Jan 14, 2019
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – An experienced Santa Clara men's tennis team opens its 2019 dual match season at No. 10 Stanford on Tuesday at 3 p.m. NOTE: Due to inclement weather, the match will now be played at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Broadway Tennis Center in Burlingame.
"We are a senior heavy team this year. We have some experience and its something we want to utilize throughout the season. The team is stronger now than we have been in the last couple of years in terms of depth," said Broncos head coach Niall Angus.
Senior team captains Connor Garnett and Kamran Khan will lead an eight-member Bronco squad comprised of four seniors (Garnett, Andrew Gu, Khan and Robert Seby), two juniors (Vasileios Iliopoulos and Jesus Tapiador Barajas) and two freshmen (Santiago Hinojosa and Arthur Neuhaus).
"Our captains are massively important in leading the team on match days, when we are travelling on the road, and away from the court leading by example. I am looking for Connor and Kam to propel us through the whole year through some of the highs and lows and to keep everyone grounded," said Angus.
In the fall, the Broncos compiled a 55-31 overall record in singles play, led by Tapiador Barajas who finished with a team-best 11-2 record capped by a singles championship at the Saint Mary's Fall Invitational.
In doubles play, the team had a 16-14 record, an area that Angus and his coaching staff put extra emphasis in over the fall season.
"It was a long process in doubles. We had to de-construct to re-construct so towards the end of the fall, we were seeing a massive shift in improvements over practice," said Angus describing how he and his staff went back to working on the fundamentals. "We were much more confident on the court, we knew exactly what we wanted to be doing and hopefully we can pick that up towards the start of the spring season. We'll be in much better situation in doubles this season than last season. We've definitely improved in that aspect."
The Broncos will be tested right from the start of the spring season when it plays No. 10 Stanford.
"We think Stanford is slightly better than where they are ranked. I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the top-5 by the end of the season," Angus said. "So it's a great opportunity for our players to test themselves early in the season against the best players in the country. That's why we scheduled it. We wanted to see where we are at playing against ranked opponents with the best players in the country."