Cal Takes on Stanford, Arizona Schools in Trio of Pac-10 Matches
April 10, 2002
PAC-10 PLAY RESUMES: This week, conference play resumes with Cal challenging a tough trio of Pac-10 opponents. First up for the Bears is Stanford, their first meeting since Cal's stunning 4-3 victory on the farm in February. Cal will then travel to Arizona to take on UA and ASU on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Despite having their winning streak ended at 10, the Bears performed well in SoCal over the weekend, upsetting No. 2 UCLA and just barely being edged by No. 19 USC. Neither match will count in Pac-10 play, however, as the conference matches are scheduled for later this month.
Saturday's 4-3 loss to USC capped the Bears' 10-match winning streak, which ties for the third longest in school history. The stretch also marks the longest of Peter Wright's head coaching career, as Wright was in his third season as an assistant in 1989. The longest winning streak in Bear history came in 1931, when Cal opened its season with 14-consecutive victories. The '89 squad's 11 straight is the second longest such stretch for Cal.
ABOUT STANFORD: The Cardinal is the sixth-ranked team in the country, led by K.J. Hippensteel, who is the No. 4 player in the nation with a 12-4 record on the top court. Taking charge on the doubles courts for Stanford is the combination of Scott Lipsky and David Martin, the ITA's top-ranked doubles combo. Cal shocked the top-ranked Cardinal the last time they met, handing them a 4-3 loss on the farm. The last time that the Bears swept the Cardinal in a season came in 1962, the year before Wright was born (12/8/63).
ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 69 by the ITA, and feature an 8-9 record (1-3 Pac-10). Arizona boasts 40th-ranked Stephen Capriati who, while playing at the top spot, leads the team in wins with 10. Capriati and Carl Hagman also are the Wildcats' top doubles duo, amassing a 7-7 record there. Last month at Hellman, the Bears breezed to a 6-1 victory over the Wildcats, and own a 34-12 all-time advantage over Arizona.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: No. 38 Arizona State has compiled a 9-8 (2-3 Pac-10) record entering its last homestand of the season. The Sun Devils are led by Matt Klinger, who has posted a 10-6 mark at the top singles court this season. ASU's top doubles tandem of Klinger and Mitchell Brown is ranked 21st in the nation with a 9-7 record at the No. 1 spot. Cal routed the Sun Devils last month at Hellman, sending them packing by a 6-1 score. The Bears hold a 38-10 edge against ASU.
LAST WEEK AGAINST UCLA: The team handed second-ranked UCLA its second loss of the season, 4-3, Friday in Los Angeles. UCLA got off to a quick start by defeating Cal's of Ben Miles and Balazs Veress on the top court, 8-1. Freshman sensation Mik Ledvonova continued to sparkle for the Bears, blowing UCLA's Nick Kreiss off of court six in singles, breezing to a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Cal's team captain, Fruttero, finished off the higher-ranked Clemens in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4 to complete the upset on the top court.
LAST WEEK AGAINST USC: The team had its six week-long winning streak snapped Saturday at the hands of the No. 19 USC Trojans, 4-3. Cal opened impressively, seizing the lead over the higher-ranked Trojans by taking the doubles point in a hard-fought battle on the third court. Chase Exon and Niland defeated Prakash Amritraj and Andrew Park by a 9-8 score. Three Cal players suffered straight set losses in singles, but Conor Niland continued to perform at a top level, dispatching Amritraj in a pair of 6-4 sets.
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