No. 64 Men’s Tennis Travels to Portland for WCC Matchup
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Coming off an exciting upset over No. 39 Oregon, the No. 64 Bronco men's tennis team travels to Portland this weekend in hopes of moving up the WCC standings and national rankings. The Broncos knocked off the Ducks, 4-2, on Wednesday and Oregon became the highest-ranked team that Santa Clara has defeated this season.
"I thought we played really good, focused doubles especially at number one and two," said Bronco head coach Derek Mills after the win. "Oregon is known for their very good doubles, and our wins on courts one and two were very impressive."
"In singles, we did an awesome job of fighting. Ashot won in straight sets. Ilya came through, stuck with it, and kept battling. John had the clincher at number one. He dominated the first set, dropped the second, and dominated the third set, showing great senior leadership."
After beating Oregon, Santa Clara's record is now 13-5 overall. The team will aim to improve its 3-3 WCC mark this weekend against the Pilots. The Broncos are 10-2 at home, 2-3 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites.
Santa Clara rose to the challenge and took down the visiting Ducks in its last contest. Despite Oregon's strong doubles play and impressive 14-5 doubles record this season, the Broncos got on the board first.
The righty-lefty tandem has won 19 of 21 matches including fall play, and is 18-1 in its last 19 dual matches dating back to the end of last season. Lamble and Osintsev have 35 total victories across their Santa Clara doubles career together, which is the second-most victories by one team in program history.
Oregon grabbed the No. 3 doubles match, but Santa Clara's No. 2 doubles team of Ashot Khacharyan and Mikheil Khmiadashvili came through with a clutch victory. The underclassman duo knocked off their Oregon opponents, 8-6, to clinch the doubles point for the Broncos.
With the important doubles point locked up, Santa Clara went to work in singles and kept up its phenomenal effort. Khacharyan won in a straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 at No. 3 for his third straight win. The sophomore from Sochi, Russia has 11 dual match victories and is 13-5 overall.
Osintsev earned an enormous win over a highly-ranked opponent at No. 2. The lefty defeated Robin Cambier, ranked No. 59 in the country, in straight sets, 7-5, 7-6. Osintsev is an exceptional 11-1 during the regular season and 14-2 including the fall.
With one point to go, Santa Clara senior Lamble sealed the deal. The righty jumped out to a scorching start, rolling through the first set in a 6-1 final. After dropping the second set, 6-2, he showed admirable resolve and was able to rebound, dominating the third set, 6-1.
Lamble improved to 10-1 in duals and 17-4 including the fall. He upped his career mark to 77-35 overall, which gives him the second-most wins in program history.
Khmiadashvili was locked in a three set showdown when the match was decided, so his match did not finish. Oregon won No. 5 singles 6-1, 6-2 and No. 6 singles 6-3, 6-0.
The Portland Pilots have an 11-5 overall record and are 4-1 in WCC play. They have won six out of their last seven matches, including a 4-3 nail-biter over LMU last time out. Against the Lions, Pilot senior Alex Ferrero won in a third set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles to clinch the win. Portland squared off against the Broncos' most recent opponent, No. 39 Oregon, on March 9 but the Ducks came away with a 6-1 win.
Michel Hu Kwo leads Portland at No. 1 singles. The Beijing, China native is 10-2 since taking over in the top spot for the Pilots in mid-February. His lone losses have come against No. 48 Pepperdine's Alex Sarkissian, ranked 27th nationally, and No. 39 Oregon's Kevin Farin.
Portland's No. 1 doubles duo of Ratan Gill and Farrero is 9-6 on the 2014 season, all in the top position. The tandem was on a four-match winning streak before dropping its last two matches.
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Check back on SantaClaraBroncos.com for more on the matchup with No. 27 Oregon. Stay up to date with Santa Clara men's tennis on Facebook and Twitter @SCUmtennis. Go Broncos!