By Rico Chow '12
MORAGA, CALIF. – The No. 57 Santa Clara men's tennis team had a close, but disappointing 5-2 loss against the West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's on Friday afternoon on the Gaels' home court. The Broncos are 9-7 overall and 1-2 in WCC action. Saint Mary's is 8-7 and 1-1 in the WCC on the season.
The Broncos will return to their home court to play against another WCC rival, Gonzaga, on Sun., Apr. 2 at 10:00 a.m.
SCU started off earning the early doubles point when it won the No. 2 and 3 doubles action. Teammates Kyle Dandan and Tom Pham defeated Saint Mary's Saad Benkirane and Lucas Tirelli doubles pair in a tie-breaker at the No.2 spot, 9-7. At the No. 3 position, Eugene Muchynski and John Lamble swept their opponents Joakim Norstrom and Steven Dawson comfortably by 8-1 to secure the doubles point for the team.
The singles action was very competitive with three out of six matches settled in the third set. Lamble earned a win against the Gaels' Sherif Hamdy by sweeping with a 6-0 score at the first set and topping 7-6 at the second set tie-breaker. Unfortunately, this was the only victory the Broncos posted in the singles
Dandan competed hard throughout the match which went to a third set tie-breaker against Saint Mary's Maxime Olivan at No. 1 position but fell to his knees, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7-5). Nicholas Vinel and Pham also fought competitively but dropped their matches in the third set at No. 3 and 4 spots. This was the first loss in the past singles matches since Feb. 5 for Pham and ended his incredible winning-streak record at nine.
Saint Mary's 5, No. 57 Santa Clara 2
#1 Singles: SMC Maxime Olivan def. SCU Kyle Dandan; 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7-5)
#2 Singles: SMC Lucas Tirelli def. SCU Maxime Armengaud; 6-4, 6-2
#3 Singles: SCU John Lamble def. SMC Sherif Hamdy; 6-0, 7-6(7-5)
#4 Singles: SMC Saad Benkirane def. SCU Nicolas Vinel; 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
#5 Singles: SMC Joakim Norstrom def. SCU Tom Pham; 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
#6 Singles: SMC Gavin Leon def. SCU Eugene Muchynski; 6-0, 6-4
#1 Doubles: SMC Leon/Olivan def SCU Armengaud/Vinel; 8-6
#2 Doubles: SCU Dandan/Pham def. SMC Benkirane/Tirelli; 9-7
#3 Doubles: SCU Muchynski/Lamble def. SMC Norstrom/Dawson; 8-1