No. 59 Men's Tennis Beats USF 4-0 in WCC Quarterfinals; Faces Top-Seeded No. 44 USD on Friday
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Coming off a thrilling 4-3 win over St. Mary's in the first round of the WCC Tournament, No. 59 Santa Clara defeated USF 4-0 in a strong effort on Thursday in the tournament quarterfinals. The Broncos won the doubles point and rolled behind singles victories in the No. 2 - 4 spots.
The fourth-seeded Broncos advance to the semifinals, where they will face No. 44 USD on Friday at 9am. USD won the WCC Title and is the No. 1 seed in the tournament after going a perfect 9-0 in 2014 conference play.
Santa Clara won its 17th match in 2014 to move to 17-6 overall and 7-4 in WCC play. The Broncos have a 12-2 home record, 2-4 road mark, and they are now 3-0 at neutral sites.
On Thursday, Santa Clara avoided another tight finish by coming out firing in both doubles and singles.
Santa Clara's First Team All-WCC duo of John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev got the Broncos on the board with an 8-3 win at No. 1. Lamble and Osintsev are 17-2 in dual matches and they knocked off USF's top doubles duo for the fourth straight time dating back to last season. The tandem has 39 career wins, second-most in program history.
Ashot Khacharyan and Mikheil Khmiadashvili went the distance but were edged in a tiebreaker at No. 2, dropping their record to 5-4 this season. With the teams tied at 1-1, the doubles point came down to the third doubles position.
Santa Clara's junior transfers, Sam Bertram and Michael Tjuatjadarma, came up with a big 8-5 win to seal the doubles point. They are now 4-4 on the season and have won several important matches during the season.
The Broncos rode the momentum from doubles into the singles portion of the match. Santa Clara was relentless from the get go, dominating three contests to secure their spot in the semifinals.
Coming off a three-set victory over St. Mary's, Osintsev was the first to finish against USF, taking down his opponent decisively in a 6-3, 6-2 final at No. 2. The All-WCC Second Team honoree has been almost perfect this season, dropping just one match for a remarkable 14-1 record. The junior also earned WCC Singles Player of the Week honors three times, the only player in the conference to accomplish the feat.
Ashot Khacharyan followed suit in the third spot with a 6-2, 6-3 win. He upped his record to 15-7 in his sophomore campaign, and was named WCC Honorable Mention for his strong regular season. The righty from Sochi, Russia was 14-2 as a freshman in 2013.
After dropping two tiebreakers in a tough three-set loss to the Gaels, Khmiadashvili roared back against the Dons with a strong 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 4. The lefty finished off the Bronco win and improved to 13-6 in his freshman season.
With the match decided, the contests for Lamble, Bertram, and Tjuatjadarma were stopped.
Check back on SantaClaraBroncos.com for more on the Broncos' semifinal match in the West Coast Conference Tournament. Stay up to date with Santa Clara men's tennis on Facebook and Twitter @SCUmtennis. Go Broncos!