No. 30 Men's Tennis Host No. 26 Washington, Oregon
March 28, 2006
The No. 30 California Golden Bears men's tennis team (10-4, 3-2 Pac-10) will return home on Friday, March 31, to host No. 26 Washington at 1:30 p.m. (PST) and Oregon on Saturday, April 1, at 1p.m. (PST). The matches will be held at Hellman Tennis Center. Last Weekend California dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 2 Pepperdine and defeated TCU 5-2 on Monday.
SCOUTING NO. 26 WASHINGTON:
The No. 26 Washington Huskies will enter Friday's match with a 13-3 record and 1-1 in conference play. The Huskies last played against No. 2 Pepperdine on Wednesday, March 22, when they lost 7-0 to the Waves. Washington is led by No. 39 Alex Slovic, who boasts a 11-4 singles record in the first position. On the doubles courts for the Huskies, Slovic and Daniel Chu are ranked No. 17. The pair lost to the No. 1 doubles duo of Scott Doerner and Andre Begemann from Pepeperdine in their last match.
Oregon comes to Berkeley with a 6-7 record. The Ducks lost to San Francisco, 4-3. This will be the Ducks' second Pac-10 match of the season. In its first Pac-10 match against Washington, Oregon lost 6-1. Markus Schiller is 3-3 in the first position of singles. His most recent win is against Memphis' James Spence in two sets, 6-4, 6-3.
The Bears are No. 30 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Tuesday, March 28, by the ITA. Senior Conor Niland and Junior Tyler Browne are the only Bears ranked in the individual poll. Niland is No. 11 and Browne is No. 122. In doubles Niland and Browne rank No. 58. The individual poll will be released again on April 4.
BEST OF THE BEST:
In the first 14 dual matches of the season Cal posted a 10-4 record. This is the best start since the 2003 season, when the Bears went 12-1. That year the Bears were ranked No. 4 but lost to Stanford in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships. In 2004, Cal was 4-8, and in 2005, the Bears opened 6-7.
No. 11 senior Conor Niland boasts an 12-0 record in singles matches. This past weekend Niland continued his streak, defeating No. 4 Scott Doerner of Pepperdine in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Niland is tied with Tulsa's No. 8 Arbau Brugues for best winning streak in the country at 13-0 on the season. Last weekend's win over Doerner is not Niland's first upset victory of the season - Niland defeated then-fourth-ranked Lars Poerschke of Baylor, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, and had already posted an upset win over UCLA's then-No. 3 Benjamin Kohlloeffel, 6-3, 6-2. The Limerick, Ireland, native has been named men's tennis Pac-10 Player of the Week twice so far this season.
THE DOUBLE DUO:
Juniors Daniel Sebescen and John Pettit have posted three wins in the last three matches. Playing in the third doubles position against Pepperdine, the pair defeated Omar Altmann and Richard Johnson, 8-4 and against TCU defeated Alex Brink and Jacopo Tezza, 8-2.
THE RIGHT MIX:
At first position doubles, the Bears seem to have their best match in senior Conor Niland and junior Tyler Browne. The duo has already posted an upset victory over the then sixth-ranked Baylor duo of Matija Zgaga and Jon Reckewey, 8-4, en route to a No. 42 ranking by the ITA. The pair suffered its first lost this season to Arizona's Claudio Christen and Jeff Groslimond, 8-5. Niland and Browne are 4-1 on the season, after picking up two wins this weekend against SMU and USF.
LAST WEEKEND AGAINST NO. 2 PEPPERDINE:
Cal fell to No. 2 Pepperdine on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. The Bears collected two singles victories and one doubles win. In singles, No. 11 senior Conor Niland collected his 12th-straight singles victory of the season by upsetting No. 4 Scott Doerner in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Sophomore Ken Nakahara picked up the Bears' second singles win, when he defeated Richard Johnson in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, in the fifth position. No. 122 junior Tyler Browne was defeated by No.19 Pedro Rico in two sets, 6-4, 6-4, in the second position. Senior Lennart Maack fell to No. 66 Ivor Lovrak in three sets, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. In the fourth position junior Daniel Sebescen lost to Andre Begemann, 7-6, 6-2. Senior Dean Wallace fell to Omar Altmann, 6-4, 7-6, in the sixth position. Sebescen and junior John Pettit were the only successful duo on the doubles court by defeating Altmann and Johnson, 8-4. No. 58 Niland and Browne fell to the No. 1 pair in the nation Doerner and Begeman, 8-3. Maack and Wallace also dropped a doubles match to Lovrak and Rico, 8-4.
MONDAY AGAINST TCU:
No. 26 Cal picked up the doubles point and four singles matches to defeat TCU on its home court in Fort Worth, Texas. No. 11 senior Conor Niland expanded his record to 13-0 in the first position of singles as he defeated Andrei Mlendea in two sets, 6-3, 6-1. Niland now is tied with Tulsa's No. 6 Arnau Brugues, who is also 13-0 on the season, for the best winning streak in the country. No. 122 junior Tyler Browne beat Rafael Abreu in two sets, 6-3, 6-2, in the second position. Senior Lennart Maack picked up a victory over Cosmin Cotet in the third position, 6-0, 6-4. In the fourth position, junior Daniel Sebescen fell to Jacopo Tezza, 1-6, 6-3 (10-2). Sophomore Ken Nakahara fell in his fifth position match to Radu Barbu in two sets, 6-0, 6-3. Senior Dean Wallace secured a win in the sixth position with his win over Jordan Freitas, 6-0, 6-3. The No. 58 duo of Niland and Browne outlasted Abreu and Freitas in the first position, 9-7. In the second position, Maack and Wallace fell to Cotet and Mlendea, 8-5. Junior John Pettit and Sebescen beat Alex Brink and Tezza, 8-2, in the third position.
On the 2005-06 men's tennis roster, the Bears host seven 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 former Cal standout Patrick Briaud, who enters his first season.
The Bears will travel to face the Los Angeles schools next weekend. Cal will square off against USC on Friday, April 7 and UCLA on Saturday, April 8.