No. 60 Men's Tennis Falls to USF in WCC Tournament Quarterfinals; Tom Pham Ties All-Time Doubles Wins Record

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 60 Bronco men's tennis team gave it their all in the WCC tournament, fighting until the end but ultimately falling 4-2 in the quarterfinals to University of San Francisco. The Broncos got off to a fast start by winning the doubles point, but USF battled back and raised its level of play in singles to take the match. The Dons snapped the Broncos season-best four match winning streak.

Santa Clara finishes the 2013 season 17-10 overall and 5-5 in WCC matches. The Broncos were difficult to beat on the Mission Campus, racking up an impressive 13-3 mark on their home courts. Santa Clara went 1-5 on the road and 3-2 in neutral contests.

The Broncos dealt with significant adversity over the course of the season, unexpectedly losing several key starters for extended periods of time. Despite these challenges, Santa Clara hung tough and persevered, especially in close matches where the team's record was 6-3 in 4-3 finals. 

Against USF, the Broncos got off to another quick start in doubles, playing with intensity and going right after their opponents. Matt Kecki and Tom Pham made their last NCAA doubles match a good one, defeating their USF foes 8-5 at No. 2. The duo finished the season with a strong run, including a six match winning streak and victories in eight of nine matches. The victory was Pham's 63rd career doubles win, tying him for the all-time program record. Pham finished his Bronco doubles career with a 63-24 record, tying him with Erich Chen (2000-2004) for No. 1 in program history.

After USF won No. 3 doubles, John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev played an excellent match at No. 1, winning 8-4 to clinch the doubles point for Santa Clara. Both players hit many big returns and the duo came up with clutch plays in key situations. The win was the pair's fourth straight and seventh in eighth matches. Santa Clara won its fifth consecutive doubles point and was responsible for two of USF's three doubles point losses this season.

The Broncos had been nearly automatic in finishing off their matches after prevailing in doubles, but USF rose to the challenge and controlled the singles portion. The lone Bronco win was Pham's dominating performance at No. 4. The San Diego native blew out his opponent 6-2, 6-1 and finished the season 25-9, including a four match winning streak to conclude the 2013 campaign. Pham, the most prolific tennis player in Santa Clara history, improved his program wins record to 89 and finished his Bronco career on fire, capturing every singles and doubles match over his final four contests.

Osintsev found his rhythm and came out firing against a fit, consistent USF player at No. 2. The lefty Russian took the first set 6-3, fell in the second 4-6 and was up 2-1 when the match was decided. Osintsev also did not receive a decision in Wednesday's win over Gonzaga.

Kecki, who was dependable all season long for Santa Clara, crushed his opponent 6-2 in the first set before running into knee trouble late in the match. The final sets went USF's way 6-4 and 6-3, ending the match in the process. The loss snapped Kecki's four match winning streak and he finished the season with a 15-8 record.

USF's remaining three wins were in straight sets at the number 1, 5 and 6 positions. In the top spot, Lamble was bested by an inspired opponent who tracked down many tough shots and came to the net well. The match was tied at 5-5 in the first set before USF broke through; the final was 7-5, 6-2. In his third season, Lamble anchored the Bronco lineup at No. 1 singles and doubles, racked up a 20-14 singles mark and was named WCC Player of the Month for March.

Santa Clara defeated USF during the regular season. It was the first time since the 2010 campaign that USF had beaten Santa Clara.

 

Position

Player

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Order of Finish

1

John Lamble, SCU

5

2

-

4

Thai Tu, USF

7

6

-

2

Ilya Osintsev, SCU

6

4

2

DNF

Bernardo Saraiva, USF

3

6

1

3

Matt Kecki, SCU

6

4

3

5

Nils Skajaa, USF

2

6

6

4

Tom Pham, SCU

6

6

-

2

Rich Van Hout, USF

2

1

-

5

Tomasz Soltyka, SCU

1

2

-

3

Will Schumacher, USF

6

6

-

6

Eugene Muchynski, SCU

2

1

-

1

       
 

Position

Players

Set 1

Order of Finish

1

John Lamble/Ilya Osintsev, SCU

8

3

Nils Skajaa/Bernardo Saraiva, USF

4

2

Matt Kecki/Tom Pham, SCU

8

2

Thai Tu/Germain Bahri, USF

5

3

Eugene, Muchynski/Tomasz Soltyka, SCU

6

1

   
 

"Go Broncos!" [Assistant Coach] Rudy Siwy.