a weekend trip to Southern California.
During its last three matches, Santa Clara has not dropped a dual match point as the Broncos have downed three straight opponents 7-0.
The Broncos continue to battle against some of the NCAA's best programs. The Broncos have played six ranked opponents this season and have won three out of five of those matches, falling only to then-No. 6 Stanford and then-No. 33 Fresno State. The Broncos have picked up marquee wins over ranked teams such as Boise State, TCU and UNLV.
Eugene Muchynski continues to play well for the Broncos. Muchynski has won eight of his last nine contests.
Super Senior Kyle Dandan
Senior Kyle Dandan is ranked No. 106 in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in its latest rankings released on Wed., Feb. 28. The ITA ranks the top 125 individuals in the country. Dandan's ranking is a season-high for a Bronco player. Playing as the Broncos' primary No. 1 singles player, Dandan has consistently faced opponents' top players. A native of the Philippines, Dandan has played four opponents in the top-50, while being able to edge then-No. 31, now No. 29, Ryan Thatcher of Stanford. He has garnered WCC honors in each of his first three seasons and has helped the Broncos off to a 10-3 start this season.
The senior has played all of his matches in the No. 1 position while amassing a 9-6 record
Dandan recently made an appearance on halftime show of the Santa Clara men's basketball game vs. Pepperdine. Dandan and women's tennis player Katie Le both appeared with Comcast's Ted Robinson to talk about Bronco tennis during the Pepperdine game on Feb. 23.
Yale enters its midweek matchup with Santa Clara with a record of 7-3. Last weekend, the Bulldogs defeated three teams at the Yale Round Robin including: Fairleigh Dickson, Marist and Stony Brook. A member of the Ivy League, Yale is on a Bay Area tour with matches against Santa Clara, Stanford and USF.
For a few members of the Yale squad, the trip will be a homecoming. The Bulldogs have three Bay Area natives. Senior captain Eric Blumenkranz and sophomore Patrick Chase are from Portola Valley, Calif., while junior Daniel Hoffman is from Atherton, Calif. Yale is 2-0 on the road this season with victories at William & Mary and Old Dominion.
Idaho travels west with a 7-6 record. Before battling the Broncos this weekend, the Vandals travel to Saint Mary's on March 9. Alan Shin, who recently broke the Idaho career record for singles wins, leads the Vandals. Shin picked up his 84th career singles win on Feb. 3 to break a record that stood for 30 years.
Sunday's match against Sonoma State is part of Santa Clara's Opening Weekend rainout reschedule. During the first weekend of spring play, the Broncos were able to play UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz, but were forced to move Sonoma State's match to a later date due to rain. Sonoma State currently sits at 2-6 after dropping matches to UC Santa Cruz and NAIA power Fresno Pacific last weekend. The Seawolves have seen some of the Bronco players earlier this season at the Gaels Classic.
Santa Clara has already been setting all-time marks this season. The current No. 29 ranking is the best ever for a Santa Clara squad. The ranking is the second all-time high in the last few weeks. Last week the Broncos were ranked No. 43 - a then school-best. Additionally, the Broncos began the season at a school-best No. 50 in the ITA rankings, the highest ever to begin the season … the doubles tandem of Vinel/Dandan opened the fall with the best-ever doubles ranking in school history as the nation's No. 29 tandem.
The Bronco tennis program has players and coaches from seven countries, including players from five countries and two international coaches. The SCU team boasts players from five different countries including the U.S., France, Japan, Russia and the Philippines. The coaching staff is also a mix of internationals including first-year assistant coach, Jose Hilla who is from Oviedo, Spain and third-year assistant Jakub Cech is from Prague, Czech Republic.
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Be sure to check back to SantaClaraBroncos.com this weekend for a recap from the Mission Campus.