Bears Prepare for ITA Regional Championships
Oct. 24, 2002
Moraga, Calif. - While the women travel down the peninsula to Stanford, the California men's tennis team will travel East to take part in their version of the 2002 Omni Hotels ITA Northwest Regional Championships, taking place Saturday, Oct. 26 through Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Saint Mary's College in Moraga.
Cal will send a total of nine players to the 100-man draw, with four Bears seeded in the Top-16. Junior Balazs Veress, nationally ranked #43 in the preseason poll, comes in as the highest of the Bears' seeds at No. 5. Teammates No. 6 Conor Niland, ranked #49, No. 9-16 seed Wayne Wong and No. 9-16 Robert Kowalczyk round out the list of seeded Cal players, all receiving first round byes.
Veress enters regional competition after competing solidly in the Napa Valley Tennis Challenge and reaching the second round of the All-American Championships in Chattanooga, TN. Sophomore Conor Niland is 3-1 in fall competition, having reached the quarterfinals of the All-American tournament. Wong, who recently won the San Diego All-College Tournament title, is having a spectacular fall season, entering the regionals with a 7-1 overall record. Perhaps the best individual win of the fall belongs to Kowalczyk, who defeated Amer Delic of Illinois, who is ranked #6 nationally and was a finalist at the All-American tournament.
Seniors Jeff King and Kevin Patrick; as well as sophomores Mik Ledvonova, Patrick Briaud and Dean Wallace will also be representing the Bears in tournament action. In the first round of play, Patrick faces Gonzaga's Bryce Cooper, King matches up against Sacramento State's Jacob Stiva and Wallace opposes Bret Britzer of Nevada-Reno. Kowalczyk has a bye.
In doubles competition, the No. 1-seed of Kowalczyk and Veress has a first round bye, as does the sixth-seeded Briaud-Niland combo and the pair of Wallace and Wong. The senior duo of King and Patrick will square off against Cal Poly's Travis Crawford and Scott Sans-Leeb at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The winner of the Regional Championship advances to the Nov. 7-10 Omni Hotels National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Note: Senior John Paul Fruttero, pre-season #4 nationally is taking the fall off school and is playing in Professional tournaments around the world as an amateur.
COMPLETE CAL RESULTS:
Singles:Saturday, Oct. 26 - 1st RoundNo. 5 Balazs Veress, Cal vs. byeNo. 6 Conor Niland, Cal vs. byeNo. 9 Wayne Wong, Cal vs. byeNo. 9 Robert Kowalczyk vs. byeNo. 17 Mik Ledvonova, Cal vs. byePatrick Briaud, Cal vs. byeKevin Patrick, Cal vs. Bryce Cooper, Gonzaga (8:00 a.m.)Jeff King, Cal vs. Jacob Silva, Sacramento State (11:00 a.m.)Dean Wallace, Cal vs. Bret Britzer, Nevada-Reno (11:15 a.m.)Saturday, Oct. 26 - 2nd RoundWayne Wong, Cal vs TBA (12:15pm)Conor Niland, Cal vs. TBA (1:00pm)Balazs Veress, Cal vs. TBA (2:00pm)Mik Ledvonova, Cal vs TBA (2:00pm)Patrick Briaud, Cal vs. TBA (2:15pm)Robert Kowalczyk, Cal vs TBA (2:45pm)Doubles:Saturday, Oct. 26 - 1st RoundWallace/Wong, cal vs. byeNo. 6 Briaud/Niland, Cal vs. byeNo. 1 Kowalczyk/Veress, Cal vs. byeKing/Patrick, Cal vs. Travis Crawford/Scott Sans-Leeb, Cal Poly (5:00 p.m.)