Men's Tennis Opens Season at Napa Valley Tennis Classic

Sept. 5, 2006

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FOR STARTERS: The California men's tennis team opens up the 2006 fall season at the Napa Valley Tennis Classic on Sept. 9-11 in Meadowood, Calif.

SUMMER UPDATE: Golden Bears senior Tyler Browne and junior Ken Nakahara each earned world-ranking points in singles and doubles this summer. The two participated in the Indonesia Futures tournaments. They teamed up for three doubles tournaments, advancing to the quarterfinals in all three. In singles, Browne and Nakahara each reached the quarterfinals in one of the tournaments they competed in. Seniors John Pettit and Daniel Sebescen competed in the Nor Cal USTA Stead Open last month. Sebescen made it to the semifinals of the 128-player tournament. In the quarterfinals, Sebescen rebounded from a 6-2 first-set defeat, to come back and win the next two sets, 7-5 and 6-2.

A TRIO OF TRANSFERS: Three of the four newcomers to the Bears this year are transfers. Junior Pierre Mouillon, who also earned world-ranking points over the summer, comes to Berkeley after competing for two years at Mississippi State. Mouillon earned a top-100 ranking during the 2005 campaign. He will be joined by two sophomores, Geoff Chizever from Colorado and Carsten Thorstensen from UC Santa Barbara.

A YEAR AGO: Cal ended last season ranked No. 21. The Bears got the year off and running the same way they are this season, competing in the Napa Valley Classic. In the 2005 Classic, Cal fared well against North Carolina on the first day, beating the Tar Heels in three of the four doubles matches and four times in singles. Squaring off against Georgia and North Carolina in day two, the Bears tallied seven singles victories. Sophomore Eoin Heavey went undefeated for the weekend, racking up three singles victories and two doubles victories.

MEADOWOOD RESORT: Located in St. Helena, Calif., this resort is settled in the wine country of Northern California. Meadowood is nestled across a 250-acre valley. The property features croquet lawns, seven tennis courts, nine-hole walking golf course, hiking trails, swimming and a full service health spa.

A LOOK AT THE TOURNAMENT: The tournament is presented by the title sponsor, Residential Pacific Mortgage, and supporting sponsors, Nike, Powerbar and Private Wealth Partners. Participants in the three-day tournament include Cal, North Carolina, Illinois and Mississippi.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: The three other teams participating in the tournament this weekend are North Carolina, Illinois and Mississippi. North Carolina and Illinois played in the Classic last season as well. All three of the Bears' opponents reached the sweet 16 of the 2005 NCAA Championships. The Tar Heels advanced to the sweet 16 for the first time since 1993 before getting ousted by Ohio State. They ended the year ranked No. 12. Illinois heads west with the 2006 NCAA doubles champions, All-Americans Kevin Anderson and Ryan Rowe. The Fighting Illini were ranked No. 8 when they were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, by eventual-champion UCLA. Ole Miss's season was ended by No. 3 seeded Texas. Junior Erling Tveit made it to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Championship, but was sent home by the eventual singles champion, Ben Kohlloeffel of UCLA.

Head Coach Peter Wright: 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. 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 111-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 176-126 (.583) 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. This year, Wright and Cal will hold the inaugural Peter Wright tour, four tournaments during the fall at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Wright is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee. He is assisted by Morten Christensen, who enters his first season.

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