No. 10 Cal Travels to Indian Wells to take on SMU
March 12, 2002
WINNING STREAK ROLLS FORWARD: The Bears have caught fire since returning from the National Team Indoors competition, having posted a 7-1 record, including winning their last five. Cal's stunning upset of then-No.1 Stanford highlights the streak. This week, the Bears will interrupt their homestand to participate in the Pacific Life Open tennis event by taking on SMU at Indian Wells on Saturday. Last weekend, Cal kicked off its six of seven at home streak by sweeping the visiting Arizona schools, both by a score of 6-1.
TOP-TEN: Following Cal's victory over Stanford and its subsequent demolition of Utah three days later, the Bears earned a national ranking of No. 10. That is the highest ranking for Cal in the last four seasons, since Cal finished at the 11th spot following the 1998 campaign.
CONSISTANT PAIR: While the Bears have used eight different doubles combinations throughout the season, Cal has found consistency in the play of Ben Miles and Balazs Veress, who have earned a 7-3 record this season while playing mostly on the second court. Success is nothing new to this pair, who played together on the third doubles court last season, establishing a 13-3 record there. Following the 2001 campaign, Veress was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
ABOUT SMU: No. 38 Southern Methodist University has opened up its season with a 6-8 record. The Mustangs are led by Krystian Pfeiffer, who has posted an 8-3 record while playing at the top court. SMU holds the advantage in the all-time series with the Bears, winning six matches to Cal's three. The last time that the Bears and Mustangs faced off, Cal took a narrow 4-3 victory (3/17/01).
WHEN THE ARIZONA SCHOOLS CAME TO TOWN: Cal was dealt a blow early, in its match with Arizona State, as all three doubles matches went into extra games, and the Sun Devils emerged with two victories on three courts. Chase Exon and Wayne Wong played particularly well on court No. 3, but ran into some bad luck as they were defeated by ASU's combination of Chris Stewart and Oliver Charrion, 9-7. In singles, each Bear took the first set on their respective courts, allowing Cal's head coach Peter Wright to breathe a little easier. Freshman sensation Mik Ledvonova and Veress both continued to impress, with Ledvonova sweeping Mirza Duranovic on court five, 6-0 in the first set, and Veress doubling up Van Mele, 6-3. Both Bears would win the second set as well, setting a tone for the remaining matches. Wong continued his ascent to the upper echelon of Bear tennis, capturing a 6-4, 6-1 win on court three, being the first Cal player to finish the day. John Paul Fruttero, who leads the Bears in singles wins, improved his dual record to 8-2 by frustrating Sun Devil Matt Klinger on the top court, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3.
On Saturday against Arizona, Cal continued its winning ways. Freshman Patrick Briaud saw his first action since opening day, pairing with to easily defeat Wildcats Arnaud Agniel and Colin O'Grady on the third doubles court by a score of 8-5. The team captain Fruttero also gave a different look to the Bears, pairing with Wong for the first time in 2002, and the duo breezed to an easy victory on the second court, winning 8-3. While Fruttero locked horns with the power serve of Steven Capriati on the top singles court, junior Miles wowed his spectators on the fifth court, overpowering UA's Roeland Brateanu, 6-3, 6-2, to extend his record to a perfect 4-0 on the season. Ledvonova also impressed on the fourth court, sailing by Bruno Arapovic in a pair of 6-1 sets to notch Cal's first singles victory of the afternoon.
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