No. 28 Men's Tennis to Face SMU, USF This Weekend

March 14, 2006

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The No. 28 California Golden Bears men's tennis team will travel to Pebble Beach, Calif., to face No. 55 SMU on Saturday, March 18, and San Francisco on Sunday, March 19. Last weekend, the Bears traveled to the desert and left with two victories against Pac-10 foes Arizona and Arizona State.

The SMU Mustangs will aim to keep its nearly perfect record alive when they face the Bears this weekend in Pebble Beach, Calif. The Mustangs boast a 9-1 record, with a match looming on Wednesday against Columbia. SMU is led by senior Peter Oredsson, who lost his match against Virginia Tech's Arvid Puraen, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

San Francisco travels to Pebble Beach, Calif., with a 3-8 record. The Dons will square up against Bradley and Minnesota before they meet Cal on Sunday. San Francisco is coming off a shock loss to Santa Clara, which snapped the Dons' 19-match home winning streak on Thursday, March 9. Junior Matt Berry lost to Santa Clara's Jan Maeck in the first position, 7-6 (1), 6-3.

The Bears are No. 28 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, March 14, by the ITA. Senior Conor Niland and Junior Tyler Browne are the only Golden Bears ranked in the individual poll. Niland is No. 16 and Browne is No. 105. In doubles Niland and Browne rank No. 42. The individual poll will be released again on March 21.

No. 16 senior Conor Niland boasts a 9-0 record in singles matches. This past weekend against the Arizona schools, Niland extended his streak. He recorded a victory over No. 42 Roger Mataloga, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, and then slipped past Arizona State's Jonathan Kinsella, 7-6, 6-4. Niland also defeated fourth-ranked Lars Poerschke of Baylor, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, a week ago, and then against BYU Niland went into three sets again for only the second time this season against James Ludlow. Niland won the match, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1. The Limerick, Ireland, native has been named men's tennis Pac-10 Player of the Week twice so far this season.

In all the mixing of the doubles pairs, head coach Peter Wright has found the right combination. Seniors Lennart Maack and Dean Wallace have been paired and played both in the second and third positions. The duo boasts wins over Fresno State's Sam Tadevosian and Jordi Ballester, 8-0, along with their most recent victory in the No. 2 position, defeating Stanford's Blake Muller and Jon Wong, 8-4. Prior to their pairing, Maack was teamed with junior Daniel Sebescen and Wallace with junior Tyler Browne. At first position doubles, the Bears seem to have their best match. Senior Conor Niland and Browne teamed up to defeat the sixth-ranked Baylor duo of Matija Zgaga and Jon Reckewey, 8-4, on Sunday. The pair is 2-0, with its win against Zgaga and Reckewey and a victory against Fresno State's Sergiu Modoc and Sam Gibbs, 8-4.

The California men's tennis team came back from loosing three doubles matches to defeat No. 42 Arizona 5-2 on their home court Friday with five singles victories. In singles, No. 16 senior Conor Niland continued his success in singles defeating No. 42 Roger Matalonga in three sets. Niland won the first set, 7-5, but dropped the second set (4-6) before easily sliding past Matalonga in the third set 6-1. Senior Lennart Maack defeated Claudio Christen in the third position, 6-2, 6-3. In the fourth position, freshman Eoin Heavey went into three sets to outlast Jason Labrosse, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3. Sophomore Ken Nakahara broke out of his rut and beat Peter Zimmer in two sets, 6-2, 6-4. Junior Daniel Sebescen's win over Bruno Alcala in the third position, 7-5, 6-3, was the clinching victory for the Bears on Friday. Junior Tyler Browne was Cal's lone loss in singles, as he fell to Jeff Groslimond, 6-4, 6-4, in the second position. Cal opened the match struggling in doubles. The No. 42 duo of Wallace and Niland fell to UA's pair Goslimond and Christen, 8-5, in the first position. Matalonga and Francois VanderMerwe defeated Heavey and Sebeacen, 7-6. In the third position, senior Dean Wallace and Maack fell to Alcala and Zimmer, 8-5.

The No. 30 California men's tennis team's match against Arizona State was postponed on Saturday due to inclement weather. The match was rescheduled for Sunday morning. The Golden Bears easily routed the No. 49 Sun Devils, 6-0. The Bears swept Arizona State in singles. No. 16 senior Conor Niland extended his streak to 9-0 in singles as he defeated Jonathan Kinsella in two sets, 7-6, 6-4 in the first position. Junior Tyler Browne easily defeated Nick Hegarty in the second position, 6-1, 6-0. It took two sets for senior Lennart Maack to defeat Chris Biro in the third position, 6-4, 6-3. In the fourth position, Junior Daniel Sebescen beat T.J. Bellama in two sets, 6-2, 6-1. Freshman Eoin Heavey used all three sets to defeat Wes Miller in the fifth position, 7-6, 1-6, 6-4. In the sixth position, sophomore Ken Nakahara finished off Ryan Waits in two sets, 6-3, 6-0. Doubles were not played due to inclement weather and time restraints.

On the 2005-06 men's tennis roster, the Golden Bears host eight athletes from a different country other than the United States. Two are from Ireland, senior Conor Niland and freshman Eoin Heavey. Seniors Dean Wallace hails from Manila, Philippines and Lennart Maack is from Germany. Junior Daniel Sebescen is from Yugoslavia. Sophomore Ken Nakahara hails from Japan. Sophomore Vaclav Burger is from Czech Republic.

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.

The Bears will come home to host the University of British Columbia on Wednesday, March 22, before traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, to face host TCU and Pepperdine.

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