No. 59 Men's Tennis Falls 4-2 to USD in WCC Tournament Semifinals; Finishes Season at 17-7

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – After a 4-0 win over USF, the No. 59 Bronco men's tennis team fought hard but was bested 4-2 by No. 44 ranked USD in the WCC Tournament semifinals. The fourth-seeded Broncos gave it their all but San Diego, the No. 1 seed, was too much to overcome.

Santa Clara finishes at 17-7 overall and 7-5 in WCC play during the 2014 season. The Broncos went 12-2 at home, 2-4 on the road, and 3-1 at neutral sites. The team reeled off an eight-match winning streak after starting the season 1-1, helping it to its best start in over a decade. Santa Clara won four out of five matches to wrap up the season.  

On Friday, Santa Clara's best effort made the match close, but the Broncos came up just short against a strong San Diego squad.

The Toreros got off to an early 1-0 lead by taking the doubles point. San Diego won the No. 1 spot 8-4 behind its 38th-ranked doubles tandem.

Santa Clara's First Team All-WCC duo of John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev had an exceptional season, one of the best in program history. They went 17-3 in dual matches and finished with 39 career wins, the second-most ever. The Broncos rode Lamble and Osintsev's consistent dominance at the top of the lineup to numerous doubles point wins over the last two seasons.

San Diego finished off the doubles point with another 8-4 win, this time in the second spot. After joining forces last month, the promising underclassman team of Ashot Khacharyan and Mikheil Khmiadashvili went 5-5 together.

With doubles decided, Sam Bertram and Michael Tjuatjadarma did not finish their contest. The duo went 4-4 in its first season on the Mission Campus, and will look to contribute next year as seniors, too.

The Broncos gained the lead and made it competitive in singles, but San Diego came out on top with the 4-2 final.

Santa Clara evened the match up with an outstanding performance from Tjuatjadarma. The Indonesian native won in dominating fashion 6-2, 6-2 for his biggest win of the year. The junior transfer from De Anza College had a 2-3 record in his first season as a Bronco.

Santa Clara continued its momentum behind Khacharyan. The sophomore from Sochi, Russia earned a decisive 6-3, 6-3 win over his opponent. The righty built on his solid freshman year with an even better sophomore season. Khacharyan went 16-7 in 2014 and was a WCC Honorable Mention.

After falling behind 2-1, San Diego rebounded to win three matches and clinch its spot in the tournament finals.

The Toreros won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5 to tie up the match. Sam Bertram, who played an instrumental role in Santa Clara's comeback win over St. Mary's, finished the season with a 13-9 record. The junior Australian native had a productive first season as a Bronco after transferring from Fresno City College.

In the fourth spot, Khmiadashvili dropped the first set 6-2 but rallied to force a tiebreaker in the second set. San Diego went on to win the tiebreak, however, moving ahead 3-2 in the match. The lefty from Tbilisi, Georgia went 13-7 in his freshman season and looks to have a bright future ahead of him as a Bronco.

The No. 1 singles match was the last to finish, and Lamble took his opponent to three sets. After San Diego won the first set 6-1, the Bronco senior responded with a 6-1 victory of his own. Despite his best efforts, Lamble would fall 6-0 to the No. 53-ranked player in the country.

Lamble, who had one of the most successful careers in Bronco history, was spectacular in his senior year. The Saratoga, Calif. native amassed an exceptional 15-2 record in dual matches and was 21-5 including the fall.

With 81 singles wins, Lamble finished his career with the second most victories all-time, behind former teammate Tom Pham who went 89-28. Lamble earned All-WCC First Team honors for the second consecutive year and will go down as one of the most accomplished Broncos ever. 

With the match decided, Osintsev's match at No. 2 did not finish. The Russian native was named to the All-WCC Second Team and had a nearly perfect 2014 season. He dropped just one match for a remarkable 14-1 record.

The junior also earned WCC Singles Player of the Week honors three times, the only player in the conference to accomplish the feat. Between singles and doubles, Osintsev was an incredible 31-4 during the 2014 season.

 

Position

 University of San Diego

 Santa Clara University

 Winner

 Score

 #1 Singles

 #53 Clarke Spinosa

 John Lamble

 University of San Diego

 6-1, 1-6, 6-0

 #2 Singles

 Uros Petronijevic

 Ilya Osintsev

 Unfinished

 

 #3 Singles

 Filip Vittek

 Ashot Khacharyan

 Santa Clara University

 6-3, 6-3

 #4 Singles

 Romain Kalaydjian

 Mikheil Khmiadashvili

 University of San Diego

 6-2, 7-6(2)

 #5 Singles

 Ciaran Fitzgerald

 Sam Bertram

 University of San Diego

 6-4, 6-1

 #6 Singles

 Andrew Raphaelson

 Michael Tjuatjadarma

 Santa Clara University

 6-2, 6-2

 #1 Doubles

 #38Filip Vittek 
 Clarke Spinosa

 Ilya Osintsev 
 John Lamble

 University of San Diego

 8-4

 #2 Doubles

 Romain Kalaydjian 
 Uros Petronijevic

 Ashot Khacharyan 
 Mikheil Khmiadashvili

 University of San Diego

 8-4

 #3 Doubles

 Ciaran Fitzgerald 
 Andrew Raphaelson

 Michael Tjuatjadarma 
 Sam Bertram

 Unfinished