April 15, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - This Saturday, April 17, the Bronco men's tennis team hosts Saint Mary's for its final home match of the season. This West Coast Conference match up will honor Santa Clara's two senior team members in Brian Brogan and Jay Wong. SantaClaraBroncos.com sat down with Brogan and Wong to talk about this year's national rankings, life as a Bronco, and the post-season.
SantaClaraBroncos.com: How are you guys feeling about this weekend's match against Saint Mary's as the final home match on the Mission Campus? Are you happy, sad, excited?
Brian Brogan: I have mixed feelings about the upcoming match. It is obviously sad that my college career will be coming to an end. But at the same time I am excited to move forward and using my education and experiences I have gained at Santa Clara in my future.
Jay Wong: As it is my last home game and last game of the regular season, yes I am sad to leave all of this, but in a way I feel as if I have accomplished many things up to this point for myself as an individual and for my team. I am excited to see what is in store for me next, life after college. I think any collegiate athlete would be sad to be graduating soon and leaving their teammates and the sport behind them and pursuing something else after school but that is the name of the game.
SCB: As a team you have reached the highest national ranking in SCU men's tennis history at No. 43. As seniors how does it feel to end you collegiate career on such a high note?
BB: The reason I came to Santa Clara initially was to put this program on the national map. To have been a part of two teams here that have been ranked the highest and third highest ever in school history is absolutely awesome.
JW: Achieving the highest nation ranking for our school's history in men's tennis is definitely the biggest accomplishment yet for Brian and I, especially since we are seniors, I feel like we can leave SCU knowing we did our best in helping the team improve as much as possible and setting them up for even more success in the near future and for the years to come.
SCB: This season your team has made a major turn around from the past two seasons. What has made the difference this year and what have you had to do as a senior leader on a young team?
BB: I think a big key initially was that Derek and the team did a good job recruiting players. We had to show the recruits what a good school Santa Clara actually and the capability that the tennis program has in the future. Being a senior I have had the ability to help lead this team teaching them the ways of Santa Clara and how to represent the program on and off the court.
JW: Basically, we have more depth and talent on our team now than ever before, maybe even more than my freshman year. Yes, we have a young team, excluding Brian and I, but I can tell they are all individually motivated to work as hard as they can to get the team to where we want to be now and for the future. As a senior on the team, I have had to be very relentless and careful on what I did, whether it's on the court or off the court to show what a senior should be like when the time comes for the younger guys.
SCB: After four years, what has been your most memorable moment as a Bronco, either on or off the court?
BB: The most memorable moments at Santa Clara were the times with the teams traveling, waking up early together, on the courts joking around and just being able to generate bonds with different teammates from all over the world year after year. And of course, being sore after hours and hours on the court.
JW: To be honest, I have had many memorable moments as a Bronco at SCU, but probably the most memorable would be when our team played Stanford my freshman year and I won my match at the #3 position in 3 tough sets. In the final set, I saved about 5-6 match points against me and went on to win the match.
SCB:After wrapping up the regular season on Saturday, what are you expecting out of the post season?
BB: This post season I am expecting to go the conference tournament and compete the best we can. We have the ability to win the WCC tournament and hopefully things will fall our way in order to for that to happen. That was my goal coming into this season and it still is and I think we have a great opportunity to do it.
JW: I want our team to win the WCC Conference Tournament after our regular season is done, that would be the next big accomplishment for us as well as for our school. I also have a little over a month before I graduate and I want to focus on that as much as possible so that I can get my degree in smoothly.
SCB: So, do you guys have any big plans after leaving Santa Clara yet?
BB: Right after I graduate in June I am planning on going to go to Africa with my mom to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and then play some professional tennis in the United States and Europe. Being a team captain in high school and at Santa Clara, I would like to use my leadership skills to sometime coach here at Santa Clara while pursuing my MBA in the sometime future. During the meantime I am planning on looking for a solid job in the business world here in the Bay Area.
JW: I wish I could stay another year here at SCU and I wish I had another year of eligibility to play for my team, to play for Coach Mills and Jakub Cech, but life goes on and I will always remember my place here at SCU. Currently, I do not have any specific plans after SCU but I will probably take a nice long vacation and when I get back, start training again, and I want to take a year or two to travel internationally to play on the professional tour. If that doesn't work out, then I guess it's time for me to look for a job like many other graduates.
The Broncos will take the court against Saint Mary's on Saturday, April 17 at the Degheri Tennis Center at 12:00 p.m.