No. 28 Cal Hosts Final Home Stand vs. USC, UCLA

April 13, 2004

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Cal Hosts Final Home Stand of 2004 Season: The No. 28 California men's tennis team hosts No. 3 USC and No. 4 UCLA this weekend in its final home stand this season. The Golden Bears (7-14 overall, 2-3 Pac-10) have lost four of their last five matches. Cal defeated No. 11 Stanford in Berkeley on April 6, but then lost on the road to No. 23 Arizona, 5-2, and Arizona State, 6-1, last weekend.

Cal lost both matches against the Bruins and Trojans by 7-0 margins two weekends ago in Los Angeles, but those matches do not count in the conference standings. The Bears have a shot at redemption this weekend - this time the matches count toward the Pac-10 standings and with wins against both USC and UCLA, Cal will finish the regular season with a winning conference record.

A Quick Glance at USC and UCLA: USC is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation with an 18-2 overall record, 5-0 in the Pac-10. Led by No. 23 Adriano Biasella, the Trojans have won their last 10 matches and remain undefeated in league play. USC beat Cal, 7-0, in their last meeting on April 3 in Los Angeles. USC holds a 115-33-4 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.

UCLA enters the week ranked No. 4 with a 16-5 overall record, 4-1 in the Pac-10. The Bruins play at Stanford on Friday before meeting Cal. UCLA is led by No. 6 Tobias Clemens and the No. 8 doubles tandem of Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta. The Bruins have won their last seven matches in a row, including victories last weekend over Oregon, 6-1, and No. 18 Washington, 5-2. UCLA beat Cal, 7-0, in their most recent meeting on April 2 in Los Angeles. UCLA holds a 108-37-1 advantage in the all-time series between the Bears and Bruins.

Final Home Matches for Three Cal Seniors: This weekend's matches vs. USC and UCLA will be the final home matches for three Cal seniors: Kuni Minato, Balazs Veress and Wayne Wong.

Pac-10 Championships on Horizon: After closing the regular season this weekend, Cal travels to Ojai, Calif., for the Pac-10 championships April 22-25.

Tough Schedule: Fourteen of Cal's 21 dual matches this season have been against teams currently ranked in the Top 25. With five newcomers playing important roles for head coach Peter Wright, 2004's tough schedule is sure to pay off in the coming years, as Cal's freshmen mature against the best the nation has to offer.

Close Matches: The Bears have been involved in several close matches this season. Seven of Cal's 21 dual matches have been decided by one point this season. Cal is only 3-4 in those matches overall, but the Bears have won their last two 4-3 decisions, including victories over No. 20 Harvard (March 29) and No. 11 Stanford (April 6). Since the beginning of March, Cal is 3-2 in games decided by one point.

Ranked Bears: New individual rankings will be released April 20. The latest ITA individual rankings (as of April 6):

Singles                   DoublesNo. 14 Conor Niland       No. 21 Balazs Veress / Patrick BriaudNo. 57 Balazs VeressNo. 118 Wayne Wong

Wright Stuff: Head coach Peter Wright has guided the Golden Bears to nine NCAA appearances during his tenure at Cal. The ninth coach in the history of the program, he was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2001 and 1997, and received his first coaching award in 1994, when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year for guiding the Bears back to postseason play after Cal had missed the NCAA Tournament the previous two seasons. Wright has compiled a 147-106 (.581) career record during his 11 years in Berkeley.

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