Posted: Sep 25, 2018
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara men's tennis opens its 2018 fall season on Friday at the Aggie Invitational, hosted by UC Davis. Held on the courts at the Marya Welch Tennis Center, the Aggie Invitational field includes nine schools: Cal, Nevada, Pacific, Portland, Sacramento State, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, Stanford and UC Davis.
"The Aggie Invitational has a lot of good players from many of the schools we'll see in the spring," said Broncos head coach Niall Angus who begins his third season at the helm and fourth overall with the program. "We are looking forward to seeing our freshmen, Arthur Neuhaus and Santiago Hinojosa, play their first matches as a Bronco. They are going to get to play in a lot of matches over the weekend and it'll be a good experience for the new players. And for the returners, a chance to build on their performances from last year."
Santa Clara's eight-man roster will all see action in both singles and doubles in the non-team scored event. Last season at the Aggie Invitational, the Broncos claimed 12 singles wins and seven more in doubles.
The 2018-19 edition of the Broncos fields a veteran team comprised of six upper classmen – four seniors and two juniors – along with the two freshmen and losing just one player, Sebastien Mathieu, to graduation. The Broncos posted a 13-11 dual season record last season, finishing fifth in the West Coast Conference with a 5-4 record to qualify for the WCC Tournament.
Andrew Gu, an All-West Coast Conference singles first team selection last season, leads the quartet of seniors going 14-10 while playing atop the lineup all season. Senior Connor Garnett posted a team best 24-7 singles record playing on courts three and four and was named All-WCC honorable mention. Senior Robert Seby had a team best 17-10 overall record in doubles and was named All-WCC doubles honorable mention. Kamran Khan, a senior, set career-highs in overall singles (13-9) and doubles wins (16-15).
Juniors Vasileios Iliopoulos and Jesus Tapiador Barajas finished last season being named to the WCC Men's Tennis All-Tournament team.
Angus will experiment with some new doubles combinations throughout the fall after sticking with the same lineup throughout the spring with seniors Gu and Seby on court one, juniors Tapiador Barajas and Iliopoulos on court two and seniors Garnett and Khan on court three.
Over the three-day tournament this weekend, the Bronco head coach plans to roll out the following doubles pairings: Neuhaus will be playing with Seby; Gu with Iliopoulos; Hinojosa with Khan; and Garnett with Tapiador Barajas.
"We started fall practice later than few of the other teams because classes just started last week so we are playing a bit of a catch up but the players have come back in good shape. We've put in a good couple of days of training and will put another good one this week ahead of the tournament," said Angus.