No. 7 Cal (13-2, 1-0) Opens Pac-10 Play with 6-1 Victory over Oregon
March 28, 2003
Eugene, Oregon - The No. 7 California men's tennis team (13-2, 1-0, Pac-10) passed its first conference test of the season this afternoon at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, completing a 6-1 victory over the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks (8-6, 0-1) won the doubles point, but the Golden Bears (13-2, 1-0, Pac-10) won all six singles matches en route to the victory.
For the second consecutive match, the Bears dropped the doubles point. Oregon's Jason Menke and Arron Spencer won their match at the No. 3 position, 8-3, over Mik Ledvonova and Conor Niland for the Ducks' first win in doubles action. Thomas Bieri and Manuel Kost clinched the doubles point for Oregon at the No. 2 spot, winning their match, 8-5, over Patrick Briaud and Balazs Veress. Cal's top pair of Steve Berke and Robert Kowalczyk evened their dual match record at 5-5 with an 8-1 consolation victory over the No. 42-ranked tandem of Sven Swinnen and Oded Teig.
The Ducks were unable to carry the momentum from winning the doubles point into singles play. California quickly won the first three matches off the court in straight sets to take a commanding 3-1 lead. No. 56 Robert Kowalczyk joined the 10-win club with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Thomas Bieri, Steve Berke evened his record at 6-6 with 6-3, 6-2 blowout of Jason Menke and No. 124 Ledvonova extended his winning streak to 13 with a swift 6-0, 6-3 decision over Arron Spencer. The final three matches on courts one through three were all close, and the Ducks had their chances to make a comeback.
Senior All-American John Paul Fruttero, in just his second match after returning from January wrist surgery, tallied his first victory of the year and clinched the match for the Golden Bears by defeating Oded Teig, 7-5, 6-4. Teig fought off three match points in the final game, but Fruttero converted on his fourth chance.
Even though Cal had already secured the victory, on the top court No. 50-ranked Niland and No. 92 Kost were in a battle for bragging rights. After dropping the first set, 7-5, Niland came back to defeat Kost, 5-7, 7-5, 1-0. The third set was decided with a 10-point tiebreaker.
Freshman Or Dekel finished out the sweep of the Ducks, completing a three-set victory over Sven Swinnen at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Cal returns to action Saturday, March 29 as the Bears continue Pac-10 competition vs. No. 9 Washington at 1:00 p.m. in Seattle.
FINAL RESULTSNo. 7 California defeats No. 56 Oregon, 6-1.
SINGLES1. No. 50 Conor Niland (C) def. No. 92 Manuel Kost (O), 5-7, 7-5, 1-02. John Paul Fruttero (C) def. Oded Teig (O), 7-5, 6-43. Or Dekel (C) def. Sven Swinnen (O), 6-4, 4-6, 6-24. No. 56 Robert Kowalczyk (C) def. Thomas Bieri (O), 6-2, 7-55. Steve Berke (C) def. Jason Menke (O), 6-3, 6-26. No. 124 Mik Ledvonova (C) def. Arron Spencer (O), 6-0, 6-3
DOUBLES (Washington wins doubles point)1. Berke/Kowalczyk (C) def. No. 42 Swinnen/Teig (O), 8-12. Bieri/Kost (O) def. Briaud/Veress (C), 8-53. Menke/Spencer (O) def. Ledvonova/Niland (C), 8-3