June 3, 2003
LOS GATOS, Calif. - Senior Federico Mattioli was named the Bronco of the Year, one of many awards handed out at the Santa Clara University men's tennis team's annual banquet, held Saturday afternoon in Los Gatos. The event was hosted by the Ruso family, and brought friends and family together to celebrate the season.
Senior Michael Bruggemann was named Most Improved Bronco, while sophomore Taylor Bedilion received the Mad Dog of the Year honor. Freshman Ted Blosser was named the Roy T. Zepponi Rookie of the Year, and award renamed in memory of a Bronco fan and parent for his support of Santa Clara tennis. A special presentation was made to commemorate the honor. The popular Bronco Fan of the Year award was shared by Dolores and Bella Zepponi, as well as Jane and Dave Najour.
The Bronco of the Year award has been given annually to the player who best exemplifies what it means to play Bronco Tennis, including attitude, effort, support of teammates, results and best representation of the program. Mattioli, one of two graduating seniors this season, completed a very successful Santa Clara career and placed himself in the Bronco record books in both singles and doubles. In fact, his 60 career singles victories ranks him fourth all-time. In addition, Mattioli was a solid doubles contributor with Bedilion, recording victories over Arizona, Arizona State and UC Santa Barbara-all 2003 NCAA Tournament teams.
Known by his teammates for his character and laid-back style, Mattioli thanked his team, coaches and fans for their support.
"I cannot believe that this day has come," Mattioli, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, said. "I can remember debating between the University of San Diego and Santa Clara. When I met the coaches and players, I knew that Santa Clara was the right place. Thank you to everyone for making me feel welcome and supporting me."
After recording his 61st career doubles victory on April 12, Bruggemann became the all-time doubles victory leader for the men's tennis program. It was with his efforts in singles and as co-captain, however, that the senior was voted Most Improved Bronco. A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Bruggemann captured several key victories at the No. 6 singles position, in addition to garnering the most game balls given out during the season.
"I came here about eight years ago or so ago," the fifth-year senior joked. "During this time, I've matured a lot as a player, person and teammate. I'm going to miss everything about Bronco tennis and all of you that I was fortunate enough to meet along the way."
Bedilion's honor was named after former Bronco and 2000 graduate Scott Watters, who earned the nickname Mad Dog for his abilities to come through in the clutch when his team needed it the most. Bedilion moved up from his No. 6 singles position of a year ago and split time between the No. 3 and No. 4 slots. He led all Broncos with 21 singles victories, the fifth-best win total in Bronco history. An All-WCC singles honoree, Bedilion posted a 21-12 overall record despite having an injury-shortened fall season. Notable victories included defeating Chris Steward of No. 32 Arizona State and Greg Shearer of No. 41 Fresno State.
Blosser, a walk-on from Scottsdale, Ariz., was a unanimous selection for the Rookie of the Year. His dedication to his teammates, desire to learn and excel, and witty humor quickly made him a team favorite. Known for his pre-match jokes during team huddles, Blosser opened the award ceremony with a tennis-related tale.
Fans of the Year Dolores Zepponi and her puppy Bella attended all but one match this season while supporting the Broncos at home and on the road. The Najours served up tasty tailgates for all fans during the Broncos' home campaign. Fan favorites included grilled burgers and sausages, as well as bagels and cream cheese and chocolate-peanut butter cookies.
2002-03 Santa Clara Men's Tennis AwardsBronco of the Year Federico Mattioli
Most Improved Michael Bruggemann
Mad Dog of the Year Taylor Bedilion
Roy T. Zepponi Rookie of the Year Ted Blosser
Fans of the Year Delores & Bella Zepponi, Jane & Dave Najour