Oct. 11, 2006
The Santa Clara Broncos continue their fall season this weekend at the Bulldog Classic hosted by Fresno State from October 13-15. The team will travel to Fresno Thursday evening before starting the tournament Friday in matches against some of the country's top competition. The team has not competed in the Bulldog Classic since 2003. Only Bobby Rasmussen and Kevin McQuaid remain from that squad. McQuaid reached the quarterfinals as a freshman that year.
Santa Clara hosted the Bronco Classic this past weekend and got the season off to a good start as a number of players enjoyed successful tournaments. The tournament, played at Degheri Tennis Center and the Santa Clara Golf and Tennis Club, began well on Friday with junior Blane Shields, sophomores Tommy Hicks, Brian Brogan, and Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong, and freshman Jay Wong all winning singles matches while the doubles pair made of Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong and Aneal Vallurupalli, winning their doubles match. On Saturday the Broncos kept up their strong play, winning eight matches, with Hicks, Wong and Shields continuing on into the semifinals of their respective brackets. Sunday ended the Bronco Classic on a high note with Wong clinching the singles title, the first of his collegiate career. Click here for all the results from the Bronco Classic.
Perseverance Pays Off
Sophomore Tommy Hicks had probably the most grueling weekend at the Bronco Classic, with marathon sets, though his hard work paid off. On Friday, Hicks battled with Francisco Gallardo from Oregon, fighting off 14 set points during the first set before taking the tiebreaker. He then took control of the second set in a 6-2 win, advancing to the next round. Saturday continued in this way, with Hicks winning two matches on the day. After taking both sets against Cal's Valclav Burger, he played the longest match of his life defeating Anton Stryhas of Sacramento State in a three hour match 6-4; 5-7; 6-3. Hicks won the first set of this match, but lost the second as he experienced severe cramps in both of his legs. He fought off the pain and won the final set to make the semifinals. Hicks played another three-set match on Sunday, but in the end he came up just short against Stanford's Chris Rasmussen.
Day in the Life
Thanks to senior Bobby Rasmussen, everyone can find out the inside scoop of being a part of the Santa Clara men's tennis team. On October 1, 2006, Rasmussen began a weekly blog documenting the day-to-day life of the men's tennis program, through a player's eyes. The first blog entitled "Boot Camp," tells of the team's week of conditioning and bonding. Click here to read Bobby's blog.
Shields and McQuaid
The Broncos doubles pairing of juniors Blane Shields and Kevin McQuaid traveled to Tulsa, Okla. last week to play in the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships as one of the top doubles teams in the country. The pair lost a second round match to Boris Gubic and Goran Vujaklija of Wichita State 8-4. Despite the loss, the pair feels like they are ready for a good season in doubles.
"It was a great experience for us," said Shields. "We saw the best competition in the country and we realized that we are right there. Our goal as a doubles team is to get a national ranking this year and I definitely think that we can achieve that."
Back on a Team
Jay Wong's transition from high school to college is not as typical as most of Santa Clara's new freshmen. Although he played on the tennis team while attending Archbishop Mitty for his first two years of high school, he was home schooled during his final two years through the University of Miami's Online High School.. He attended the Roddick-Moros International Tennis Academy in San Antonio, Texas, and won numerous titles in USTA junior tournaments. From his performance this past weekend, Wong has proved himself well adapted again to the team scene as he captured his first tournament win over the weekend with the support of his teammates helping him along in the process.
"We have a very supportive group here. I definitely could not have won tonight without the team out there yelling and encouraging me," said Wong over the weekend. "College tennis has been fun so far and the matches have a great atmosphere."
Quote of the Week
Head coach George Husack said of Jay Wong's match point in the finals, ""Just before getting set for match point, he looked over at a few Broncos and yelled out 'Come on Kenzo, Blane, Bobby and Jan!.' They shouted back at him and he then proceeded to win the next point for the match with a fist pump to boot."