NCAA Men's Tennis Championships: Bay Area, Los Angeles schools headed to Athens

GoldenBearSports.com

After that collective Four of five Pac-12 teams who took the court Saturday in the 2017 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships locked up berths to the round of 16 in Athens, Georgia starting on May 18.

[Related: 2017 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships bracket (NCAA.com)]

California

Second round: California 4, Northwestern 1

While things didn't start off quite as smoothly for the Golden Bears in Berkeley, they recovered nicely and punched their ticket to Athens with a 4-1 win over Northwestern. The visiting Wildcats came out strong, taking the doubles point with a pair of quick wins on courts three and one. NU's Chris Ephron/Michael Lorenzini topped J.T. Nishimura/Bjorn Hoffmann (more on him in a bit), 6-2, before clinching the point with a win by Sam Shropshire/Konrad Zieba over Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat, 6-4.

As things transitioned to singles, the Golden Bears found their footing. Nishimura evened the match at 1-1 overall with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Wildcats' Ben Vandixhorn. Cal's Billy Griffith carried some momentum from a first set tiebreak win to close out Dominik Stary 7-6 (5), 6-2. Then it was Andre Goransson who pushed things further out of reach for Northwestern with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Zieba. But in by far the best image of the day, it was Hoffmann who avenged his doubles loss and clinched things for Cal with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Jason Seidman.

In Athens, eighth-seeded Cal will match up with No. 9 seed North Carolina on May 18 at 4 p.m. PT.

Stanford

Second round: Stanford 4, Michigan 1

The last Pac-12 men's tennis to go final on Saturday had perhaps one of the more dramatic beginnings as the Cardinal claimed a 4-1 win over Michigan. For the doubles point, the Wolverines got things going with a victory by Alex Knight/Runhao Hua over Michael Genender/Sameer Kumar, 6-3. The Cardinal quickly evened it up thanks to Brandon Sutter/David Wilczynski topping Myles Schalet/Kevin Wong, 6-4. It all came down to the first court, where Stanford's Tom Fawcett/Yale Goldberg edged Connor Johnston/Jathan Malik, 7-6 (5).

Sporting a 1-0 lead, the Cardinal headed to singles play with momentum on their side and capitalized quickly as Sutter defeated Wong in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Fawcett nudged Stanford closer to securing the win, topping Malik 6-4, 6-4.

Michigan wasn't finished yet though as Carter Lin defeated William Genesen 6-4, 6-2 on court six to stave off elimination. But it was the Card's Kumar that closed things out on The Farm, needing a third-set tiebreak to defeat the Wolverines' Knight 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (6). 

Stanford will now square off with No. 1 seed Wake Forest on Thursday, May 18 at 4 p.m. PT in Athens, Georgia.

UCLA

Second round: UCLA 4, Ole Miss 0

The Bruins continued their march through the NCAA Championships bracket, still having yet to drop a match as they shut out Ole Miss 4-0 Saturday in Los Angeles. For the doubles point, UCLA's Maxime Cressy/Ben Goldberg took down Filip Kraljevic/Tim Sandkaulen, 6-3, before Joseph Di Giulio/Austin Rapp locked things up over Zvonimir Babic/Ricardo Jorge, 6-3.

The Bruins didn't relent one bit heading into singles play as Evan Zhu bested Jorde in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. Logan Staggs kept things rolling for the group from Westwood, downing the Rebels' Sandkaulen 6-2, 6-1. Martin Redlicki put the capper on the shutout as he defeated Gustav Hansson 6-3, 6-2. 

Fifth-seeded UCLA will next square off with No. 12 seed Texas A&M on May 18 at 1 p.m. PT in Athens.

USC

Second round: USC 4, Wisconsin 0

In the Pac-12's second sweep of the day, the Trojans handled Wisconsin at home to clinch a trip to Athens. Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven got things going for USC in the doubles competition, downing Chase Colton/Lamar Remy, 6-3. It was Rob Bellamy/Jack Jaede that clinched the point, defeating John Zordani/Osgar O'Hoisin 6-2.

Jaede picked up the Troajns' second overall point by defeating O'Hoisin 6-0, 6-3. Logam Smith pocked up another straight-set win over the Badgers' Chema Carranza 6-2, 6-4. For the second-straight day, Thibault Forget closed it out for the Trojans, defeating Colton 6-3, 6-4.

No. 4 seed and Pac-12 Champion USC will now face de facto NCAA host Georgia on May 18 at 1 p.m. PT.

Oregon

Second round: Texas A&M 4, Oregon 0

The Ducks bowed out of NCAA competition with a 4-0 loss at the hands of regional host Texas A&M in College Station. Oregon got a bit of a bad break to start things in the double competition. After claiming the first match with Thomas Laurent/Cormac Clissold defeating the Aggies' Jordi Arconada/Hady Habib 6-4, things went back to even as Aleksandre Bakshi/Max Lunkin topped Simon Stevens/Ty Gentry 6-4. In the deciding doubles match, Texas A&M's AJ Catanzariti/Arthur Rinderknech needed a tiebreak to edge Jayson Amos/Armando Soemarno 7-6 (7-2).

Having lost the first point in heartbreaking fashion, the Ducks struggled to regain any momentum. Catanzariti defeated Tanaka 6-3, 6-2 to put the Aggies up 2-0 before Arconada took down Stevens 6-2, 6-4. With the match on the line, Rinderknech that triumphed over UO's Laurent to make things official, 6-4, 6-2. 

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