No. 73 Men's Tennis Beats UC Davis 4-3 in 2014 Season Opener

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The No. 73 Bronco men's tennis team started the 2014 dual match season with a strong group effort, helping them prevail over a spirited UC Davis squad on Saturday. The Broncos began the new season by winning 4-3, after a 17-10 overall record and 13-3 mark at home in 2013. The Aggies, who went 8-13 in head coach Eric Steidlmayer's first year in 2013, put up a spirited effort but came up short, as Santa Clara earned its first win of the season.

"I liked how the team responded to a feisty UC Davis team and the new match format we have to play to start this season," said Bronco head coach Derek Mills. "We had three new guys in the lineup and I liked the way the whole team responded. This was definitely a good team win to start the season."

The Broncos will 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. 63 Wichita St. or No. 64 Georgia St. the following day.

On a picture-perfect day at the Degheri Tennis Center, Santa Clara found its rhythm early and won the doubles point, which turned out to be the difference maker in the match. The Broncos' doubles success was largely driven by its three new members who wasted no time making an impact.

In the No. 2 doubles position, sophomore Ashot Khacharyan and junior transfer Sam Bertram teamed up for a 6-4 victory over Brett Bacharach and James Wade, notching their first win of the dual match season. The duo's success carried over from the Aggie Invitational during the Fall season, when they showed immediate chemistry. In the tournament, the Broncos came up with an 8-4 win over Cal's Chase Melton and Wyatt Houghton, the No. 3 seeded team, and bested a Fresno State pair 8-4.

At No. 3 doubles, the Broncos' two freshman, Mikheil Khmiadashvili and Jesse Ross, came together for an impressive 6-4 win in their NCAA debuts. The Broncos defeated a pair of seniors, Parker Kelley and Adam Luba. Luba was named to the Big West doubles Second Team in 2013.

The Broncos' top doubles team, John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev, led 5-4 in their match, but play was stopped when Santa Clara clinched the doubles point.

After taking the crucial doubles point, Santa Clara needed three singles victories to close out their first win of the season. In the first match of his senior year, Lamble wasted no time getting up to speed, rolling 6-1, 6-2 over Kyle Miller. Lamble was named First Team All-WCC in 2013 after going 20-14 and leading the Broncos at No. 1 singles the entire season. The win upped his overall season record to 8-3, including fall play.

Osintsev got off to a quick start against Kelley, controlling the first set 6-1 before finishing up the second set 6-5 in a tiebreaker. The lefty defeated several strong players in the fall, and the victory on Saturday improved his record to 4-2. Osintsev went 12-14, mostly at No. 2 singles, in 2013.

The Broncos' final singles match came from Bertram, who won 6-4, 6-4 over Adam Luba at No. 6 to clinch the match. The Australian native, who transferred from Fresno City College, picked up his first dual match victory as a Bronco. His record stands at 4-2.

At No. 3 singles, Khacharyan faced Alec Adamson, a freshman who had been ranked No. 49 in the country during high school. Khacharyan started strongly, winning the first set 6-1. Adamson settled down in the second set, however, forcing a tiebreaker and coming out on top. In a ten-point tiebreaker to decide the match, Adamson again was able to come through in the clutch, winning 10-6.

Khmiadashvili had a very tight contest with Bacharach at No. 4, with each player taking a set in a tiebreaker, 6-5. The match came down to a third-set tiebreaker, with Bacharach narrowly edging his Bronco opponent, 10-8.

In the fifth singles position, Ross fell to James Wade by a 6-1, 6-2 final.

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 Position

 Santa Clara University

 UC Davis

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 John Lamble

 Kyle Miller

 Santa Clara University

 6-1, 6-2

 #2 Singles

 Ilya Osintsev

 Parker Kelley

 Santa Clara University

 6-1. 6-5

 #3 Singles

 Ashot Khacharyan

 Alec Adamson

 UC Davis

 1-6, 6-5, 10-6

 #4 Singles

 Mikheil Khmiadashvili

 Brett Bacharach

 UC Davis

 6-5, 5-6, 10-8

 #5 Singles

 Jesse Ross

 James Wade

 UC Davis

 6-1, 6-2

 #6 Singles

 Sam Bertram

 Adam Luba

 Santa Clara University

 6-4, 6-4

 #1 Doubles

 Ilya Osintsev 
 John Lamble

 Alec Adamson 
 Adam Levie

 Unfinished

 5-4

 #2 Doubles

 Ashot Khacharyan 
 Sam Bertram

 Brett Bacharach 
 James Wade

 Santa Clara University

 6-4

 #3 Doubles

 Mikheil Khmiadashvili 
 Jesse Ross

 Parker Kelley 
 Adam Luba

 Santa Clara University

 6-4