No. 10 California Stunned by No. 17 Duke in NCAA Regional Final
May 12, 2002
DURHAM, N.C. - The 10th-ranked California men's tennis team was stunned today by the 17th-ranked Duke Blue Devils at the Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, as Duke came back from losing the doubles point to take a 4-3 victory and advance to the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
California took a 1-0 lead after doubles as Balazs Veress/Patrick Briaud defeated Duke's Jason Zimmerman/Alex Bose, 8-2. The Golden Bears secured the doubles point as #12 John Paul Fruttero/Robert Kowalczyk downed #28 Phillip King/Michael Yani, 8-4.
Duke came back in singles as the Blue Devils evened the match as 43rd-ranked Yani downed 81st-ranked Veress, 6-0, 6-2, at the second slot. The Blue Devils then took a 2-1 advantage as Yorke Allen knocked off Wayne Wong at the fifth position, 6-4, 6-3. California came back to even the match 2-2 as Mik Ledvonova downed Peter Shults, 6-3, 6-3, at number six. Zimmerman, then battled back after losing the first set to take a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over 84th-ranked Conor Niland to give Duke a 3-2 lead with two matches still on the court. The Bears made a comeback of their own at center court to even the match 3-3 as 13th-ranked Fruttero knocked off 11th-ranked King, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.
The fate of the match rested in the hands of Duke's Joel Spicher and California's Kowalczyk. After falling in the first set 6-3, Spicher battled back in the second to take a 7-6 victory to send the match to a third set. Kowalczyk, a junior from Vero Beach, Fla., went up 3-1 in the final set before Spicher, a junior from Geneva, Switzerland, rebounded to win the final four games to give Duke a 4-3 team victory, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
California concludes its season with a 19-7 record. Fruttero will compete in the NCAA Individual Singles Championships at the end of the month. Fruttero, the team captain, will also pair with Kowalczyk in doubles at the NCAAs.
No. 17 Duke Blue Devils 4, No. 10 California Golden Bears 3
1. #13 John Paul Fruttero (Cal) def. #11 Phillip King (Duke) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
2. #43 Michael Yani (Duke) def. #81 Balazs Veress (Cal) 6-0, 6-2
3. Jason Zimmerman (Duke) def. #84 Conor Niland (Cal) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Joel Spicher (Duke) def. Robert Kowalczyk (Cal) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
5. Yorke Allen (Duke) def. Wayne Wong (Cal) 6-4, 6-3
6. Mik Ledvonova (Cal) def. Peter Shults (Duke) 6-3, 6-3
1. #12 John Paul Fruttero/Robert Kowalczyk (Cal) def. #28 Phillip King/Michael Yani (Duke) 8-4
2. Conor Niland/Ben Miles (Cal) vs. Joel Spicher/Peter Shults (Duke) DNF
3. Balazs Veress/Patrick Briaud (Cal) def. Jason Zimmerman/Alex Bose (Duke) 8-2