No. 23 Men's Tennis to Host No. 7 Stanford and No. 15 Pepperdine
Feb. 19, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 23-ranked California men's tennis team (3-2) is set to host rival No. 7 Stanford (5-1) in the Big Slam at Hellman Tennis Complex on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. The Golden Bears have lost their last two meetings with the Cardinal after knocking out two wins in 2007 and hope to get back in the win column against their cross-bay rivals. Cal hosts No. 15 Pepperdine (7-4) the next day (Feb. 22) in a noon match. Please check CalBears.com for links to live streaming video from the Hellman Tennis Complex
LAST WEEK: The Bears had a match scheduled against UC Santa Barbara cancelled due to inclement weather. Two weeks ago, Cal bounced back from two consecutive losses to claim a 4-3 victory over No. 54 Hawai'i. Cal had beaten the Warriors, 6-1, on the islands in its first match of the dual season and pulled out the win at home as No. 49-ranked junior Kallim Stewart completed his court-two match with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Leo Rosenberg. Cal fell behind first in doubles as Stewart and freshman Nick Andrews lost on court two, 8-5, to Dennis Lajola and Andreas Weber. The Bears knotted up the doubles point when the No. 16-ranked team of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini posted an 8-5 score of their own on the top court, beating Rosenberg and Jeff Fitch. With the match knotted at three-all on the third doubles court, senior Eoin Heavey and sophomore Jonathan Dahan broke the Hawai'i serve twice to go up, 6-3 on Sascha Heinemann and Spencer Mendoza. The Bears held serve and then broke once more in the final game to clinch the doubles point for Cal. The Bears wasted no time going up 2-0 in the match as Katsarov got off court first when he defeated Mendoza, 6-4, 6-1, in singles. One court over, Heavey dropped a 6-4, 7-5 win on Fitch to push the Bears to a commanding 3-0 lead. After Stewart clinched the match, the Bears surrendered the final three points.
ON COURT - NO. 7 STANFORD: The Cardinal resumes play after finishing up at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last weekend in Chicago, Ill. Stanford is 3-0 in singles matches against Cal opponents this year having played faced Bears at the Wilson/ITA Northern Cal Championships in the fall. No. 47-ranked Bradley Klahn defeated both Pedro Zerbini and Geoff Chizever, while No. 13 Alex Clayton upended Jonathan Dahan. In doubles play, Chizever and Zerbini defeated the pair of Clayton and Klahn in doubles of the same tournament. Stanford is 5-1, suffering its only loss to No. 2 Georgia in Chicago. Clayton is 6-1 in dual matches at No. 1 singles, while Klahn is 3-2 at the No. 2 position. No. 117 Richard Wire is 6-1 in dual matches, splitting his time between No. 4 and No. 5 singles. Wire and Blake Muller combine now to form the No. 28-ranked doubles team. The Bears are 72-120-2 all-time against Stanford and fell in two 5-2 matches last year.
ON COURT - NO. 15 PEPPERDINE: The Waves are 7-4 on the season, falling to both Illinois and Boise State, 6-1, in January, and Ohio State and Baylor at last weekend's ITA National Team Indoor Championships, while gaining notable wins against No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 17 Tulsa, and No. 20 Alabama. Pepperdine has three ranked singles players: No. 26 Omar Altmann, No. 44 Bassam Beidas, and No. 114 Alex Llompart. Altmann and Beidas combine to form the nation's No. 12-ranked doubles pair. Altmann is 9-2 at No. 2 singles while Beidas is 4-5 at the top spot in dual matches. The Bears fell in a 4-3 heartbreaker in Malibu, Calif. last year and have lost their last five meetings with the Waves. The last time Cal emerged victorious over Pepperdine was in 2003, 5-2. Overall, the waves hold a 30-20 all-time series advantage over the Bears.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: Cal holds the No. 23 spot in the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings. Junior Kallim Stewart is ranked No. 88 among the nation's singles players while sophomore Pedro Zerbini and senior Geoff Chizever 24th among doubles teams.
FALL 2008 REVIEW: Cal enjoyed a successful fall individual tournament season, highlighted by the play of the doubles team of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini. The pair won the ITA Northern Cal Championship doubles title and earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Championships. The duo also won the doubles title at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic on their way to an 11-3 record together. Junior Kallim Stewart won the coveted Norma Miner Award at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic as he swept through his singles matches over the course of the three day tournament. Sophomores Andy Chirita and Zach Gilbert took home the Fresno State Bulldog Classic B Flight doubles title and fellow sophomore duo Jonathan Dahan and Bozhidar Katsarov advanced to the doubles quarterfinal of the ITA Northern Cal Championships. Unattached, Zerbini advanced to the singles final at the Bulldog Classic and the singles quarterfinal at the Wilson/ITA Northern Cal Championships.
HEAD COACH Peter Wright: 16th-year head coach Peter Wright has led the Golden Bears to the postseason play a school-record nine consecutive years and has only missed the NCAA tournament once in his career. He won his 200th match at Cal last season and is 206-150 (.578) overall (53-63, .457 Pac-10). His first coaching award came when he was named the 1994 Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year and earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2001. Under Wright, nine Cal players have combined to receive 13 All-America selections. Wright has also served as Chairman of the NCAA Tennis Committee as well as on the executive board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).