No. 24 Men's Tennis Hosts Arizona State, Arizona

April 11, 2006

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THE WEEK:
The No. 24 California Golden Bears men's tennis team (12-5, 5-3 Pac-10) will return home to host No. 53 Arizona State on Friday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m. (PDT) and No. 46 Arizona on Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. (PDT). Both matches will take place at the Hellman Tennis Center. Last weekend, Cal defeated USC 4-3 and lost to No. 11 UCLA 3-4.

SCOUTING NO. 53 ARIZONA STATE:
The Sun Devils come to Berkeley with an 8-11 overall record and 2-2 record in conference. ASU defeated Oregon on Saturday, 6-1. Arizona State won in the first, second and third singles positions and picked up the second and third doubles matches. Cal won the last meeting with ASU on March 12, 6-0. Cal also holds the lead in the all-time series, 43-13.

SCOUTING NO. 46 ARIZONA:
On Friday, No. 46 Arizona will face No. 15 Stanford before arriving in Berkeley on Saturday. Entering this weekend the Wildcats boast an 11-7 overall record, with a win over Oregon and a loss to Washington this past weekend. The Wildcats are led by senior Roger Matalonga, who is ranked No. 43. Matalonga has posted a 19-11 record this season for the Wildcats and has also provided stability for UA in doubles with partner Daniel Andrus. Cal won the last meeting with UA in March, 5-2. Cal holds the edge in the series 39-15.

RANKINGS:
The Bears are No. 24 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, April 11, by the ITA. Senior Conor Niland and Junior Tyler Browne are the only Bears ranked in the individual poll. Niland is No. 11 and Browne is No. 98. In doubles Niland and Browne rank No. 22. The individual poll will be released again on April 18.

SUCCESS IN THE MAKING?
In the first 16 dual matches of the season Cal posted an impressive 12-5 record. This is the best start since the 2003 season, when the Bears went 15-1. That year the Bears were ranked No. 4 but lost to Stanford in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

CONSTANT CONOR:
No. 11 senior Conor Niland boasts a 16-0 record in singles matches. Last Saturday, Niland picked up his biggest win over top-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, for the second time this season. The then-No. 41Niland defeated then-No. 3 Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, on Feb. 2, in Berkeley. Two weeks ago, Niland collected his 14th win over Oregon's Markus Schiller, 7-5, 6-1. Two weekends ago Niland continued his streak, defeating No. 4 Scott Doerner of Pepperdine in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Last weekend's win over Doerner is not Niland's first upset victory of the season - Niland defeated then-fourth-ranked Lars Poerschke of Baylor, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. The Limerick, Ireland, native has been named men's tennis Pac-10 Player of the Week twice so far this season.

STREAKING:
No. 11 senior Conor Niland currently holds the best winning streak in the country. Niland, who is 16-0, continued holding the honor this weekend when he upset the top-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Prior to this Niland was tied with Tulsa's No. 10 Arbau Brugues for best winning streak in the country at 13-0 on the season.

MAACK ATTACK:
Senior Lennart Maack went undefeated in the Los Angeles area last weekend. The Langwedel, Germany, native defeated USC's Kaes Van't Hof in two sets, 7-6 (4), 6-2 and on Saturday upset UCLA's No. 78 Mathieu Dehain, 7-6 (10), 6-1. Maack is 7-2 on the season in the third position.

THE RIGHT MIX:
At first position doubles, the Bears seem to have their best match in senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne. The duo has already posted an upset victory over the then sixth-ranked Baylor duo of Matija Zgaga and Jon Reckewey, 8-4, en route to a No. 42 ranking by the ITA. The pair suffered its first lost this season to Arizona's Claudio Christen and Jeff Groslimond, 8-5. Niland and Browne are 5-1 on the season, after picking up three wins in the last five matches.

LAST WEEKEND AGAINST USC:
The No. 24 California men's tennis team (12-4, 5-2 Pac-10) defeated USC 4-3 on Friday on the USC campus.No. 11 senior Conor Niland continued his unbeaten streak defeating Dejan Cvetkovic in two sets, 6-0, 6-3. With the win Niland moved to 15-0 on the season in the first position singles. In the second position No. 98 junior Tyler Browne beat Jamil Al-Agba in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Senior Lennart Maack outlasted Kaes Van't Hof, 7-6 (4), 6-2, in the third position. In his first singles match of the year junior Ken Nakahara defeated Jeff Kazarian in the fifth position, 6-0, 6-3. USC's Adam Loucks got the best of junior Daniel Sebescen, 6-4, 6-3, and Chong Wang beat senior Dean Wallace, 6-3, 6-7 (4). The Trojans picked up the doubles point, by sweeping the Bears in all three matches. In the first position, No. 22 Niland and Browne fell to Al-Agba and Cvetkovic, 8-4. Maack and Wallace were defeated by Kazarian and Van't Hof, 8-6, in the second position. Loucks and Snyder beat junior John Pettit and Sebescen, 8-6.

LAST WEEKEND AGAINST UCLA:
The No. 24 California men's tennis team won three singles matches, but could not secure the doubles point, losing to No. 11 UCLA by one point, 4-3, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. No. 11 senior Conor Niland upset top-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. This was the second time this season Niland upset Kohlloeffel. Then-No. 41Niland defeated then-No. 3 Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, on Feb. 2, in Berkeley. With the win, Niland currently still holds the nation's longest winning streak at 16-0, in the first position. Senior Lennart Maack upset No. 78 Mathieu Dehain, 7-6 (10), 6-1, in the third position. In the sixth position, senior Dean Wallace clinched the third set to beat Jeremy Drean, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5. No. 98 junior Tyler Browne was defeated in the second position by No. 107 Haythem Abid, 7-6 (12), 6-2. Sophomore Ken Nakahara won the first set, 6-1, in the fifth position, but could eventually lost to Michael Look, 1-6, 6-2, 6-0. UCLA won the match by cinching the fourth position victory. No. 82 Chris Surapol won the final two sets to defeat junior Daniel Sebescen, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. Cal continued its doubles woes on Saturday losing all three matches. No. 3 Philipp Gruendler and Kohlloeffel defeated No. 22 Niland and Browne, 8-6. In the second position, Maack and Wallace were beat by Abid and Surapol, 8-1. Junior John Pettit and Sebescen lost to Drean and Dehaine, 8-4, in the third position.

FOREIGN FLAVOR:
On the 2005-06 men's tennis roster, the Bears host seven athletes from a different country other than the United States. Two are from Ireland, senior Conor Niland and freshman Eoin Heavey. Seniors Dean Wallace hails from Manila, the Philippines, and Lennart Maack is from Germany. Junior Daniel Sebescen is from Yugoslavia. Sophomore Ken Nakahara hails from Japan. Sophomore Vaclav Burger is from Czech Republic.

COACHES:
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. In 1997 and 2001 he was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. 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, which brings inner-city children from Oakland to Berkeley for academic tutoring with Cal students and tennis tutoring with the Cal men's and women's teams. Wright is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee. He is assisted by former Cal standout Patrick Briaud, who enters his first season.

UP NEXT:
The Bears will host Stanford on Saturday, April 22, for their home finale. The match is slated for a 1 p.m. start at the Hellman Tennis Center.

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