No. 23 Men's Tennis Team Host Home Finale
April 18, 2006
The No. 23 California Golden Bears men's tennis team (14-5, 7-3 Pac-10) will return home to host No. 15 Stanford on Saturday, April 22, at 1 p.m. (PDT). The match will take place at the Hellman Tennis Center. Last weekend, Cal played only singles against both Arizona State (5-1) and Arizona (6-0), defeating both.
SCOUTING NO. 15 STANFORD:
No. 15 Stanford enters Saturday's match in Berkeley with a 14-3 record, including an upset 4-3 victory over the then- No. 4 ranked UCLA Bruins on Feb. 4. The Cardinal is led by three-time All-American senior No. 26 K.C. Corkery and No. 15 Matt Bruch. Corkery has already has a 24-3 record. Bruch is 20-7 on the year. Stanford is led in doubles by the pair of No. 26 Corkery and junior James Pade.
The Bears are No. 23 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, April 18, by the ITA. Senior Conor Niland and Junior Tyler Browne are the only Bears ranked in the individual poll. Niland is No. 3 and Browne is No. 117. In doubles Niland and Browne rank No. 38. The individual poll will be released again on April 23.
SUCCESS IN THE MAKING?
In the first 18 dual matches of the season Cal posted an impressive 14-5 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.
No. 3 senior Conor Niland boasts a 18-0 record in singles matches. Niland swept both the first position Arizona players this past weekend. On Saturday he defeated Roger Matalonga of Arizona in two sets, 6-2, 6-3. Niland picked up his biggest win over UCLA's top-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-4, 6-3, on April 8 This was the second time this season he had recorded an upset over Kohlloeffel. The then-No. 41Niland defeated then-No. 3 Kohlloeffel in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, on Feb. 2, in Berkeley. On April 1, Niland collected his 14th win over Oregon's Markus Schiller, 7-5, 6-1. On March 26, Niland continued his streak, defeating No. 4 Scott Doerner of Pepperdine in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. On Feb. 26, 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 three times so far this season.
No. 3 senior Conor Niland currently holds the best winning streak in the country. Niland, who is 18-0, expanded the streak with wins over Arizona States' Jonathan Kinsella and Arizona's Roger Matalonga. 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.
Senior Lennart Maack went undefeated against both Arizona schools last weekend. The Langwedel, Germany, native defeated Arizona State's Nick Hegarty in two sets, 6-3, 6-1 and beat Arizona's Claudio Christen in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Maack is 9-2 on the season in the third position.
Senior Dean Wallace is 7-2 in the sixth position this season. This past weekend, Wallace went undefeated beating Arizona State's Ryan Waits, 6-1, 6-3 and Arizona's Peter Zimmer, 6-4, 6-4.
THE RIGHT MIX:
Cal has been unable to play doubles in the past couple of matches due primarily to weather. However 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 ARIZONA STATE:
The California No. 24 men's tennis team won five of six singles matches to secure a win over No. 53 Arizona State on Friday afternoon at Hellman Tennis Center. No. 11 senior Conor Niland remains unbeaten with his, 6-3, 6-0, victory over Jonathan Kinsella in the first position on Friday. It took two sets for Niland to claim his 17th singles victory on the season. No. 98 junior Tyler Browne defeated Christopher Biro in the second position, 6-2, 6-2. In the third position, senior Lennart Maack beat Nick Hegarty in two sets, 6-3, 6-1. In two sets, junior Daniel Sebescen defeated Wes Miller, 6-4, 6-2. Senior Dean Wallace beat Ryan Waits in the sixth position, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Ken Nakahara fell in a tiebreaker to T.J. Bellama, 7-5, 6-4 (11-9). Singles were played first. Doubles were not played on Friday.
LAST WEEKEND AGAINST ARIZONA:
The No. 24 California men's tennis team (14-5, 7-3 Pac-10) won all six singles matches on a windy afternoon in Berkeley to defeat No. 46 Arizona, 6-0, at the Hellman Tennis Center. No. 11 senior Conor Niland continued his success in the first position of singles as he defeated Roger Matalonga in two sets, 6-2, 6-3. Niland improves to 18-0 and holds the best winning streak in the country. No. 98 junior Tyler Browne beat Jeff Groslimond, 6-3, 6-4 in the second position. In the third position, senior Lennart Maack defeated Claudio Christen in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. Junior Daniel Sebescen won by injury default against Bruno Alcala, 6-4, 4-3 (ret. inj.). Sophomore Ken Nakahara won over Jason Labrosse in two sets, 6-1, 6-0. Senior Dean Wallace picked up a win in the sixth position over Peter Zimmer, 6-4, 6-4.
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.
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.
On April 26, Cal will make up the Washington match in Santa Barbara that was canceled due to rain. The Bears will travel to the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., on April 27-30.