Men's Tennis Edges Dons, 4-3

Men's Tennis Edges Dons, 4-3

Jan. 29, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara University men's tennis team defeated the University of San Francisco 4-3 this evening at the Olympic Club. Junior Rick Ruso clinched the team victory on court five as the Broncos' record moves to 2-2 overall, 1-0 in West Coast Conference action.

"San Francisco is much stronger than they were last year and we have a young, untested team," head coach George Husack said. "Every match is going to go down to the wire this year and facing this early will make our team strong."

Although San Francisco earned the first point of the match by sweeping doubles play, the Dons had to go an extra set to top the Broncos' top tandem of senior Michael Bruggemann and junior Erich Chen, 9-7.

The Broncos rallied in singles play, winning on courts two through five. Sophomore Taylor Bedilion finished his 6-2, 6-0 victory on the fourth court to tie the match at one point apiece. Sophomore Francisco Zepponi gave the Broncos the lead with his straight-set victory, but USF tied it with a victory at No. 1 singles.

Federico Mattioli (left) won a crucial 7-6, 7-6 victory against the Dons. Photo by Don Jedlovec.

Senior Federico Mattioli scored the match winner on court two on a one-handed backhand shot down the line to earn a 7-6, 7-6 victory over Don Jorgen Arnesen.

"Federico faced some huge serves today and he responded with solid returns," Husack said. "He had no let up in his game; he was in every point and was on his game in every aspect: serves, volleys... he had it all today."

San Francisco tied the match on the sixth singles court, making the victory fall to court five, where Ruso was battling Don Axel Elvik. Ruso won the first set in a tiebreak, but Elvik rallied to take the second frame. Ruso took control in the third set and volleyed past Elvik for the match-clinching victory that also marked his first singles victory of the season.

"I really wouldn't want anybody else out there in that situation," Husack said. "Rick loves to be in that situation. He had everything going today. After being up a break in the second and then losing a break and eventually the set, he came back in the third strong. He was mentally challenged and wasn't afraid to take chances. He really stepped up his game. It was a huge win for us tonight."

The Broncos will return to the courts this Saturday, visiting Cal Poly for a non-conference match. First serve is slated for 1 p.m. in San Luis Obispo.

1. Lien/Fuller (USF) def. Chen/Bruggemann (SCU) 9-7
2. Lippert/Elvik (USF) def. Ruso/Zepponi (SCU) 8-4
3. Arnesen/Pablo Pires De Almeda (USF) def. Mattioli/Bedilion (SCU) 8-3

1. Joachim Lien (USF) def. Erich Chen (SCU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Federico Mattioli (SCU) def. Jorgen Arnesen 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2)
3. Francisco Zepponi (SCU) def. Christian Divik (USF) 7-6 (5), 6-2
4. Taylor Bedilion (SCU) def. Mason Fuller (USF) 6-2, 6-0
5. Rick Ruso (SCU) def. Axel Elvik (USF) 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-1
6. Romain Van Rillas (USF) def. Michael Bruggemann (SCU) 6-2, 6-0

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