No. 7 Cal (14-2, 2-0) Prepares for No. 4 UCLA, No. 28 USC
April 1, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: Fresh off a pair of Pac-10 victories over Oregon and No. 9 Washington this past weekend, the No. 7 California men's tennis team (12-2, 2-0, Pac-10) returns home for more Pac-10 action against No. 4 UCLA (16-1, 3-0) Friday, April 4 at 1:30 p.m. and No. 28 USC (11-6, 1-2) Saturday, April 5 at noon. Both matches will take place at the Hellman Tennis Center in Berkeley, while neither contest counts towards the schools' Pac-10 records.
THE LAST TIME: The Bears enter this week as the No. 7-ranked team in the nation, while the women's squad checks in at No. 4 in the country. The last time that both the men's and women's teams were simultaneously ranked in the Top 10 of the USTA/ITA rankings was Sept. 18, 1991.
IN THE PAC-10: Pac-10 schools represent four of the Top 10 teams in the nation. UCLA is the highest nationally ranked team in the country, checking in at No. 4, while Stanford is No. 6, Cal at No. 7 and Washington at No. 9. Versus conference opponents, the Bears are 2-0 with a 6-1 victory over Oregon (3/28) and a 5-2 decision over Washington (3/29).
MAGIC MIK: As a freshman last season, No. 124 Mik Ledvonova finished tied with then-junior John Paul Fruttero for second place on the team in dual match victories (16-3). So, it is not surprising that the Denmark product has started 2003 in much the same manner, compiling a 14-0 record through 16 dual matches. After primarily competing at No. 6 singles last year, Ledvonova has bounced between courts five and six this season, posting a 4-0 record on five and 10-0 on six.
FRUTTERO'S RETURN: Senior captain John Paul Fruttero returned to action last week for the first time since January's wrist surgery. The All-American took the doubles court with fellow senior Steve Berke against BYU (3/24), as the Cal duo suffered an 8-6 defeat to Lozano/Nyman. Fruttero followed his initial performance with a singles loss to Illinois' No. 14 Rajeev Ram (3/25) and his first victory of the season over Oregon's Oded Tieg (3/28). He then teamed with sophomore Patrick Briaud for his first doubles victory of the year against Washington. Also against the Huskies, Fruttero drew the challenge of facing No. 8 Alex Vlaski in singles play, and suffered his second defeat of the season.
SCOUTING UCLA: The fourth-ranked Bruins enter this week on a five-match win streak and claim the second highest nationally ranked singles player in the Pac-10, No. 9 Tobias Clemens. Clemens leads the 16-1 (3-0, Pac-10) UCLA squad with a 24-4 overall record, 12-2 in dual action. In addition to Clemens, the Bruins boast five other players ranked in the Top 100.
SCOUTING USC: The defending national champion Trojans head to Berkeley with a No. 28 national ranking and an 11-6 overall record (1-2, Pac-10). Sophomore Prakash Amritraj is the highest ranked of the Trojans, checking in at No. 34 in the nation with a 12-2 dual match record on court No. 1. Pepperdine sophomore transfer Johan Berg is the only other member to make the Top 125 list with a No. 80 ranking, while leading USC in overall wins with a 21-12 record.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Doubles competition has not been the hallmark of this year's squad. Though the team has claimed 10 of a possible 16 doubles points, Cal enters this week with a cumulative 38-36 (.513) record. The squad has also experimented with 20 various combinations overall and 12 in dual match play. Briaud and Balazs Veress lead the team in wins with a 10-4 overall record.