No. 28 California Heads to Texas to Face No. 44 SMU, No. 1 Baylor
March 16, 2005
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 28 Golden Bears travel to Texas, where they will take on No. 44 SMU and No. 1 Baylor. California heads to Dallas, TX, to face No. 44 SMU Sunday, March 20 at 12 noon at the Mustang's Haggar Tennis Stadium. The Bears will then travel to Waco, TX, where they will face No. 1 Baylor Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at the Baylor Tennis Center.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: SMU (8-5 overall) began the 2005 dual season with a full head of steam, winning their first five matches, four by scores of 7-0. The Mustangs return nine lettermen from a 2004 squad that finished 18-12 overall. Head coach Carl Neufeld won his 400th career match on March 11 ... Baylor (13-0 overall, 2-0 Big 12) is riding a 37-match win streak, which includes the 2004 NCAA National Championship. Baylor is led by senior Benedikt Dorsch, the ITA's 2004 Player of the Year and current No. 1 in the nation. Baylor is coached by Matt Knoll (9th year, 174-48).
LAST WEEK'S ACTION: On March 11 the Bears pulled an upset win over No. 22 TCU, 6-1. After losing the doubles point with defeats on courts one and three, Cal surged ahead in singles play, tallying six victories. Sophomore Tyler Browne notched the Bears first singles victory on court six, defeating Rafael Abreu, 6-3; 6-1. Court four saw sophomore Daniel Sebescen defeat Radu Barbu in straight sets, 6-3; 6-0. Senior captain Patrick Briaud had a strong showing on court three, where he was victorious over Jordan Freitas, 6-4; 6-4. Cal clinched the victory on court one, where No. 27 Conor Niland upset No. 21 Fabrizio Sestini in three sets, 6-2; 2-6; 6-0. Cal won the remaining matches on courts two and five, where No. 76 Lennart Maack edged Jacopo Tezza, 7-6; 6-3 on court two, and freshman Ken Nakahara tallied his team-high 15th singles victory on the year, defeating Jacob Martin, 4-6; 6-4; (10-7).The Bears weren't as lucky on Sunday, March 13, when they fell to No. No. 19 Pepperdine, 5-2. Cal dropped the doubles point to Pepperdine, but did pick up a win on court three. Maack and Dean Wallace defeated Richard Johnson and Kevin Borzenski, 8-6. In singles play, the Bears notched two wins. Court four saw sophomore Sebescen recover from dropping the first set, defeating Johnson in three sets, 1-6; 6-4, 6-2. Browne recorded Cal's other victory, defeating Alexis Rafidison in straight sets, 6-2; 6-3.
FALL 2004: The Bears participated in four tournaments this fall, racking up several impressive wins. The doubles team of Briaud and Niland (No. 30 in the nation) advanced to the finals of the Wilson/ITA West Regional Championships before falling to Stanford's No. 1 duo...junior transfer Lennart Maack reached the semifinals of the ITA Regional Championships, upsetting Stanford's then-No. 3 Corkery in the quarterfinals...Briaud and Niland recorded another upset at the All-American Championships, defeating No. 19 Rylan Rizza and Nick Meythaler of Virginia, 8-3.
Ranked Bears: New individual rankings will be released March 22, 2005. The latest ITA individual rankings March 8, 2005):SinglesConor Niland - No. 27 (national) No. 8 (west region)Lennart Maack - No. 76 (national)Daniel Sebescen - No. 27 (west region)DoublesPatrick Briaud and Conor Niland - No. 23 (national) No. 8 (west region)
Head Coach Peter Wright: Considered one of the best teachers and tacticians in men's collegiate tennis, Peter Wright's coaching talent hasn't gone unnoticed. Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2001 and 1997, he received his first coaching award in 1994 when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year. Wright and the Bears have been a fixture in the NCAA Tournament almost every year since. The ninth coach in the 110-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 149-110 (.576) career record during his tenure in Berkeley. Wright currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as well as the Youth Tennis Advantange and the Arthur Ashe Tennis Foundation of the Bay Area. He established the Bear Trax program at Cal and is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee.