Cal Heads To Arizona For Conference Opener
March 28, 2007
The California men's tennis team continues its long road trip this weekend. The Golden Bears head to Arizona State on Friday, March 30, at 1:30 p.m. and Arizona on Saturday, March 31, at 1 p.m. Cal (10-6) lost two out of three matches in Hawaii last weekend. The Bears' road trip wraps next weekend, when they square off against Washington on Friday, April 6, and Oregon the next day to conclude the trip.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
Arizona State (10-5) started the season winning nine of its first 10 matches, including a seven-match winning streak. The one loss the Sun Devils endured during that stretch was a 5-0 sweep by Cal at the Hellman Tennis Center on Feb. 24. More recently, ASU snapped a four-match losing streak last Saturday when they topped in-state rival Arizona, 6-1. The match against the Bears will be the final home match of the season for the Sun Devils. The Wildcats (5-10) are in the midst of a four-match losing streak, their second four-match losing streak of the season. Cal knocked off Arizona in Berkeley, 6-1, on Feb. 23. Before this losing streak, the Wildcats recorded a three-match home winning streak earlier this month. They knocked off UNLV, Memphis and Denver in that stretch.
BEARS WIN ONE IN HAWAII:
Cal picked up its first win in three matches in the Aloha Invitational last Monday. The Golden Bears defeated Hawaii, 4-2. Cal, which lost its previous two matches in the tournament, earned its 10th win of the season, by claiming four of the six singles matches. Although the Bears lost on the top two courts, they won the other four matches to earn the win. Junior Ken Nakahara won his third match in the Aloha Invitational, as he knocked off Jeff Fitch, 6-1, 6-2. Sophomore Eoin Heavey picked up his second win of the tournament. After winning a close first set, 7-5, he took the second, 6-4, to win the match. Senior Daniel Sebescen shut out Chad Faulk, 6-0, 6-0. Freshman Kallim Stewart lost the first set in his match against Spence Mendoza, before coming back to take the next two sets to win the match, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. Earlier in the Aloha Invitational, Cal lost to No. 15 Pepperdine and San Diego State.
NAKAHARA IN THE CLUTCH:
Ken Nakahara has been an important factor in Cal's success this season. The junior is on a nine-match winning streak. Last weekend, he was the only Bear to win all three of his singles matches in the Aloha Invitational. Before his victory in the final match against Hawaii, he secured the only point for Cal against Pepperdine, a 6-2, 6-2 win over Mahmoud Kamel. Against San Diego State, he knocked off Robert Sabo, 6-2, 6-4. He picked up two wins in Pebble Beach two weeks ago. 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.
HEAVEY STREAKING IN SINGLES AND DOUBLES:
Eoin Heavey currently has the second-best singles record on the team right now at 11-5, just behind Ken Nakahara's 12-4. Heavey has won seven of his last nine singles matches, which included a five-match winning streak. In doubles, Heavey and Geoff Chizever are tied for the best doubles record on the team with Tyler Browne and John Pettit at 6-5. Chizever and Heavey have won five of their last six matches.
GREAT FALL FOR MOUILLON:
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.
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.