No. 9 Cal (2-0) Hosts the No. 35 TCU Horned Frogs
Feb. 4, 2003
WHATS ON TAP: Fresh off a 4-3 upset win over fourth-ranked Stanford, the No. 9 California men's tennis team continues its four-match homestand as the squad squares off against No. 35 TCU, Monday, Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. The two squads last met in 2001 as the Frogs came out on top with a 5-1 victory. Cal and TCU have faced each other twice before with each team registering a victory for a 1-1 all-time record against each other.
ABOUT THE BEARS: Cal won its second consecutive match on Saturday, Feb. 1 with a narrow decision over Stanford in both teams' Pac-10 opener. The last three matches between the two cross-bay rivals have been decided by one point - all 4-3 decisions - with Cal taking two out of three. Through the first two matches of the season, the Bears have outscored opponents 8-4 en route to a 2-0 record. Senior Robert Kowalczyk and sophomore Mik Ledvonova led the way at 2-0 on courts No. 4 and No. 6, respectively. Junior Balazs Veress has been impressive on court No. 1 with a 1-1 record while facing the opposition's top players. On the doubles courts, Cal is 3-3 with three tandems holding a 1-0 record.
ABOUT TCU: The Horned Frogs roster currently boasts two players in the nation's Top 100, according to the Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings (Jan. 13). Senior Toni Gordon leads the pack at No. 48 while Fabrizio Sestini places No. 85. TCU had a scintillating start to this 2003 season, starting 3-0 with three consecutive 6-1 blowouts over Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Saint Louis and Texas-Arlington. Most recently the Frogs lost to Washington, but rebounded to defeat Arizona State at the TCU Shootout. TCU will face Stanford on Friday, Feb. 7 before traveling to Berkeley.
HOME, SWEET HELLMAN: While the Bears' record of 19-7 last season was certainly impressive, Cal was a definite force to be reckoned with on their home courts. The Bears compiled a 13-1 record at home during the 2002 campaign, including a 10-match winning streak that spanned two months. The run was broken by Stanford (4/9) - then No. 6 in the nation - which only narrowly defeated the 17th-ranked Cal team by a 4-3 score. Cal kicked off the 2003 home slate where it left off last year, starting the season 1-0 at Hellman.
LAST WEEK AGAINST STANFORD: In front of a record-setting crowd at Hellman Tennis Complex, the Golden Bears overcame a 3-1 deficit to edge the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, 4-3, in the Bears' home opener on Feb. 1. Cal got off to a rocky start, dropping two of three doubles matches to lose the doubles point. Finding itself up 1-0, the Cardinal made quick work of the Bears, winning the first two singles matches to take a 3-0 lead. But, senior Robert Kowalczyk gave Cal what they were looking for with his swift 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 50 K.C. Corkery to claim one point for the Bears. The victory proved to be the initial push for Cal as the squad won the next three matches to walk away with the victory.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Entering the 2002-03 season, Cal head coach Peter Wright pointed to doubles competition as a possible team weakness. Last year, Wright's squad used 10 different doubles combinations en route to a 41-26 overall record ... so look for 2003 to be much of the same. To this point, the squad has experimented with 13 different pairs in compiling a 3-3 dual record and 9-14 tourney mark.
INJURY REPORT: Senior All-American John Paul Fruttero underwent wrist surgery in early January and should be back with the team in time for Pac-10 play.