No. 25 Cal Heads To Tulsa For Two Matches This Weekend
Feb. 6, 2007
The No. 25 California men's tennis team looks to get back on its winning ways after losing two matches last weekend. The Golden Bears head to Tulsa, Okla., to square off against No. 19 Texas Saturday, Feb. 10, and No. 29 Tulsa Sunday, Feb. 11. Cal (3-2) started last week on the right foot with a 6-1 victory over Santa Clara (Jan. 30). Following the trip to Tulsa this weekend, the Bears wrap up the month with three home matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
Texas (1-1) was idle last weekend. The Longhorns were knocked off by No. 23 Michigan, 5-2, in their last match. After getting swept in doubles, Texas managed to win two singles matches after the Wolverines had clinched the victory. The two Texas singles wins came from sophomore Miguel Reyes and freshman Josh Zavala. The week before, the Longhorns won their dual-season opener against No. 41 SMU, 5-2. Zavala picked up doubles and singles wins for Texas against the Mustangs. The Longhorns won two out of the three doubles matches and four of the six singles matches.Tulsa (4-1) picked up a win over No. 44 Fresno State last weekend, 4-3. Two weeks prior, Tulsa suffered its first loss of the season to Oklahoma State, 4-3. Before the defeat, the Golden Hurricanes won their first three matches of the season over Lamar, Arkansas-Little Rock and Arkansas. Cal will have to deal with a lot of ranked players for Tulsa. No. 6 Arnau Brugues and No. 34 Will Gray are the two top-ranked Golden Hurricanes in singles. Tulsa also has two doubles teams ranked in the top 15 (No. 8 Diego Camacho/Ross Cunninghman and No. 12 Federico Soriano/Brugues).
BEARS FALL IN LOS ANGELES:
Cal was swept by No. 3 UCLA and No. 15 USC, as the Bears lost their first two matches of the season last weekend. Against UCLA, the day started promising with two Cal doubles teams leading early, both by the score of 4-1. Sophomores Geoff Chizever and Eoin Heavey earned the only win of the day for the Bears, as they knocked off Haythem Abid and Chris Surapol, 8-3. In singles, junior Ken Nakahara was the only Bear to force a tiebreaker set. However, he couldn't get the win, as he lost to Surapol, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0. The following day against USC, things didn't get any better. The Trojans won all three doubles matches to garner the first point of the day. On the No. 1 court, seniors Tyler Browne and John Pettit lost a close match to Jamil Al-Agba and Dejan Cvetkovic, 6-5 (6). In singles, the Bears lost five of the six matches in straight sets. Junior No. 19 Pierre Mouillon was the lone Cal player to win a set. Mouillon won the first set, but was eventually defeated by Al-Agba, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0.
CAL STARTS WEEK OFF WITH THIRD WIN:
Before heading to Los Angeles, Cal won its third-consecutive match of the season last Tuesday against Santa Clara. Cal won two of the three doubles matches. On the No. 1 court, seniors Tyler Browne and John Pettit were facing defeat, trailing Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shields of Santa Clara, 7-4. The Bears would rebound and take the next five consecutive games to win the match, 9-7. The other two doubles matches had to be decided in the tiebreaker set. Freshman Kallim Stewart and junior Ken Nakahara won the deciding doubles match with a 9-8 (6) victory over the Broncos' Brian Brogan and Robert Gallman. Stewart and Nakahara needed a comeback effort in their match, as well. Trailing 6-2, they won the next five out of six games to tie the match at seven, before eventually grabbing the win. The momentum from winning the doubles point carried over into the singles matches, as four of the Bears' five singles victories came in straight sets.
GREAT FALL FOR MOUILLON:
In three tournaments during the fall campaign, the highlight for Cal was the performance of junior Pierre Mouillon. His 12 singles wins were the most for the Bears. He also advanced the furthest for Cal in the ITA Northwest Regional, (semifinals), and was the only Bear to advance past the first round in the All-American Championships qualifying bracket. Prior to the four wins he picked up in the regional and the six in the championships, Mouillon, a transfer from Mississippi State, also won two of his three matches in the Napa Valley Tennis Classic in September. One of Mouillon's losses this fall was to the No. 1 seed and defending champion in the All-American Championships.
A LOOK AT MOUILLON AND SEBESCEN'S DOUBLES TITLE:
After a slow start to the fall season, Daniel Sebescen and Pierre Mouillon racked up five wins in the ITA Northwest Regional to win the doubles tournament. Their title run culminated with an 8-3 victory over host-Stanford's Blake Muller and Paul Morrissey. The closest match of the weekend for the Bears was their first-round contest with Gabriel Loredo and Hague Van Dillen of Sacramento State. The Hornets fell to the Cal duo, 8-6. Following the opening-round victory, Sebescen and Mouillon then defeated Kevin McQuaid and Blane Shield of Santa Clara, 8-3, in the round of 16. They followed that win with a pair of 8-5 victories over Michael Ricks and Patrick Fischer of Washington and Cal Poly's Matt Raca and Kyle Roybal to send them into the finals.
HEAD COACH Peter Wright:
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. Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2001 and 1997, 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 114-year history of Cal tennis, Wright has compiled a 176-126 (.583) career record heading into this season. 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. This year, Wright and Cal held the inaugural Peter Wright tour, four tournaments during the fall at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Wright is also currently the chairman of the NCAA men's tennis committee. He is assisted by Morten Christensen, who returns to Cal after serving as assistant coach in the 1999-00 season, and Wayne Ferreira, who returns for his eighth year as a volunteer assistant coach.