Conor Niland and Tyler Browne Compete at the NCAA Championships
May 22, 2006
Senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne will travel to Stanford for the NCAA Singles and Double Championships starting Wednesday, May 24, and running through Monday, May 29 at Stanford. All matches will be played at the Taube Tennis Center. The two will each square off individually in singles competitions and also pair with each other for a chance at an NCAA Doubles title.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND SCHEDULE:
The men's singles round of 64 matches begin on Wednesday, May 24, at the Taube Tennis Center, with matches running between 11 a.m. (PDT) and 6 p.m. (PDT). The round of 32 will continue on Thursday, May 25, and Thursday will also mark the beginning of doubles play. Singles and doubles rounds will continue through Sunday, May 28, with the finals being held on Monday, May 29, at 12 p.m. (PDT) and 2 p.m. (PDT).
TAUBE TENNIS CENTER:
The Taube Tennis Center is the most beautiful and functional facility in Northern California, and is home to both the Stanford men's and women's tennis teams. Originally built in 1926, the Taube Tennis Center has undergone many renovations and additions over the years, and today its two sites (the Taube Family Tennis Stadium and the adjacent Taube South Courts) seat approximately 3,500. The Taube Tennis Center has hosted several major tennis championships over the years, both on the collegiate and professional levels, including over 10 years of the Bank of West Championship, a WTA tour event. - Compliments of Stanford Athletic Media Relations
COMING TO YOU LIVE:
Live scoring and video will be available on the Stanford website during the two rounds this weekend. Please visit http://www.gostanford.com for more information.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS:
The No. 13 doubles duo of Patrick Briaud and Conor Niland fell to Arkansas' Rojan Gajjar and Adrians Zguns in the opening Round of 32 at the 2005 NCAA Championships doubles tournament in College Station, Texas. The loss ended the career of senior captain Briaud, who finished the year with an overall doubles record of 18-14 with partner Niland. Briaud and Niland fell in two sets to Gajjar and Zguns, losing the match in a close second set, 6-4; 7-6(5). Niland tallied a victory in NCAA Championships round of 64 singles tournament. The win, over Wake Forest's Derrick Spice, advanced Niland to the round of 32 to face Harvard's Jonathan Chu. Niland fell to Harvard's Jonathan Chu in the Round of 32 at the 2005 NCAA Championships singles tournament. Niland, who was a straight set winner in the Round of 64, dropped both sets, losing 6-2, 6-4. The loss brought Niland's final overall record to 25-14, with six of those victories coming over opponents ranked nationally in the Top 25.
The Bears are No. 20 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, May 2, by the ITA. Senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne are the only Bears ranked in the individual poll. Niland is No. 6 and Browne is No. 89. In doubles Niland and Browne rank tied for No. 30.
LAST TIME ON THE COURT:
In the NCAA team championship, the No. 20 California men's tennis team fell in the second round to Stanford, 4-0, in Stanford, Calif. The loss ended the Bears' season. Stanford won the doubles point with wins on the second and third courts. Seniors Lennart Maack and Dean Wallace fell to Stanford's Jon Wong and James Wan, 8-0. Shortly after the third court victory for the Cardinal Stanford's Blake Muller and Matt Bruch defeated juniors Daniel Sebescen and John Pettit, 8-4. In the first round of the NCAA Championships, the No. 20 California men's tennis team defeated UC Santa Barbara, 4-0, to advance to the second round in Stanford. The Bears won the doubles point with wins on the first and third courts. Seniors Lennart Maack and Wallace secured the first doubles match by upending Carsten Thorstensen and Max Taylor, 8-2, on the third court. On the first court, senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne beat Nick Brotman and Bijan Hejazi, 8-2, to win the point for Cal. On the singles court, sophomore Ken Nakahara notched the second point for the Bears on the fifth court when he defeated Scott Hohenstein in two sets, 6-1, 7-5. On the third court, Maack beat Anders Dalskov in two sets, 6-3, 6-1. Niland notched the match-winning point as he slid past Brotman in two sets, 6-4, 6-4, on the first court.
PAC-10 HONOR ROLL:
The Pac-10 announced its all-conference teams and players of the year awards. Senior Conor Niland earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors and was named to the first team. Junior Tyler Browne was second team all-conference.
In his final dual match then-fourth-ranked senior Conor Niland sufferered his first dual-match loss to Washington's Alex Slovic in two sets, 7-5, 6-1. Niland bounced back advancing to the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament, but lost to the eventual Pac-10 singles champion, Stanford's Matt Bruch. On Senior Day then-third-ranked Niland extended his winning streak to 19-0, which was the best in the country and included a undefeated homestand. The Limerick, Ireland, native defeated No. 26 K.C. Corkery in three sets. Niland won the first set, 6-4, but fell to Corkery 6-3 in the second. In the deciding set Niland breezed past Corkery, 6-2. A week before Niland swept both the first-position Arizona players. 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. Niland has been named men's tennis Pac-10 Player of the Week three times this season en route to his Pac-10 Player of the Year honor. He was also honored by the ITA with the Farnsworth/ITA Senior Player of the Year for the West region.
TWO IS A CHARM:
During the course of the season senior Conor Niland took only four matches into three sets, all of which he won. With a 23-2 record, Niland easily defeated his opponents including UCLA's top ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel twice in two sets.
Niland's Four Matches in Three Sets:
Feb. 26 Baylor W, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 Lars Poerschke, Baylor
Feb. 28 BYU W, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 James Ludlow, BYU
March 10 at Arizona W, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 Roger Matalonga, Arizona
April 22 Stanford W, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 K.C. Corkery, Stanford
Senior Conor Niland's streak of 19 straight matches victorious this year is not new to the Limerick, Ireland, native. During his last two years in high school at Millfied School in Somerset, England, Niland remained unbeaten as he led his high school to the British National School Titles.
No. 89 junior Tyler Browne keyed in on his biggest victory this season with a win over then-15th-ranked and Pac-10 singles champion Matt Bruch of Stanford in the last home dual match of the season. Browne, who had a 12-5 record on the second court, took three hotly contested sets to edge Bruch. Browne lost the first set, 7-6, but rebounded and topped Bruch in the final two sets, 7-6, 6-1, recording a victory for the Bears in the second position. Browne injured his hip flexor in the final dual match against Washington and was unable to play in the Pac-10 Championships, but he will be ready to go for the NCAA Championships.
Both senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne have had their fair share of upsets this season. Niland has secured victories over Scott Doerner of Pepperdine, Lars Poerschke of Baylor and twice defeated top ranked player Benjamin Kohlloeffel of UCLA. Browne has upset Matt Bruch of Stanford in the home finale.
THE RIGHT MIX:
At the first position doubles, the Bears seem to have their best match in senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne who posted a 6-5 record during the dual season. In the first round of the NCAA Championships, Niland and Browne collected a victory over UCSB's The duo recorded 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. Niland and Browne now are now ranked 30th. The pair suffered its first lost this season to Arizona's Claudio Christen and Jeff Groslimond, 8-5, on March 10 and continued to struggle, but Niland and Browne are pulling out of the rut in time for the NCAA Championships. Browne was injured in the final dual match against Washington and was unable to play with Niland in the Pac-10 Championships; however the two earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Doubles Championships, which will be held May 24-29 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif.
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.