March 26, 2007
The Santa Clara men's tennis team heads into one of the biggest weeks of the season. The Broncos face No. 61 Stanford on Monday, March 26 at 5:00 p.m. PT at Stanford in their final road match of the season. The following day, SCU gets right back to work, hosting No. 66 Brigham Young University at the Degheri Tennis Center at 2:30 p.m. PT. The team concludes the week with another tough opponent, Harvard University. The Broncos play the Crimson at 3:00 p.m. PT at the Degheri Tennis Center. The Harvard match marks the end of a stretch of five matches in nine days for the Broncos.
Santa Clara had its nine-game winning streak snapped on March 23 against Cornell University. The Big Red captured a 4-3 win in a very close match that saw the final two matches come down to third sets. The Broncos lost the doubles point, but came back to win the first three singles matches before losing three straight to lose their first match since Feb. 9. The next day, SCU recovered nicely with a 7-0 win over Montana State to improve to 13-5 on the season.
Live Scoring For Stanford Match
Bronco fans can catch all the action of the dual match between SCU and Stanford on Monday, March 26 from the Taube Family Tennis Center by linking to Stanford's live feed of the matches at this link http://gostanford.cstv.com/livestats/tennis/StanfordTennis.html. The match starts at 5:00 p.m. PT.
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.
The Stanford Cardinal are currently No. 61 in the latest national rankings. The team lost its last match 7-0 to California on March 10 to fall to 3-8 on the season. The team's three wins came against the University of Miami, Arizona State and Arizona. The Cardinal lost to Boise State, UCLA, USC, Duke, Baylor, Ohio State and Florida State. The last meeting between the Stanford and Santa Clara came in 2005 when Stanford won 7-0. Current Broncos Jan Macek, Bobby Rasmussen and Blane Shields all played in that match.
Scouting Brigham Young
The Brigham Young Cougars are off to an 8-8 start this season. BYU lost its last match to No. 19 Boise State 5-2 on March 22. The Cougars have played some common opponents with Santa Clara, losing to UC Irvine and Boise State, while beating Oregon, San Francisco, Portland and Montana State. BYU has never played at the Degheri Tennis Center, but the Cougars beat the Broncos 6-1 in Provo, Utah last season. Bobby Rasmussen picked up the Broncos only win that day. BYU's Dominik Kaufold grew up playing for Tus Breitscheid in Germany, the same club that Bronco head coach George Husack represented in 1996 and 1997.
The Harvard Crimson has played only seven matches so far this season and has posted a 2-5 record. They started the season losing to Michigan State, Michigan and Northwestern, before earning their first win against Manhattan on Feb. 28. The team has also beaten South Florida, while also losing to Purdue and most recently to Virginia. The Crimson play Pacific, Stanford, Fresno State and Santa Clara on its four-match West Coast swing. The team was ranked in the top 75 of the national rankings earlier this season. The Broncos have played Harvard only one other time in program history. SCU defeated the Crimson 4-3 during the 2000 season in the Broncos first-ever win over a ranked opponent. Harvard was No. 24 at the time and Matt Cox clinched the win for SCU with an epic 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-2), 6-4 win over Harvard's Andrew Styperek.
Santa Clara had its nine-match win streak snapped against Cornell on March 23. The Broncos had not lost since Feb. 9 to Arizona State. The streak was the second longest in program history behind a 12-match winning streak from March 2-April 7, 2002. The team still owns a four-match road win streak after sweeping three contests away from home from March 4-11.
Benvenuto, Galbraith, Hirakawa-Wong Into The Books
Sophomore Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong teamed with Jan Macek at No. 2 doubles to get his first dual match win of the season on March 24 against Montana State. As a freshman last year, he earned one singles win and one doubles win in duals. Freshmen Steven Benvenuto and Joe Galbraith also got onto the scoreboard against Montana State. Benvenuto played No. 3 doubles with Jay Wong and won a tight match to get Benvenuto his first win. Galbraith then played No. 6 singles for the Broncos and won a three-set match over Myles Perkins 6-1, 6-7 (2), 1-0 (5) for his first collegiate win.
Senior Bobby Rasmussen has clinched five of the team's 13 dual match wins this season to lead the team in that category.
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 16-4 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. With Rasmussen sitting out on March 24, Macek teamed with Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong to win his 49th career doubles match.
Rasmussen Into Top-10 In Singles
Senior Bobby Rasmussen has gotten off to a fantastic start to the spring season in singles, posting a 14-4 record to move his career singles record to 59-48. He passed Marcel Hlousek for eighth all-time in career singles wins with his win against San Francisco and then moved into seventh passing Ryan Pang '98 with his win against Cornell on March 23. Rasmussen has now won seven straight singles matches for SCU.
Wong Super Frosh
Freshman Jay Wong went 1-1 last weekend against Cornell and Montana State, losing a close three-setter against Cornell before recovering against Montana State to win in straight sets. However, he continues to have a historic first season on the Mission Campus. The San Jose native has a 24-8 record on the year. He is now tied with Tommy Hicks (2006) for fourth all-time in single-season singles wins. With one more win, he will climb into a three-way tie for second with Chris Lam (2002) and Erich Chen (2002) for wins in a season. The all-time record for wins in a season is 30, accomplished by Francisco Zepponi when he posted a 30-8 record 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. The Portland, Ore. native recovered nicely, winning six in a row to move his dual match record at above .500 at 6-5. His streak was finally snapped on March 23 against Cornell, but he came back to win his singles match vs. Montana State to get back above .500 for the dual season at 7-6. He is now 15-11 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 6-0 at the No. 6 position and won at No. 4 against Montana State to go to 7-0 overall for George Husack's squad. He has also clinched three 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 on March 11, defeating Cal Poly on the road for the first time in school history.
SCU has already played 10 ranked opponents this season, Boise State (25), California (18), Pepperdine (9), UC Irvine (74), Arizona State (57), Arizona (72), Hawai'i (73), Oregon (75), Saint Mary's (72) and Cornell (75). Those rankings were at the time of the match. The Broncos played only 10 ranked opponents all of last season. The Broncos next two opponents Stanford and Brigham Young University are ranked No. 61 and No. 66 respectively.