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Santa Clara Finishes Fourth At WCC Championships With 4-2 Loss

April 22, 2007

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Santa Clara University Broncos came up just short in their bid to finish third in the West Coast Conference. The Broncos fell 4-2 to the Saint Mary's Gaels on Sunday afternoon. For the first time this season, SCU won the doubles point, but did not win the match. Only junior Blane Shields was able to win at singles for SCU in the defeat. Santa Clara finishes the year with a 20-8 record.

Under the threat of rain, SCU started off with two doubles wins to capture the doubles point for the 21st time this season. Sophomore Brian Brogan and freshman Jay Wong won 8-2 at No. 3 doubles and juniors Robert Gallman and Blane Shields continued their strong play with a win at No. 2. Gallman and Shields defeated Yury Platonov and Joel Kusnierz 8-6. The No. 1 doubles match between Jan Macek and Bobby Rasmussen and Andre Sion and Adam Fauvre was tied at 8-8 and 3-3 in the tiebreaker when the doubles point was clinched.

The Gaels took command of the match right away in singles. Fauvre defeated Rasmussen 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 at No. 4 to tie the match and Achim Christner then dispatched Wong 6-3, 6-4 for a 2-1 lead.

At No. 1 singles, Macek and Kusnierz engaged in a memorable battle. Macek won the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-3), before Kusnierz rolled to a 6-1 second set victory. In the third, Macek raced out to a 5-1 lead and had three match points at 5-2. However, Kusnierz came back to take a 6-5 lead. Macek had three break points at 5-6, but he could not convert and he fell 7-5 in the third, giving Saint Mary's a 3-1 overall lead.

The Broncos would not give up as Shields won his 22nd match of the year and third of the weekend. He defeated Platonov 7-5, 6-1 to bring SCU within one point at 3-2.

At No. 2, Brogan and Andre Sion battled into the third set after splitting two tiebreakers. Brogan broke out to a 3-0 lead and appeared headed for the Broncos second straight singles win. However, Sion came back to grab a 5-4 lead and looked to serve out the match. The Broncos No. 2 would not give up, earning a break to even the match at 5-5, but Sion would win the last two games to clinch the overall match 4-2.

Tommy Hicks was in the third set of his match with Andrea Zannoni when Brogan lost.

No. 5 Saint Mary's def. No. 2 Santa Clara 4-2

Doubles: (Order of finish 3, 2, 1)
1. Adam Fauvre/Andre Sion (SMC) vs Jan Macek/Bobby Rasmussen (SCU), DNF (8-8 (3-3))
2. Robert Gallman/Blane Shields (SCU) def. Yury Platonov/Joel Kusnierz 8-6
3. Brian Brogan/Jay Wong (SCU) def. Alp Ozpinar/Andrea Zannoni (SMC) 8-2

Singles: (Order of finish 4, 3, 1, 5, 2)
1. Joel Kusnierz (SMC) def. Jan Macek (SCU), 6-7 (7-3), 6-1, 7-5
2. Andre Sion (SMC) def. Brian Brogan (SCU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (7-0), 7-5
3. Achim Christner (SMC) def. Jay Wong (SCU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Adam Fauvre (SMC) def. Bobby Rasmussen (SCU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
5. Blane Shields (SCU) def. Yury Platonov (SMC) 7-5, 6-1
6. Tommy Hicks (SCU) vs. Andrea Zannoni (SMC), DNF (4-6, 6-3, 2-3)