No. 3 Cal (17-3, 3-1) Blows Out No. 33 Arizona, 7-0
April 11, 2003
Berkeley, Calif. - The third-ranked California men's tennis team (17-3, 3-1, Pac-10) claimed its fifth consecutive victory over the Arizona Wildcats this afternoon with a swift 7-0 sweep at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. The Bears swept all three doubles matches and all six singles contests, losing only one set in the victory.
With Steve Berke (thigh) and #125 Mik Ledvonova (shoulder) sidelined with injuries, head coach Peter Wright was forced to play with the doubles combinations once again. After starting four consecutive matches on court two, senior John Paul Fruttero and sophomore Patrick Briaud took to court No. 1 to face the Wildcats' top duo of Paul Warkentin and Whi Kim. The Cal tandem, led by Fruttero's powerful serve, charged their way to an 8-3 victory. On court No. 3, freshman Or Dekel and Robert Kowalczyk were having their way with Carl Hagman and Colin O'Grady in a rematch of the Cal pair's only previous match playing together. Dekel and Kowalczyk defeated the Wildcat duo 8-5 in early March, and today they opened up a quick 6-0 lead en route to the easy 8-2 win and the doubles point for the Bears.
With the point in hand, Cal's hottest tandem of Conor Niland and Balazs Veress were battling it out with Roger Matalonga and Colin O'Grady on court two. After breaking O'Grady's service twice to take the 6-3 lead, the Bear duo broke Matalonga to win the match 8-3 and improve to 4-0 on the season.
Fresh off his doubles win, #33 Conor Niland put on a show for the home crowd on court one. Facing Whi Kim, Niland broke the match wide open with a 6-0 first set in which he missed very few shots. It wasn't until Niland had taken eight straight games that Kim tallied a game of his own, as the Cal sophomore overpowered his opponent for the 6-0, 6-1 victory. Moments later on court five, #58 Robert Kowalczyk extended his win streak to six with a tidy 6-2, 6-1 decision over Colin O'Grady.
With the 3-0 lead, it was a battle between John Paul Fruttero on court two and Wayne Wong on court six to see who would clinch the match for the Bears. Fruttero, however, drew the honor. The All-American showed why he entered the fall ranked #4 in the nation, busting out to a 6-3 first set over #112 Carl Hagman. But Fruttero stumbled out of the block in the second set, falling behind 3-0. The senior captain showed resolve in battling back from the early deficit to win six straight games and the 6-3, 6-3 victory. Wong followed Fruttero's lead, completing a 6-3, 6-1 decision over Daniel Andrus in Wong's first dual action since the Bears took on Arizona in Tucson (3/8).
The last men standing, Or Dekel and Balazs Veress, were engaged in battles of their own on courts three and four, respectively. Dekel claimed his first set easily over Warkentin and battled back in the second after being down 4-2 to take the 6-3, 7-6 victory. Veress, on the other hand, dropped his first set to Matalonga, but jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second en route to the 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 tie-breaker decision and the Cal sweep.
Cal returns to action tomorrow, Saturday, April 12 in a Pac-10 matchup with No. 29 Arizona State at 11:00 a.m. at Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley.
FINAL RESULTSNo. 3 California 7, No. 33 Arizona 0
DOUBLES (California wins the point)1. Briaud/Fruttero (CAL) d. Kim/Warkentin (AZ), 8-32. Niland/Veress (CAL) d. Matalonga/O'Grady (AZ), 8-33. Dekel/Kowalczyk (CAL) d. Andrus/Hagman (AZ), 8-2
SINGLES1. #33 Conor Niland (CAL) d. Whi Kim (AZ), 6-0, 6-12. John Paul Fruttero (CAL) d. #112 Carl Hagman (AZ), 6-3, 6-3*3. #111 Or Dekel (CAL) d. Paul Warkentin (AZ), 6-3, 7-64. Balazs Veress (CAL) d. Roger Matalonga (AZ), 4-6, 6-2, 1-05. #58 Robert Kowalczyk (CAL) d. Colin O'Grady (AZ), 6-2, 6-16. Wayne Wong (CAL) d. Daniel Andrus (AZ), 6-3, 6-1ORDER OF FINISH: 1, 5, 2, 6, 3, 4*Clinched the match
RECORDS: No. 4 California 17-3 (3-1, Pac-10), No. 33 Arizona 8-9 (2-3, Pac-10)
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