Santa Clara Men's Tennis Downs Texas for Program's First NCAA Tournament Win
PALO ALTO, Calif. – In its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the No. 39 Santa Clara University men's tennis squad downed No. 19 Texas 4-1. The Broncos' victory was highlighted by two doubles wins and freshman Ilya Osintsev's two-set victory that ended the bout. The Broncos witomorrow at Noon tomorrow at Stanford University against the winner of today's second match between Stanford and Sacramento State.
Photo to the right: Ilya Osintsev is carried off the court after winning the clinching point.
In the doubles portion, Santa Clara tallied two wins to secure the point. After Texas tabbed a win in the No. 3 doubles spot Santa Clara surged back. Backed by the large Santa Clara fan base, which made the trip to Palo Alto, the Broncos' No. 1 doubles tandem had the crowd behind them. John Lamble and Osintsev defeated Chris Camillone and David Holiner 8-6.
"I knew we needed to come out with a lot of energy," said the sophomore Lamble. "We did just that. We had an early break. We got broken back toward the end of the set but we kept positive and were able to win the match."
Kyle Dandan and Tom Pham downed Ben Chen and Daniel Whitehead 8-5 to give SCU the needed edge in doubles 2-1.
In singles, Texas grabbed its first point of the contest in the No. 6 singles spot. With the overall match tied at 1-1, Lamble picked up an impressive three-set victory by edging fellow ITA-ranked opponent Daniel Whitehead. Lamble picked up the first set 6-3 before dropping the second set 1-6. In the third frame, Lamble downed Whitehead 6-0 to give Santa Clara 2-1 lead. In the No. 3 spot, Vinel got out to an early lead before Texas's Sudanwa Sitaram was forced to retire with an injury.
With the Broncos up 3-1, all eyes were on Court 5 at the Taube Tennis Center. Osintsev, the WCC Freshman of the Year, was up a set and had the chance to end the dual match. Despite falling behind 4-0 in the second set, Osintsev roared back. He used an ace that wowed the crowd to give him some breathing room in the tiebreaker, and eventually held off his opponent 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).
"I was really tired, but I had my serve," said Osintsev. " I got lucky and was able to win. It's big for Santa Clara, its big for the whole team. We had a great season and we are just making it better. The crowd was awesome."
"Ilya (Osintsev's) match was crazy," said Santa Clara head coach Derek Mills. "He was actually pretty far down in the set and clawed back into it. In the tiebreaker he reached down and [gave his best effort]. He was the WCC Freshman of the Year, there was a reason he got it. He did an awesome job."
Having clinched the victory, Dandan and Pham's singles matches were abandoned.
Note on Texas men's tennis: Texas made it 30th appearance at the NCAA Championship. UT scored its best finish at the NCAA Championship in 2008, when the Horns finished as the national runner-up after falling to Georgia in the NCAA title match. Texas now holds a 41-30 overall record in its 30 NCAA Championship appearances. Under 12th-year head coach Michael Center, Texas has reached the NCAA semifinals or better in three of the last six seasons (2006, 2008, 2009).
No. 39 Santa Clara 4, No. 19 Texas 1
1) Lamble/Osintsev (SCU) d. No. 36 Camillone/Holiner (TEXAS) 8-6
2) Dandan/Pham (SCU) d. No. 78 Chen/Whitehead (TEXAS) 8-5
3) Hilliard/Sitaram (TEXAS) d. Armengaud/Vinel (SCU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1) No. 73 Soren Hess-Olesen (TEXAS) vs. No. 91 Kyle Dandan (SCU) abandoned
2) No. 123 John Lamble (SCU) d. No. 102 Daniel Whitehead (TEXAS) 6-3, 1-6, 6-0
3) Nicolas Vinel (SCU) d. Sudanwa Sitaram (TEXAS) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0, ret.
4) David Holiner (TEXAS) vs. Tom Pham (SCU) abandoned
5) Ilya Osintsev (SCU) d. Ben Chen (TEXAS) 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5)
6) Lloyd Glasspool (TEXAS) d. Eugene Muchynski (SCU) 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish: 6, 2, 3, 5