No. 5 Bears (11-1) Win Fifth Straight, Best No. 40 SMU, 4-2
March 15, 2003
Indian Wells, Calif. - The California men's tennis team (11-1) earned its fifth straight victory this afternoon, with a 4-2 decision over No. 40 SMU inside the grounds of the Pacific Life Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. After dropping the first six ever head-to-head matches vs. the Mustangs, Cal has rallied to take the last five straight in the series to improve to 5-6 all-time vs. SMU.
Due to rainy weather conditions in Indian Wells, the doubles portion of the match was not played. But there was still work to be done on the singles courts. Cal's top-ranked player, No. 38 Conor Niland was first off the courts with a quick 6-1, 6-1 decision over No. 106 Lukasz Senczyszyn on court No. 1. With the victory, Niland notched his fifth consecutive win and improves to 4-0 on the top court this year. Up 1-0 early, junior Balazs Veress quickly followed suit with his own 6-1, 6-1 victory over Alexis Rudzinski on court No. 2.
Things were going the Bears way early on and only kept getting better. Sophomore Mik Ledvonova put Cal up 3-0 with his tenth consecutive victory - this time a 7-6(12), 6-2 triumph over Henrik Soderberg on court five. The Denmark native is now 4-0 on court five this year, and 6-0 on court No. 6 for a perfect 10-0 record through 12 matches. His 10-match win streak dates all the way back to Feb. 1, when he defeated Carter Morris of Stanford in a 4-3 Cal win.
On both courts three and four, the action was heating up as freshman Or Dekel and 41st-ranked Robert Kowalczyk were battling in three-set thrillers. Dekel succumbed first, ending his win streak at three with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 loss to No. 48 Johan Brunstrom. Now with a glimmer of hope in their eyes, down 3-1 with two matches in progress, the Longhorns had reason for optimism. But it was Cal's Patrick Briaud that provided the backbreaker on court No. 6 with his 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 decision over Peter Oredsson to clinch the match for the Bears.
On court four with the match already in hand, Kowalczyk was playing for personal pride and looking to extend his six-match winning streak. No such luck today, though, as No. 90 Gwinyai Chingoka eeked out a 7-6(6), 3-6, 7-5 victory over the Cal senior for his first loss of the season on court four.
Cal returns to action Monday, March 24 as the Bears take on BYU at 1:30 p.m. at Hellman Tennis Complex.
RESULTNo. 5 California 4, No. 40 SMU 2
SINGLES1. No. 38 Conor Niland (Cal) d. No. 106 Lukasz Senczyszynn (SMU), 6-1, 6-12. Balazs Veress (Cal) d, Alexis Rudzinski (SMU), 6-1, 6-13. No. 48 Johan Brunstrom (SMU) def. Or Dekel (Cal), 6-4, 3-6, 6-34. No. 90 Gwinyai Chingoka (SMU) d. No. 41 Robert Kowalczyk (Cal), 7-6(6), 3-6, 7-55. Mik Ledvonova (Cal) d. Henrik Soderberg (SMU), 7-6(12), 6-26. Patrick Briaud (Cal) d. Peter Oredsson (SMU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
DOUBLESNot played due to weather.
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