Three Bronco Men's Tennis Players Head to ITA Northwest Regionals

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Coming off a successful weekend at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic, the Santa Clara men's tennis team looks to take that momentum into this weekend at the ITA Northwest Regionals. The Broncos will head to Seattle, Wash. to participate in the tournament from Friday, Oct. 12-Sunday, Oct. 14.

The three Broncos who saw action at the Bulldog Classic, Kenzo Hirakawa-Wong, Blane Shields and Jay Wong, will be representing Santa Clara in Seattle. Hirakawa-Wong is coming off an impressive performance last weekend. After a first round bye, Hirakawa-Wong was victorious in the second and quarterfinal rounds, defeating opponents in two sets. In the semifinal round, he battled hard against Fresno State's Siddharth Alapati, but was eliminated in two sets.

"I am very proud of the way Kenzo played in Fresno," said head coach Derek Mills. "He stepped up, played hard and saw some good results."

Also heading to Seattle are Shields and Wong, who will play both in singles and doubles. This will be their second tournament of the year playing as doubles partners. In Fresno, their doubles debut ended after a first round loss from University of Washington's Martin Kildahl and Andy Kuharszky, 8-4.

In singles, Shields made it to the quarterfinals after defeating opponents from UC Davis and the University of Washington in two sets each in the first two rounds. Wong, who played in the Flight I singles, won in the first round in two sets, but was eliminated in three sets against University of Washingtons's Andy Kuharszky, who later reached the semifinals.

"This is a very big tournament for us," said Mills. "We will be able to compete with players in our region, some who we will face later this year. This week, we have worked hard in practice preparing ourselves mentally and physically for the competition we will see, and I am looking forward to seeing our guys play."

The 2007 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, the nation's premier collegiate indoor tennis tournament, is the second of three national championship events for college tennis this season. The first event - the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships - were held earlier this month, and the third event is the season-ending NCAA Championships in May. The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: qualifiers from these Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country, the ITA National Small College champions, top performers from the ITA All-American Championships and at-large wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee. Overall, more than 7,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the ITA Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships.

For complete coverage of this weekends play, fans can log onto SantaClaraBroncos.com.