SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After completing a successful season in 2013, the Santa Clara men's tennis program will open 2014 looking for another positive year. The Broncos notched a solid 17-10 overall record and went 13-3 on their home courts in 2013. They were nationally ranked almost the entire season and finished at No. 68 in the country.
Santa Clara begins its 2014 season at No. 73 in the preseason rankings and it returns three of its top five players from last season. The Broncos look to compete in the competitive West Coast Conference while climbing in the national rankings.
The Broncos' first match will be on Sat., Jan. 18th at 11am when they welcome UC Davis to the Mission Campus. Santa Clara will have a chance to gain some match experience and start off the season on a winning note.
The Broncos will also travel to USC to participate in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Tournament on Sat., Jan. 25th and Sun., Jan. 26th. USC will provide a strong test for Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 25th as it is ranked No. 4 nationally. The winner will take on either No. 62 Georgia St. or No. 61 Wichita St. the following day.
UC Davis Aggies
In 2013, the first season under new head coach Eric Steidlmayer and assistant Michael Meyer, the Aggies finished with an 8-13 overall record after concluding league play 1-5. In the Big West Tournament, No. 6 seed UC Davis fell to No. 3 seed Pacific, 4-2. The team picked up one of their biggest wins of the season, 4-3, at Loyola Marymount in its final non-conference match of the 2013 season.
After graduating Toki Sherbakov, who anchored UC Davis at No. 1 singles, the Aggies figure to be led by two seniors, Kyle Miller and Parker Kelley. Miller, a Northern California native from Monterey, posted a 14-7 singles mark in 2013, primarily as the Aggies No. 2 player. He was a Big West All-Conference Singles Second Team member. Along with Adam Luba, Miller was also Second Team in doubles.
Kelley turned in a 12-8 record in singles last season, almost exclusively at No. 3. After a slow start, he ended the year with victories in eight of his final 12 singles matches, earning him Singles Honorable Mention for the conference.
Additionally, Brett Bacharach finished his freshman season with an 11-10 overall record. The sophomore split his two matches played at No. 3 singles and won 10 of 19 contests at No. 4. A doubles specialist, sophomore Adam Levie won 11 of 20 doubles matches, all as the team's top pairing with Sherbakov. The duo earned victories in four consecutive doubles matches early in the year and ended the season with wins in three of their last four contests. They received Second Team honors for their doubles play.
Head coach Steidlmayer and assistant Meyer, entering their second year as the program's leaders, appear to have recruited well, as their new recruiting class ranked No. 15 in the nation among mid-major schools by TennisRecruiting.net. The Aggies' incoming class includes high school All-American Alec Adamson from Corona del Mar, Calif., who was ranked No. 49 nationally and No. 15 in California. UC Davis also signed four-star recruits James Wade from San Marino, Calif. and Bryce McKelvie from nearby San Jose, Calif.
Santa Clara Broncos
Lamble, a senior from Saratoga, Calif., looks to finish his outstanding career at Santa Clara on a strong note. He is ranked No. 5 in the Northwest singles rankings. Last year as a junior, Lamble was named First Team All-WCC. He finished second on the teams in wins (20-14 overall) and played No. 1 singles for the Broncos. In the fall season, Lamble earned a singles record of 7-3. His 67 total singles wins are tied for fourth in program history, and he has an impressive overall record of 67-34.
Additionally, Lamble seeks to continue his doubles success with Ilya Osintsev. Last year, the dynamic duo went 10-6 while playing as the Broncos' top doubles team. The pair's 23 wins are tied for fifth in Santa Clara men's tennis history. Lamble and Osintsev are No. 9 in the Northwest regional rankings for doubles.
The junior from Novosibirsk, Russia looks to build on his solid contributions as an underclassman. Osintsev posted a singles record of 12-14 as the Broncos' primary No. 2 player last season, following a 20-3 rookie campaign where he was named WCC Freshman of the Year. In doubles, Osintsev has been an asset atop the Broncos' lineup with Lamble, and the righty-lefty duo is one of the toughest in the league.
