NCAA Men's Tennis Championships: Cal advances to Saturday; Utah, ASU fall
The 2018 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships got underway Friday with Arizona State, Cal and Utah all in action to kick off the team bracket.
Arizona State was the first Pac-12 team to see the court in the opening round, resulting in a 4-0 loss to Baylor in the College Station Regional. The Sun Devils returned to the postseason in their first year back following the program's 10-year hiatus due to budget cuts.
Baylor attacked early, claiming the doubles point before winning the first set on all six courts in singles play. The Bears went on to sweep the Devils with singles wins on courts 4 and 6.
Though the team's season is over, one Sun Devil will continue on in the singles competition, which runs May 23-28 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
— Sun Devil M. Tennis (@SunDevilMTennis) May 11, 2018
ASU concludes its season with a 14-11 team record.
Utah suffered a similar fate, falling 4-0 to Oklahoma on the Sooners' home court in Norman. After a quick doubles competition ended in Oklahoma's favor, the home team claimed the first set on all six singles courts. Utah was able to force three sets on courts 4 and 5, but neither of those matches finished as Oklahoma, the defending national champions, locked up courts 1, 2 and 6 in two sets.
Utah's season comes to a close with a 19-11 team record.
Cal salvaged the day for the Conference of Champions with a 4-1 upset win over 24th-ranked NC State in the Austin Regional. The Golden Bears dug themselves out of a bit of hole, dropping the doubles point on courts 1 and 3.
Senior J.T. Nishimura started swinging the momentum toward Cal with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the Wolfpack's Tadas Babelis. Ben Draper gave the Golden Bears the lead for good with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Ivan Saveljic. 54th-ranked Billy Griffith put an end to NC State comeback hopes with a 6-4, 6-2 upset of 43rd-ranked Alexis Galarneau. Paul Barretto clinched it for the Bears with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Robert Turzak.
Paul clinches Cal's 4-1 win over @PackMensTennis with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Turzak on court 5! Cal plays tomorrow at 3 pm CT in the NCAA 2nd round vs. @TexasMTN or @BryantMTennis! #GoBears @NCAATennis pic.twitter.com/RSy4m7tyl1
— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 11, 2018
The Golden Bears will now face the winner of Texas-Bryant on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT.