Santa Clara Welcomes No. 36 Tulsa Amid Bronco Tennis Alumni Reunion Day

Santa Clara Welcomes No. 36 Tulsa Amid Bronco Tennis Alumni Reunion Day

March 20, 2006

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Santa Clara, Calif. - This weekend marks the beginning of what Santa Clara men's tennis head coach George Husack hopes will turn into an annual event. The Bronco Tennis Alumni Reunion Day is set to take place this Saturday, with a 1 p.m. barbecue lunch with former and current players, coaches, and friends, followed by a 3 p.m. match with No. 36 Tulsa. In addition, former players are encouraged to come out to Degheri at 11 a.m. for a pre-lunch hit around.

The Alumni Reunion Day was a concept thought up by Husack, who wanted a way to connect his current team with former Broncos who have represented Santa Clara over the years. He began the "Bronco Reconnect" campaign after going through several yearbooks and publications dating as far back as 1930 to compile a complete listing of former players and coaches. Questionnaires were sent out to these alumni requesting basic information, with the main objective being to gain more knowledge of the program's past, to update record books, and to share current news and events of the tennis team. Saturday's event is a culmination of all the hard work put forth by Husack and he eagerly looks forward to it.

"Over the years, there have been many players and coaches that have represented Santa Clara tennis," explained Husack. "We felt it was critical to connect with them in order to accurately reflect our program's rich history and also share with current and future players the important details that have made Santa Clara University men's tennis what it is today."

Added Husack: "There has been a terrific initial response to the project and I'm very excited for the inaugural event. I hope it will continue to grow in size and become a tradition as we move forward."

Francisco Zepponi is one of the expected alumni who will show up this Saturday at the inaugural Bronco Tennis Alumni Reunion Day.

Tulsa will prove to be a formidable challenge for Santa Clara this weekend, as it comes in boasting an overall record of 11-5, including a 2-1 mark at last weekend's Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. Led by recently crowned C-USA Player of the Week Arnau Brugues, ranked No. 21 in the latest ITA-Tennis Singles Top-100 Poll with a stellar 12-0 record in singles, the Golden Hurricanes rely on a mix of youth and experience. Along with Brugues, brothers Federico Soriano (No. 78) and Ricardo Soriano (No. 79) are also among the nation's top singles players. In addition, sophomores Andy Connelly and Will Gray provide depth in both singles and doubles for Tulsa. Vince Westbrook is in his 15th season as the head coach of the men's tennis program and has compiled an overall record of 187-168 during his tenure at Tulsa.

"Tulsa is a very good team that has steadily risen in the national rankings. They have a lineup filled with passionate competitors and their top three singles players are ranked nationally in singles," noted Husack. "It's a tremendous opportunity for us to play a team of this caliber at home and we have a good stretch of time to prepare. We love playing at home and I am confident our guys will be ready for quite a battle."

Santa Clara will also be hosting Eastern Washington this weekend, with a 3 p.m. date set for Sunday at the Degheri Tennis Center. Prior to its face off with Santa Clara, Eastern Washington will match up with Sacramento State on March 24 and has an overall mark of 3-3 in 2006. Brian Garfield is the Eagles' most experienced member on the squad as a junior, as eight of 10 players on the tennis team are underclassmen. Freshmen Art Karas, Pannhara Mam, and Kyle Schraeder have all made their mark thus far in the season, providing depth in both the singles and doubles line-ups. In his second year as the head coach for both the men's and women's tennis teams at Eastern Washington, Patrick Dreves guided the 2005 men's squad to an overall record of 3-17 in 2005.

"Eastern Washington is a young team that has improved tremendously under the leadership of their coach Pat Dreves," stated Husack. "He's lured some very determined players to his program and they continue to develop as the season moves along. We had a good match with them last year and I anticipate the same on Sunday."

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