Men’s tennis fall short to Pepperdine after upsetting BYU
The Santa Clara
May 4, 2017
Santa Clara’s men’s tennis team bowed out in the West Coast Conference semifinals against Pepperdine after losing by an overall score line of 4-1. The defeat came after an important 4-2 upset victory over Brigham Young, who finished third in the conference.
In the first match, the Broncos picked up the doubles point after wins by the duos Robert Seby and Madrid-based Jesus Tapiador Barajas as well as Vasileios Iliopoulos and Connor Garnett.
After Brigham Young tied the game with a win on court two, Santa Clara retook the lead with singles wins by Iliopoulos and Tapiador Barajas.
BYU fought back to make the score 3-2 after a win on court six, but sophomore Robert Seby clinched the game for the Broncos after beating Keaton Cullimore on court two by 6-1, 6-5.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the men could not replicate their good run of form against Pepperdine, falling in the semifinals 4-1. The day started with a 6-1 doubles win by Pepperdine duo Stefan Menichella and Jack van Slyke over Santa Clara duo Vasileios Iliopoulos and Connor Garrett.
Pepperdine then went on to win the doubles point after Pepperdine’s Brazilian duo Guilherme Hadlich and Gabriel Sidney won the clinching doubles point by a 6-2 win over Santa Clara pair Jesus Tapiador Barajas and Robert Seby.
“(We had a) few too many mental lapses during the doubles point that ultimately left us with an uphill challenge in the singles,” said Head Coach Niall Angus. “We were only a few points away from turning the match around, which really shows the resilience that this team has.”
Pepperdine’s Pedro Iamachkine and Lautaro Pane then won their matches against Tapiador Barajas and Connor Garnett, respectively.
Pepperdine padded their lead with senior Stefan Menichella defeating sophomore Robert Seby to clinch the semifinal victory for the Waves.
“We had played a hard-fought game the day before against BYU and we were a bit tired, physically and mentally,” said firstyear Vasileios Iliopoulos. “It was not made easier that Pepperdine’s players were primarily upperclassmen.”
“Pepperdine had a bye so they were fresh and their players were older and more experienced,” said first-year Tapiador Barajas. “Our team is young and has a long way to go.”
Despite the defeat, Santa Clara has a great foundation to build upon. They’ve already improved a lot this year; there’s no telling where this team could end up.
“Our team is quite young and this is the first year coach Angus on the Santa Clara Broncos tennis program,” Iliopoulos said. “As time progresses, we will continue to work harder and mature and the coach will get more experience here in Santa Clara. It would not surprise me if we won WCC in the coming years while we are here.”
With an eye on the upcoming years, Coach Angus is quite excited for what the Broncos have in store.
“The freshman have come in and embraced our team culture set by our juniors and sophomores and so it’s a lot of fun to be a part of this team,” Angus said. “When you have the right work ethic, and players who strive to get better every day, it makes coaching a lot easier and these guys have that.”
Contact Eduardo Ruano at eruano@scu. edu or call (408) 554-4852.