March 9, 2014
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- To go along with a 3-1 record on its road trip through California, the St. John's men's tennis team will return to Queens with an upset victory under its belt as the Red Storm defeated No. 43 Santa Clara, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon.
Junior Lucas Hejhal tallied a 7-5, 6-4 win at the No. 3 singles slot and freshman Robert Livi clinched the match for the Johnnies with a gritty three-set win at fifth singles to move SJU to 5-4 overall on the season.
"This win, beating a ranked opponent, was huge for this team," said head coach Eric Rebhuhn. "To go 3-1 on this trip with wins over top programs like Rice, UC Santa Barbara and now Santa Clara is great for our confidence entering the second half of the season."
The Red Storm dominated the match from start to finish beginning with doubles. Hejhal and sophomore Vaidik Munshaw tallied the first win of the afternoon, and their first as a duo this season, with an 8-1 victory over the West Coast Conference Doubles Team of the Week, John Amble and Ilya Osintsev. The doubles duos for St. John's at the second and third slots wrapped up the doubles point with wins to give Red Storm an early advantage.
After the Broncos took the dual at fourth singles to take a 2-1 lead in the match, senior Gary Kushnirovich stepped up with a straight set, 6-4, 6-4 win at the No. 6 slot to tie the score at two before the victories from Hejhal and Livi on courts three and five, respectively.
The last St. John's victory over a ranked opponent came on March 2, 2012 when the Red Storm topped No. 75 Fairfield, 7-0.
St. John's will return to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Thursday, March 20 when the Red Storm takes on Marist. To keep up with the St. John's men's tennis team this season, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #SJUMT to join the conversation.
St. John's 5, #43 Santa Clara 2
1. Erick Reyes (SJU) def. John Lamble (SC) 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
2. Ilya Osintsev (SC) def. R.J. Del Nunzio (SJU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Lucas Hejhal (SJU) def. Ashot Khacharyan (SC) 7-5, 6-4
4. Mik Khmiasashvilli (SC) def. Vaidik Munshaw (SJU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Robert Livi (SJU) def. Sam Bertram (SC) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
6. Gary Kushnirovich (SJU) def. Jesse Ross (SC) 6-4, 6-4
1. Vaidik Munshaw/Lucas Hejhal (SJU) def. John Lamble/Llya Osintsev (SC) 8-1
2. R.J. Del Nunzio/Erick Reyes (SJU) def. Ashot Khacharyan/Sam Bertram (SC) 8-4
3. Michael-John Every/Robert Livi (SJU) def. MikKhmiasashvilli/Jesse Ross (SC) 8-5
St. John's 5-4, 1-0 BE
Santa Clara 8-2, 1-0 WCC; National ranking #43
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (2,4,6,3,5,1)