April 19, 2013

No. 60 Bronco Men's Tennis Edges Gonzaga 4-3; Senior Day and BBQ Sunday vs. Portland

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 60 Bronco men's tennis pulled out a nail-biting win on Friday, edging Gonzaga by a tight 4-3 final. The Broncos gained an early lead with the doubles point and scraped by the Bulldogs behind Tomasz Soltyka's clutch victory. Battling tricky weather conditions and a motivated Gonzaga squad, Santa Clara dug deep and squeezed out its sixth 4-3 win of the season. The Broncos can clinch the fourth seed in the WCC Tournament April 25-27 with a victory on Sunday.

"I thought Gonzaga played a great match; we feel very relieved to come away with the win," said Bronco Head Coach Derek Mills. "Tomasz did a great job 'playing to win' at the end and it put us over the top.

Santa Clara hosts the Portland Pilots on Sun., April 21 at 11 am in its final match of the regular season. Sunday's contest is also senior day, where Santa Clara will honor its three seniors – Matt Kecki, Eugene Muchynski and Tom Pham. On Sunday, a BBQ sponsored by the Bronco Bench Foundation will be held, and the Broncos' three seniors will be recognized in a ceremony between singles and doubles.

Santa Clara is 15-9 overall and 3-4 in WCC matches. The Broncos are 12-3 on their home courts, 1-5 on the road and 2-1 in neutral contests. Gonzaga fell to 7-13 overall and was denied its first WCC win, dropping to 0-7 in conference play.

Coming off an outstanding doubles performance against USF last match, the Broncos again brought the heat from the start en route to taking two of three doubles matches for the 1-0 advantage. In the No. 1 spot, John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev proved too much for their Gonzaga counterparts, winning convincingly 8-4. The senior duo of Matt Kecki and Tom Pham also took care of business, recording a strong 8-3 final.

In the individual portion of the contest, Santa Clara and Gonzaga were evenly matched. Pham helped the Broncos strike first, rolling to a 6-4, 6-2 win which improved his record to 22-9 in 2013. The San Diego native added to his all-time SCU wins record and now has 86 victories across his Bronco career. Kecki was the second to finish, turning in a dominating performance 6-3, 6-0 for his 13th win of the season. Pham and Kecki both have two match winning streaks.

After jumping ahead 3-0, the Broncos struggled to close out the match, with Gonzaga storming back to draw even at 3-3. Osintsev couldn't quite pull out his first set, narrowly missing in the tiebreaker. After breezing 6-1 in the second, Osintsev fell 6-2 in the final set. Eugene Muchynski was neck and neck with his opponent throughout the entire match, but came up just short in both tiebreakers for the 7-6, 7-6 final. John Lamble, ranked No. 75 in the country, lost by a 6-4, 6-3 final at No. 1.

With the Broncos' fate in his hands, Soltyka came up huge with a 6-4, 7-6 win at No. 5. Despite his opponents' big forehand and the pressure of the deciding match, Soltyka kept his cool and got the job done. The Broncos survived another tense match, ultimately improving their record to 6-3 in 4-3 matches.

 Position

 Santa Clara University

 Gonzaga University

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 #75 John Lamble

 Alvaro Nazal

 Gonzaga University

 6-4, 6-3

 #2 Singles

 Ilya Osintsev

 Levin Guillermo

 Gonzaga University

 7-6, 1-6, 6-2

 #3 Singles

 Matt Kecki

 Olivier Jamin

 Santa Clara University

 6-3, 6-0

 #4 Singles

 Tom Pham

 Vladimir Mijatovic

 Santa Clara University

 6-4, 6-2

 #5 Singles

 Tomasz Soltyka

 Hayden Smith

 Santa Clara University

 6-4, 7-6

 #6 Singles

 Eugene Muchynski

 Jack Schoebel

 Gonzaga University

 7-6, 7-6

 #1 Doubles

 Ilya Osintsev
 John Lamble

 Jack Schoebel
 Olivier Jamin

 Santa Clara University

 8-4

 #2 Doubles

 Matt Kecki
 Tom Pham

 Alvaro Nazal
 Pablo Mosquera

 Santa Clara University

 8-3

 #3 Doubles

 Eugene Muchynski
 Tomasz Soltyka

 Hayden Smith
 Vladimir Mijatovic

 Unfinished