April 17, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - It was only fitting that Jan Macek was the center of attention at the waning moments of the Santa Clara-Fresno Pacific men's tennis match. After all, this was his last regular season match of his collegiate career, as the junior will graduate early and receive a bachelor's degree in Finance.
With the score tied at 3-3, the dual match between the Broncos and the Sunbirds hinged on the outcome of the singles contest between Macek and Matt Carroll and the two did not disappoint the large home crowd as they battled a three-set classic that lasted well into the night. Although Carroll saved four match points in the third frame, Macek came through in the end to serve up a thrilling 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1) victory that gave Santa Clara the match.
Earlier in the day, Santa Clara took on West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's and without its full line-up, fell by a score of 4-2. In both matches, three of the Broncos' top singles players were out of commission and the team performed admirably in both contests to help fill in the gaps.
"What a day. It was great to have sunshine in the afternoon and a very supportive home crowd here in the evening. Nothing like finishing your day as the clock strikes 10:15pm," quipped head coach George Husack regarding today's doubleheader at the Degheri Tennis Center. "Our team was asked to step it up today as we were short on players. They came up a bit short in the first match but rebounded with just enough energy for the win in the nightcap."
Santa Clara improves its record to 13-13 this season and will return to action at the West Coast Conference Championships, held on the campus of Saint Mary's. The tournament will begin on Friday and run through Sunday. The schedule has not yet been determined, but please check www.SantaClaraBroncos.com often for any updates.
Against Saint Mary's, Santa Clara got off to an early 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point. Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shields teamed up at the No. 1 spot to beat Martin Marechal and Julien Tizot 8-2, while Tommy Hicks and A.J. Kerin were able to hold off Adam Fauvre and Tim Welty at the No. 3 position for the 8-5 win. The Gaels prevented the doubles sweep with a win on Court 2.
Despite looking at an early deficit, Saint Mary's was able to rebound and take control during singles play and won four contests to take the dual match. Kerin won his match at the No. 3 position, defeating Fauvre 6-3, 6-3. Hicks was in the middle of a tight battle with Tizot when their match was called off, due to time constraints of Santa Clara's following match with Fresno Pacific. Hicks was all set to go into a third set after winning the first 6-2 and dropping the second 6-1.
Approximately an hour later, Santa Clara took to the court again, this time against Fresno Pacific. The Broncos looked to be good shape after sweeping all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead. The Sunbirds tied it up at 1-1 after Roberto Bianco defeated Aneal Vallurupalli 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 5 position and went up 2-1 after Greg Jackson took down Chris Iwamura 7-5, 6-4 over on Court 6. Kerin got Santa Clara back into the match with his 6-3, 7-5 victory over Anthony Zafiris at the No. 3 position, though the visitors inched ahead once again after Petr Sitnikov outlasted Hicks 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 2 spot. Blane Shields came through with a come-from-behind victory to lay claim to Santa Clara's third point of the match. He won four consecutive games in the third set to close out an exciting 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Marco Foelz at the No. 4 position.
The stage was now set for Macek's dramatic triumph and following his victory, his teammates stormed the court with a huge home crowd chanting "S-C-U! S-C-U!"
"I'm very proud of the guys and their ability to fight through a long and challenging day. This will no doubt prepare us for an exciting weekend ahead at the WCC tournament," stated Husack.
Saint Mary's 4, Santa Clara 2
Doubles (Santa Clara wins the doubles point)
1. Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields (SCU) def. Martin Marechal/Julien Tizot (SMC), 8-2
2. Achim Chrisners/Yury Platonov (SMC) def. Jan Macek/Chris Iwamura (SCU), 8-6
3. Tommy Hicks/A.J. Kerin (SCU) def. Adam Fauvre/Tim Welty (SMC), 8-5
1. Martin Marechal (SMC) def. Jan Macek (SCU), 6-4, 6-3
2. Tommy Hicks (SCU) vs. Julien Tizot (SMC), 6-2, 1-6, DNF
3. A.J. Kerin (SCU) def. Adam Fauvre (SMC), 6-3, 6-3
4. Yury Platonov (SMC) def. Blane Shields (SCU), 1-6, 6-1, 6-0
5. Achim Christner (SMC) def. Aneal Vallurupalli (SCU), 6-1, 6-0
6. Alp Ozpinar (SMC) def. Chris Iwamura (SCU), 6-4, 7-5
Santa Clara 4, Fresno Pacific 3
Doubles (Santa Clara wins the doubles point)
1. Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields (SCU) def. Matt Carroll/Marco Foelz (FP), 8-2
2. Jan Macek/Chris Iwamura (SCU) def. Victor Medina/Anthony Zafiris (FP), 8-5
3. Tommy Hicks/A.J. Kerin (SCU) def. Roberto Bianco/Greg Jackson (FP), 8-7 (3)
1. Jan Macek (SCU) def. Matt Carroll (FP), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1)
2. Petr Sitnikov (FP) def. Tommy Hicks (SCU), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. A.J. Kerin (SCU) def. Anthony Zafiris (FP), 6-3, 7-5
4. Blane Shields (SCU) def. Marco Foelz (FP), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
5. Roberto Bianco (FP) def. Aneal Vallurupalli (SCU), 6-4, 6-3
6. Greg Jackson (FP) def. Chris Iwamura (SCU), 7-5, 6-4