During the fall season, the Russian posted a record of 3-2. He won 6-4, 6-4 over USC's Max de Vroome, who went 27-12 in singles last season and won all three matches in the NCAA Tournament. He also defeated strong players from USD and Cal. Additionally, Osintsev and Lamble reached the doubles quarterfinals of the Battle of the Bay Classic before falling to a tandem from No. 46 Boise State.
Khacharyan strives to build on his strong 2013 season. Last year, the Sochi, Russia native flourished as a freshman, racking up a 14-2 record in his first year on the Mission campus. He did not drop a match from Jan. 26th through Mar. 1st, capturing seven straight wins in the process. The win streak included triumphs over foes from No. 38 Boise State and No. 50 BYU. Khacharyan also appeared in the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions during the season.
During 2013 fall play, the righty posted a record of 2-2. He reached the quarterfinals of the Aggie Invitational at UC Davis by defeating Jamin Ball of Stanford 6-1, 2-1 (retired) and Niranjan Ram of Sacramento State 6-4, 6-2.
In his first season on the squad, Chun contributed several big doubles wins while energizing the team and stepping into the lineup. He made five singles appearances all at No. 6 and made his NCAA debut against Saint Mary's. In doubles, the Hawaiian played in five matches at the No. 3 position. He helped pick up a key 8-6 doubles win over UC Irvine, contributing to the team's 4-3 victory. Chun and his partner also turned in a strong 8-4 win over Northern Arizona for Chun's second victory of the season.
The Broncos welcomed four new members to the team: Sam Bertram, Mikheil Khmiadashvilli, Jesse Ross and Michael Tjuatjadarma. Bertram joined the Broncos after playing his first two seasons at Fresno City College. At Fresno City, Bertram won the state title in singles and was the runner-up in doubles. This fall, Bertram reached the quarterfinals of the Aggie Invitational by knocking off Ayman Abdulwahab of Sacramento State 6-4, 6-3. In doubles, he was a semifinalist at the UC Davis Invitational while paired with Ashot Khacharyan. He also advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA Northwest Regional with John Lamble.
Ross is from Ventura, Calif. and will be making his freshman debut with the Broncos. He attended Laurel Springs High School in Ojai, Calif. Ross, who stands at 6-5, was the No. 9 singles player in Southern California. The 4 star recruit was also ranked No. 85 nationally by tennisrecruiting.net.
Khmiadashvilli is from Tbilisi, Georgia and is also a freshman. In high school, he attended Saint Dimitry Kipiani School. Khmiadashvilli competed for the Georgian Davis Cup team in Bulgaria in 2012 and reached an ITF ranking of 224. His highest ATP singles ranking is 1855, and in doubles his top ATP ranking is 1189. He also achieved a U-16 ranking in Europe of No. 6, and was ranked fourth in singles in Georgia, and second in doubles, according to the ATP rankings.
Tjuatjadarma joins the Broncos' squad after two years at nearby DeAnza College. He was a quarterfinalist in the state championship while playing at DeAnza. Tjuatjadarma attended Jubilee High School in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2009, the SCU Finance major won the Fergana Cup in Uzbekistan, was a singles runner-up at the 39th Brunei ITF Circuit, and was a doubles semifinalist at the Malaysia ITF World Junior Tennis Championship.
The Santa Clara men's tennis team is also excited to have a new addition to its coaching staff. After coaching at WCC-rival Loyola Marymount for four seasons, Aaron Paajanen is the new assistant coach for Bronco head coach Derek Mills. Along with assistant coach Rudy Siwy, Paajanen will be helping with all aspects of the program. Read more about Paajanen here.
Be sure to check out SantaClaraBroncos.com for more on the beginning of the Broncos' 2014 campaign. Stay up to date with everything Santa Clara men's tennis on Facebook.