Bears Travel to Texas A&M
March 10, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: The California men's tennis team travels to College Station, Tex., to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M, Saturday. The Bears enter the match-up 3-6 on the season ranked No. 29, while the Aggies sit at No. 13 on the national scene.
A LOOK AT THE AGGIES: Texas A&M is led by two of the top players in the nation, No. 10 Ante Matijevic and No. 21 Lester Cook. The pair also has combined to form the No. 1 doubles pair in the nation according to the ITA.
THE MATCH-UP: The Bears and Aggies are very comfortable with each other having competed against each other several times over the past couple years. More recently the Aggies paid the Bears a visit at the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic in September, then faced Cal at the ITA Indoor Championships in February. At the Napa Valley Classic the Aggies held a slight edge in singles competition winning six of 11 matches, but the Bears dominated in doubles competition, taking four of five from A&M. The ITA Indoors were a slightly different story, with the Aggies blanking the Bears 4-0. Texas A&M picked up victories on courts No. 1, 3, and 6, as well as swept doubles action, in the victory.
PREVIOUSLY: The Cal men's tennis team stepped up last weekend in double competition, with three of their four teams entered in the Pacific Coast Championships advancing to the round of 16 or better. Patrick Briaud and Balazs Veress led the way reaching the quarterfinals of the tournament by defeating the teams of Marc Lucero and Manolo Ortiz, Brett Joelson and Marvin Rolle of Texas A&M, and Brent D' Amico and Ryan Kekley of Notre Dame. Briaud and Veress faced one of the top pairs in the country in Richard and William Barker of Rice in the quarterfinal, falling to the duo, 6-1, 6-4, for the second time this season.
WONG LEADING THE WAY AT COURT NO. 1: Wayne Wong is 3-1 on court No. 2 this season, defeating ranked opponents such as Matt Lockin of Vanderbilt, Calle Hansen of Pepperdine and KC Corkery of Stanford. The Cal is senior moved to court No. 1 two weeks ago and did not miss a beat, going 3-0 and improving his overall record to 13-5 on the year.
NEWCOMERS MAKING CONTRIBUTIONS: Jacob Leivent has come on for the Bears going 10-7. Leivent has won five of his last six matches including three in a row. He is also 5-3 on court No. 6 this season. Fellow newcomer Tyler Browne has also contributed mightily, sitting at an even 9-9 on the year. Freshman Daniel Sebescen has only been a member of the team for less than two months, but has stepped in and played well on court No. 3 for Coach Wright.
VERESS FINDING HIS STROKE: After falling four consecutive times, Coach Wright made the decision to move Balazs Veress from court No.1 to court No. 2. Since that move Veress has been on fire, winning three straight matches, without dropping a single set. His record has improved to 8-9 on the year, moving back into the rankings at No. 85.
COACHES CORNER: Considered one of the best teachers and tacticians in men's collegiate tennis, Peter Wright has developed a reputation for getting more out of his players than perhaps any coach in the country.Wright's coaching talent hasn't gone unnoticed. He has been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2001 and 1997, and received his first coaching award in 1994, when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year for guiding the Bears back to postseason play after Cal had missed the Big Dance the previous two seasons. Wright and the Bears have been a fixture in the NCAA Tournament almost every year since. The ninth coach in the 111-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 140-92 (.603) career record during his tenure in Berkeley.