No. 19 California Hosts UC Davis and Saint Mary's in Season Opening Doubleheader
Jan. 23, 2007
The No. 19 California men's tennis team kicks off its 2007 dual season with a doubleheader, Saturday at Hellman Tennis Center. The Golden Bears start the day against UC Davis at 9:30 a.m. and then square off against Saint Mary's at 2:00 p.m. The Aggies will be hungry to get a win in Berkeley after losing their season opener to Santa Clara last weekend. The UC Davis top doubles tandem of Jayce Fitch and Daniel Elefant got the lone win of the match for the Aggies. Saint Mary's heads to Cal rolling with some momentum. The Gaels began their season with back-to-back wins in Arizona. First they swept Northern Arizona last Sunday, and followed that up with an upset-victory over No. 48 Arizona on Monday. Following the weekend matches, the Bears welcome Santa Clara on Tuesday, Jan. 30 to complete the three-match homestand.
GREAT FALL FOR MOUILLON:
In three tournaments during the fall campaign, the highlight for Cal has been the performance of junior Pierre Mouillon. His 12 singles wins were the most for the Bears. He also advanced the furthest for Cal in the ITA Northwest Regional, (semifinals), and was the only Bear to advance past the first round in the All-American Championships qualifying bracket. Previous to the four wins he picked up in the regional and the six in the championships, Mouillon, a transfer from Mississippi State, also won two of his three matches in the Napa Valley Tennis Classic last month. One of Mouillon's losses this fall was to the No. 1 seed and defending champion in the All-American Championships.
After suffering an injury in the first match of the fall campaign, Tyler Browne looks to have a strong spring season as one of three senior leaders on the squad. Last season, he finished 9-1 in singles at home and 23-12 overall. On the second court, Browne collected an impressive 13-6 record. One of his biggest victories this season at home was 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 defeated Bruch in three sets, 6-7, 7-6, 6-1. Browne injured his hip flexor in the final dual match against Washington and was unable to play in the Pac-10 Championships. Daniel Sebescen won the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional doubles tournament with Mouillon. With the championship, the duo qualified for the National Indoor Championships. Sebescen posted a 10-6 singles record last season on the fourth court, including a five-match winning streak in doubles with John Pettit. Pettit finished this fall with a 5-2 doubles record with partner sophomore Geoff Chizever. The duo won its first four matches of the fall, including two victories against Stanford.
In addition to Mouillon, Cal added four other new players to the team this season. Geoff Chizever joins the team after transfering from Colorado. He won three matches in the ITA Northwest Regional to go with his impressive run in doubles with John Pettit. Last year at Colorado, Chizever ended the season with a singles record of 14-6 and an ITA ranking of 23. Another sophomore, Carsten Thorstensen, comes to the Bears after transfering from UC Santa Barbara. During the fall, Thorstensen won the doubles draw in the Bronco Classic with sophomore Nicolai Horgen. With the Gauchos last season, he played primarily on court two in doubles and ended the season with an 11-15 record. Freshman Kallim Stewart begins his tenure at Cal after ending last year ranked the No. 1 junior in the United States. He advanced to the quarterfinals of both the ITA Northwest Regional and the Bronco Classic. His fall singles record of 7-5 was the second best record on the team. Fellow freshman Andy Chirita recently joined the team and looks to make a strong impact quickly.
A LOOK AT MOUILLON AND SEBESCEN'S DOUBLES TITLE:
After a slow start to the fall season, Daniel Sebescen and Pierre Mouillon racked up five wins in the ITA Northwest Regional to win the doubles tournament. Their title run culminated with an 8-3 victory over host Stanford's Blake Muller and Paul Morrissey. The closest match of the weekend for the Bears was their first round contest with Gabriel Loredo and Hague Van Dillen of Sacramento State. The Hornets fell to the Cal duo, 8-6. Following the opening-round victory, Sebescen and Mouillon then defeated Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shield of Santa Clara, 8-3, in the round of 16. They followed that win with a pair of 8-5 victories over Michael Ricks and Patrick Fischer of Washington and Cal Poly's Matt Raca and Kyle Roybal to send them into the finals.
In addition to the veterans and the newcomers, Cal also has some returning players this year who are all vital to the team's success. Juniors Ken Nakahara, Vaclav Burger and sophomore Eoin Heavey add a lot of depth and experience to the squad. Nakahara won his first three matches in the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional, and his singles record of 6-4 was third best among the Bears. Heavey rebounded well in the fall after missing most of last year due to a foot fracture.
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 returns to Cal after serving as assistant coach in the 1999-00 season, and Wayne Ferreira, who returns for his eighth year as a volunteer assistant coach.