Men’s tennis struggled to overcome early doubles deficit
THE SANTA CLARA
February 5, 2015
Santa Clara came out with a loss in a furious battle last Saturday against the University of California, Davis. The men’s tennis team fought hard to make up their quick doubles losses, but were unable to bridge the gap and lost the match 4-3.
“We came out with the wrong mindset; I’m not sure we were ready mentally,” said senior Sam Bertram. “We came out sluggish in doubles and couldn’t recover.”
The Broncos ran into some trouble early when the doubles pair of freshman Sebastien Mathieu and junior Michael Standifer fell to their UC Davis opponents, followed by the defeat of senior Ilya Osintsev and junior Ashot Khacharyan at the hands of another Aggies pairing.
After struggling in doubles, the number four, five and six singles teams couldn’t pull out wins either.
With a Bronco victory looking dubious, Bertram and sophomore Mikheil Khmiadashvili partnered up and pulled out a victory in their match.
Khmiadashvili went on to secure a win in his singles match against an Aggie.
But it wasn’t enough. Struggling to overcome the UC Davis athletes in their one-on-one matchups, Bertram, Mathieu and freshman Max Heerinckx all fell in their singles matches in close games.
Although a team victory was out of reach, Bronco veterans Osintsev and Khacharyan avenged their doubles loss in the singles points. Osintsev dominated his UC Davis competitor and put the Broncos on the board after just two sets.
Khacharyan followed up in similar fashion, battling for three sets until he could secure the 40th victory of his career in singles. Khmiadashvili said that though the Broncos fought hard until the end, they still have a lot to improve on, including the “baseline game.”
“We will come into the next match with a little more fire, come out in doubles and impose ourselves on our opponents,” Bertram said.
The Broncos begin West Coast Conference play against the University of San Francisco on Sunday.
Contact Claire McLoughlin at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.