SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a hard-fought defeat to then-No. 6 Pepperdine, the No. 56 Bronco men's tennis team will travel to play two tough matches this weekend. With only five matches remaining before the WCC tournament, the Broncos will look to capitalize on the opportunity to face two ranked teams and keep their hopes of making the NCAA Tournament alive for the second straight year.
The Broncos will travel down south for two highly important matches this weekend. Santa Clara and No. 43 San Diego State will square off on Fri., April 5 at 3 pm. On Sun., April 7 the Broncos will take on No. 42 San Diego at 2 pm in a WCC showdown.
Santa Clara is 13-7 overall, including 10-3 on its home courts. The squad has a 1-3 mark on the road and is 2-1 in neutral contests. The Broncos fell to 1-3 in conference matches.
The No. 56 Bronco men's tennis team put up a valiant effort in their previous match, ultimately falling to the No. 6 Pepperdine Waves in a competitive match. The Broncos were looking to pull off an upset of the visiting Waves, but they came up short 4-2.
San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State is ranked No. 43 in the country with a 13-7 overall record and 6-4 mark at home. On Wednesday, the visiting No. 42 USD Toreros demolished the Aztecs 7-0. San Diego State has faced five consecutive ranked opponents and is 2-3 during the stretch. The Aztecs picked up wins over No. 72 Oklahoma State (4-1) and No. 73 UNLV (4-3). Despite its efforts, San Diego State was unable to upset Harvard, ultimately losing 4-1. It is also came up short against Memphis, 4-1, and most recently USD.
Derek Siddiqui, ranked No. 97 in the country, has played most of his matches in the No. 1 position for the Aztecs, and is the only ranked member of the team. Siddiqui has fallen in four straight matches, but has played some challenging opponents. Thorsten Bertsch is the main No. 2 player for San Diego State, and he has posted an impressive 9-2 record since Feb. 16.
University of San Diego Toreros
USD is ranked No. 42 nationally and it holds a 12-7 overall including 2-1 in WCC play. In their most recent match, the Toreros dominated cross-town rival No. 43 San Diego State, 7-0. Prior to the win against the Aztecs, USD took on No. 11 Oklahoma but fell 7-0. The Toreros were also downed by No. 33 TCU in a tight match, 4-3, and lost by the same score against No. 41 BYU.
Torero No. 1 Thibaut Visy has won three of his previous four matches with his only loss to No. 11 Oklahoma. Clarke Spinosa, the only ranked USD player, recently moved up to No. 2 for the Toreros. The No. 78-ranked Spinosa had a six match win streak prior to the matches against No. 33 TCU and No. 11 Oklahoma.
Last Time Out
In the matchup against Pepperdine, the teams decided to move up the match start time by two hours and play singles first due to the threat of poor weather. The Broncos gave it their all but were bested by a talented and experienced Pepperdine team.
No. 63 John Lamble had his hands full in the top spot, as he battled Sebastian Fanselow, ranked No. 10 in the country. Lamble and Fanselow played a tighter match than the score indicated, with many competitive rallies and long games. Fanselow prevailed 6-4, 6-1. At No. 2, Ilya Osintsev came up with some big shots but couldn't quite break through, as Pepperdine came out on top 6-4, 6-4.
Matt Kecki brought home one of the Bronco wins, topping No. 94 Alex Sarkissian 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Kecki kept his composure and took care of business throughout the three set dog-fight. The win was Kecki's 11th of the season.
At No. 4, Tom Pham took on Francis Alcantara, ranked No. 70 nationally. Pham battled the entire match, but couldn't muster another heroic win after winning the deciding match against LMU last time out. Pham fell to 20-7 on the season while Alcantara improved to 16-4.
Tomasz Soltyka, playing at No. 5, came up with a tremendous win. Soltyka played his best match of the season for the 6-4, 6-4 victory, firing up the entire Bronco team in the process. Soltyka snapped his opponent's four match winning streak which included a win over No. 11 Oklahoma.
Eugene Muchynski put up a strong fight at No. 6, but Pepperdine came away with the 6-1, 6-3 win. The teams did not play the doubles portion as the match had already been decided.
In March, Santa Clara went 5-4 with four 4-3 wins (UC Irvine, Furman, No. 55 Tulane and LMU) and one 5-2 win over Northern Arizona. The Broncos fell 5-2 to St. Mary's on March 1st and were edged 4-3 by Pacific and Purdue. Santa Clara also was defeated by No. 6 Pepperdine, 4-2. The team has hung tough during a challenging stretch where several key players were unavailable. Back at full strength, the Broncos are looking to make a strong final push in the WCC.
The Bronco men's tennis program has players and coaches from four countries, including three international players and two international coaches … the SCU roster features four players from the United States, two players from Russia and one player from Poland … the coaching staff also includes one Czech native in first-year assistant coach Rudy Siwy.