March 21, 2007
After a two-week layoff, the No. 63 Santa Clara Broncos host two important matches this weekend at the Degheri Tennis Center as they face No. 75 Cornell on Friday, March 23 and Montana State on Saturday, March 24. Friday's match against Cornell begins at 1:30 p.m. PT, while the Montana State contest gets underway at 3 p.m. PT. The Broncos will be looking to stretch their win streak to 11 straight matches.
Santa Clara has not played since defeating Cal Poly 4-1 on the road on March 11. Against the Mustangs, SCU captured the doubles point in thrilling fashion with Jan Macek and Bobby Rasmussen winning 9-8 (11-9) in the deciding match. In singles, Macek, Blane Shields and Rasmussen all won to give Santa Clara its fourth straight road win.
Broncos On The Move Again
After defeating Cal Poly on March 11, the Broncos actually dropped to No. 67 in the FILA Rankings on March 13. However, the team moved back up to No. 63 in the nation in the latest poll. Not since 2002 has the men's tennis program achieved a national ranking when they were a program-best No. 55 in the nation.
SCU has never faced Cornell in its history. The Big Red are a member of the Ivy League and have posted an 11-2 record during the spring dual match season. The team's only losses came against Penn State and Maryland. Cornell recently defeated Saint Mary's by a 7-0 margin and San Francisco by a 4-2 margin. The Big Red will also play matches against Pacific and Fresno State, along with their match against Santa Clara. Nick Brunner from Sacramento is one of the team's top players.
Scouting Montana State
In the last meeting between SCU and Montana State, the Bobcats earned a 5-2 win in the Broncos second match of the day at Boise State on April 8, 2006. Montana State won doubles despite a win at No. 1 by Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shields. In singles, the Broncos lost the top four matches, while Tommy Hicks and A.J. Kerin picked up wins at No. 5 and No. 6 respectively. The two teams have never met at the Degheri Tennis Center. This season Montana State, which is the three-time defending Big Sky champion, has posted a 4-10 record. Three of their losses have come against ranked opponents. The young team features five freshman, a sophomore and two juniors. Montana State also plays Sacramento State and Pacific this weekend on their trip to California.
Santa Clara has won nine straight matches following its win over Cal Poly on March 11. The Broncos have not won nine in a row since a 12-match winning streak from March 2-April 7, 2002. The team has also won four straight road matches after sweeping three contests away from home from March 4-11.
Senior Bobby Rasmussen clinched the past two matches for the Broncos against San Francisco and Cal Poly. He now leads the Broncos in that statistical category. He has clinched five of the team's 12 dual match wins this season.
Macek/Rasmussen and McQuaid/Shields Moving Up Record Books
The doubles teams of Jan Macek/Bobby Rasmussen and Kevin McQuaid/Blane Shields are moving up the record books in career doubles victories. McQuaid and Shields won a school record 20 matches last year to move to No. 4 all-time in doubles wins. The pair has won six matches this year and is now in sole possession of third all-time with 26 wins. Macek and Rasmussen started the year with 18 career wins together and have burst out of the gate this spring, posting a 16-3 record so far to move into sole possession of second place all-time with 34 wins. Macek and Rasmussen are still 13 wins away from the all-time leaders, Marcell Hlousek and Jeremy Testwuide, who won 47 matches together at SCU from 1997-99.
Macek/Rasmussen Nearing Top-10 In Combined Doubles
Bobby Rasmussen reached 51 career combined doubles wins and Jan Macek reached 48 with the pair's wins against San Francisco on March 7 and Cal Poly on March 11. Rasmussen is now tied with Matt Cox (1998-2001) for the No. 9 spot in Broncos history with 51 combined wins. Next on the list is Taylor Bedilion '05, who had 56 career doubles wins.
Rasmussen Aiming For Top-10 In Singles
Senior Bobby Rasmussen has gotten off to a fantastic start to the spring season in singles, posting a 13-4 record to move his career singles record to 58-48. He passed Marcel Hlousek for eighth all-time in career singles wins with his win against San Francisco and then moved into a tie for seventh with Ryan Pang '98 with a match-clinching win against Cal Poly. Rasmussen has now won six straight matches for SCU.
Wong Super Frosh
Freshman Jay Wong hit a bump in the road on March 11 as his eight-match winning streak was snapped with a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Cal Poly's Matt Baca. However, he continues to have an historic first season on the Mission Campus. The San Jose native has a 23-7 record on the year. He is now tied for fifth all-time in single-season singles wins. The all-time record for wins in a season is 30, accomplished by Francisco Zepponi when he posted a 30-8 record in 2002. Wong's .767 winning percentage is currently second all-time behind Zepponi's .789 winning percentage in 2002.
Sophomore Tommy Hicks won 24 singles matches as a freshman last year. However, he started off struggling in the dual match season this year going winless in his first five matches. However, the Portland, Ore. native has recovered nicely, winning six in a row to move his dual match record at above .500 at 6-5. He is now 14-10 overall this year.
Junior Blane Shields has made a name for himself as a doubles specialist at SCU. However, he has proven to be a great singles player as well this season. After going 7-2 in the fall in singles, Shields has been perfect this spring. He is currently 5-0 at the No. 6 position for George Husack's squad and has clinched two wins for SCU.
The Santa Clara men's tennis team has achieved a number of notable firsts this season on the courts. The team defeated UC Irvine for the first time in program history on Feb. 4, earning a 6-1 win. The team's win over the University of Arizona on Feb. 10 contained a pair of firsts. The Broncos had never beaten Arizona in the past and they had not beaten a Pac-10 team on the road. However, SCU accomplished both tasks with its 4-3 victory. The Broncos achieved another first in their last match, defeating Cal Poly on the road for the first time in school history.
SCU has already played nine ranked opponents this season, Boise State (25), California (18), Pepperdine (9), UC Irvine (74), Arizona State (57), Arizona (72), Hawai'i (73), Oregon (75) and Saint Mary's (72). Those rankings were at the time of the match. The Broncos played only 10 ranked opponents all of last season. Cornell, SCU's next opponent is currently ranked No. 75.