Cal Prepares For Three Matches In Hawaii Next Week

March 20, 2007


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The California men's tennis team, currently on a a six-match winning streak, stays on the road after recording two wins in Pebble Beach last weekend. The Golden Bears head to Hawaii for three matches in the Aloha Invitational from March 24-26. They will face San Diego State (March 24), No. 15 Pepperdine (March 25) and Hawaii (March 26). Match times for all three are set for 10 a.m. (HT). When Cal returns to Berkeley, it will open Pac-10 play in Arizona, squareing off against Arizona State and Arizona on March 30 and 31.

The first opponent the Bears will face, San Diego State, is currently 6-6. The Aztecs have won four of their last five dual matches after enduring a five-match losing streak earlier in the spring season. They're armed with the 17th-ranked doubles duo (Christian Groh and Markus Dickhardt). Pepperdine is currently on a four-match winning streak. The Waves square off against No. 2 Ohio State this afternoon before heading to Hawaii. Pepperdine (11-6) has played much better at home than on the road. While playing in Malibu, the Waves are a perfect 9-0, but on the road, they are 2-6. Earlier this season Pepperdine lost two out of three matches in the ITA Team Indoor Championships. Hawaii (4-5) has won the first two matches of its six-match homestand. The Rainbow Warriors defeated Cleveland State on March 13 and Nevada on March 18. Hawaii faces Washington on Wednesday, March 21, before starting the Aloha Invitaional.

Cal won both of its matches in the second annual USF Pebble Beach Collegiate Classic. Last Saturday, the Bears beat SMU, 4-2. It was a comeback effort for Cal, as the Mustangs jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Senior Tyler Browne earned the match-clinching victory for the Bears as he beat David Kuczer, 7-6, 4-6, 6-0. Sophomore Eoin Heavey and juniors Pierre Mouillon and Ken Nakahara also won in singles. Mouillon, currently ranked No. 20 in the ITA singles rankings, notched a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Alex Skrypko. Although SMU won the doubles point, the team of Heavey and sophomore Geoff Chizever won on court three, as the Cal duo got the best of Kuczer and Solares, 8-3. The next day Cal defeated USF, 5-2. Cal got the day started off well with three doubles victories to take the opening point. On the No. 2 court, Heavey and Chizever notched their second doubles win of the weekend, beating Einar Hart and Mitch Del Rosario, 8-5. In singles action, the Bears took four of the six matches. Freshman Kallim Stewart came back strong against the Dons after a tough loss to SMU the day before. He defeated Rainer Nachbauer, 6-2, 6-1.

Ken Nakahara has been an important factor in Cal's success this season. The Bears have yet to lose a match when Nakahara wins his singles match. The junior is also on a six-match winning streak. Last weekend, he picked up two wins in Pebble Beach. Against SMU, he won in straight sets with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Adolfo Solares. The following day against USF, he recorded a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Asaf Cohen on the fifth court. His quick victory against Stanford on March 10 helped keep the momentum in Cal's favor. All of Nakahara's wins have been in straight sets, some of which have been blowouts. He defeated UC Santa Barbara's Grant Robertson, 6-0, 6-1, to start his winning streak. Another recent lopsided win for Nakahara was a 6-2, 6-1 win over Murilo Souza of Arizona State.

After missing most of the fall campaign due to injury, Tyler Browne has had a strong spring season thus far. Browne has played a big role in the Bears' current six-match winning streak. His 9-3 singles record is tied for first on the team, and Browne is also on a seven-match winning streak. Some of his recent singles matches were decisive, straight-set victories. His victory against Stanford on March 10 completed the sweep for Cal.

In three tournaments during the fall campaign, the highlight for Cal was 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. Prior 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 in September. One of Mouillon's losses this fall was to the No. 1 seed and defending champion in the All-American Championships.

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.

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