No. 16 Men's Tennis Travels to Rival Stanford This Weekend

Feb. 14, 2006

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The No. 16 California Golden Bears men's tennis team will travel across the Bay to face rival Stanford on Saturday. The match is slated to start at 1 p.m. (PST). The Bears defeated Fresno State 7-0, this past weekend at the Hellman Tennis Center. Senior Conor Niland recorded his fifth singles victory this season.

No. 6 Stanford enters Saturday's match with a 4-0 record, including an upset 4-3 victory over the then-ranked No. 4 UCLA Bruins on Feb. 4. The Cardinal is led by three-time All-American senior No. 21 K.C. Corkery. In the No. 1 position Corkery has already has a 3-1 record, with his only loss at the hands of UCLA's third-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel. The No. 1 doubles pair of fifth-ranked Corkery and junior James Pade also boasts a 3-1 record.

The Bears moved up the rankings to No. 16 in the first Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, Feb. 14, by the ITA. Two Golden Bears are still ranked in the individual poll - junior Tyler Browne was ranked No. 55 and Daniel Sebescen was ranked No. 79. The individual poll will be released again on Feb. 20.

Senior Conor Niland boasts a 5-0 record in singles matches. He secured his fifth victory this weekend over Fresno State's Jakub Cech. In all five wins Niland has defeated his opponent in two sets. A week before Niland upset UCLA's third-ranked Benjamin Kohlloeffel, 6-3, 6-2. This is Niland's best season-opening record while at Cal. He also received the Pac-10 Player of the Week honor (Feb. 6-12).

After struggling the week before in doubles against the Los Angeles schools, the Bears seem to have found the right mix - as they swept Fresno State in doubles. In the first position senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne were paired, in the second position juniors Daniel Sebescen and John Pettit were matched together and in the third position seniors Lennart Maack and Dean Wallace defeated their opponents 8-0.

California has posted its best opening record since the 2003 season. In 2003 Cal opened 5-0 (1-0 Pac-10). This season the Bears have recorded a 4-1 record (1-1 Pac-10).

The win over Fresno State was only Cal's second clean sweep of all points in a match this season. On Jan. 22, the Bears also defeated Saint Mary's 7-0.

The California men's tennis team improved to 4-1 overall after it swept the Fresno State Bulldogs, at the Hellman Tennis Center in Berkeley. The Bears won all six singles matches in two sets. Cal adjusted their doubles teams and picked up three wins. In singles, senior Conor Niland expanded his dual-match winning streak to five in the first position by defeating Jakub Cech in two sets, 6-1, 6-2. In the second position senior Lennart Maack easily beat Sergiu Modoc in two sets, 6-1, 6-1. Junior Tyler Browne picked up another Bears' victory against Charles Irie in the third position, 6-3, 6-1. In the fourth position junior Daniel Sebescen defeated Sam Tadevosian in two sets, 6-3, 6-3. Sophomore Ken Nakahara secured Cal's fifth singles point when he defeated Jordi Ballester, 6-2, 6-4. In the sixth position, junior John Pettit outlasted Sam Gibbs and defeated him in a tiebreaker, 4-6, 6-1 (3). After dropping six doubles matches between both UCLA and USC last weekend, the Bears mixed up their pairs and won all three matches on Saturday. Niland and Browne teamed in the first position, defeating Gibbs and Modoc, 8-4. In the second position, Sebescen and Pettit won 8-0 over Irie and Cech. Maack and senior Dean Wallace easily defeated Tadevosian and Ballester in 25 minutes, 8-0.

Considered one of the best teachers and tacticians in men's collegiate tennis, Peter Wright has developed a reputation for getting more out of his players than perhaps any coach in the country. Wright's coaching talent hasn't gone unnoticed. In 1997 and 2001 he was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. He received his first coaching award in 1994 when he was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year. Wright and the Bears have been a fixture in the NCAA Tournament almost every year since. The ninth coach in the 110-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 149-110 (.576) career record during his tenure in Berkeley. Wright currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as well as the Youth Tennis Advantage and the Arthur Ashe Tennis Foundation of the Bay Area. He established the Bear Trax program at Cal, which brings inner-city children from Oakland to Berkeley for academic tutoring with Cal students and tennis tutoring with the Cal men's and women's teams. Wright is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee. He is assisted by Patrick Briaud, who enters his first season.

California will return home on Sun., Feb. 26, to host Baylor. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. (PST). The Bears will additionally host the BYU Cougars on Tues., Feb. 28, at 1:30 p.m. (PST).

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