No. 22 California Travels to Pac-10 Championships
April 20, 2005
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 24 Golden Bears (11-9 overall, 5-2 Pac-10) travel to Ojai, Calif., for the Pac-10 Individual Championships Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, April 24.
PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Pac-10 Individual Championships, held in conjunction with the 105th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, will decide the Conference's singles and doubles champions. The Pac-10's feature two 32-player singles draws (Main and Invite), as well as two 16-player doubles draws (Main and Invite). Competing in the main draw will be Daniel Sebescen, Conor Niland, Patrick Briaud and Lennart Maack. The Invite will feature John Pettit, Ken Nakahara, Dean Wallace and Tyler Browne. The doubles main draw includes two Cal teams in Briaud and Niland along with Browne and Sebescen, while the invite features Maack and Wallace.
NILAND MOVING UP: Junior Conor Niland reached his highest ranking of the year this week, climbing to No. 9 in the ITA singles rankings. The Limerick, Ireland, native has posted a 19-12 mark in singles this year, with five of those victories coming over opponents ranked nationally in the Top 25.
FRESHMAN SENSATION: Freshman Ken Nakahara is in the midst of quite an impressive debut season for the Bears. The first-year player from Miyazaki, Japan, leads Cal with 21 wins on the year, including a 13-6 mark in dual matches while playing predominantly from courts five and six. Nakahara, who advanced to the Round of 16 at the ITA Regional Championships this fall, opened the spring season with a six-match win streak.
LAST WEEK'S ACTION: On Saturday, April 16, the California men's tennis team pulled off their third-consecutive upset and fourth-straight win, defeating Bay Area rival No. 16 Stanford, 5-2, at the Taube Tennis Center in Palo Alto, Calif. With the win, the Bears ended the regular-season 11-2 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-10, good for a second-place finish in the conference. Cal opened play by taking the doubles point, capturing two of three matches. Court two saw Tyler Browne and Daniel Sebescen defeat Phil Sheng and Jon Wong, 8-4. Lennart Maack and Dean Wallace teamed up for a victory on court three, where they beat Eric McKean and James Wan, 8-6. The Bears clinched the match in singles, where they picked up wins on courts three through six. Court three saw senior captain Patrick Briaud outlast Wan in three sets, 6-4; 0-6; 6-4. Sophomore Daniel Sebescen recovered from dropping the first set to defeat Sheng on court four, 4-6; 7-6; 6-0. Sophomore Tyler Browne was victorious in three sets, defeating McKean on court three, 5-7; 6-3; 7-6. Ken Nakahara tallied a win for Cal on court six, where he beat Phil Kao in straight sets, 6-2; 6-2.
Ranked Bears: New individual rankings will be released April 26, 2005. The latest ITA individual rankings April 19, 2005):SinglesConor Niland - No. 9 (national) No. 8 (west region)Lennart Maack - No. 78 (national)Daniel Sebescen - No. 27 (west region)DoublesPatrick Briaud and Conor Niland - No. 12 (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 Advantage 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.