Golden Bears Hit Pacific Northwest for No. 21 Huskies and Ducks
April 9, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 37-ranked California men's tennis team (9-8, 1-2 Pac-10) heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to take on No. 21 Washington (12-7, 1-2 Pac-10) and Oregon (9-12, 0-3 Pac-10). The Golden Bears will take a crack at the Huskies first in a 1 p.m. match on Friday, April 10, at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, Wash. Next, Cal heads south to Eugene, Ore. for a noon match against the Ducks at the Student Tennis Center. Live stats and updates are available for each match at www.gohuskies.com and www.goducks.com.
LAST WEEK: The Bears got their first Pac-10 win of the season with a 4-2 victory over No. 20 Arizona in the desert. Cal jumped out to an early lead as it claimed the doubles with wins on the top court and court three. Freshman Bear tandem Nick Andrews and Thai Tu clinched the point with their 8-5 win over Jay Goldman and Ravid Hazi at No. 3 doubles. Cal's No. 13-ranked duo of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini got their 23rd doubles win of the year together to get the Bears off on the right foot. The Wildcats fought back to get a couple of points in singles matches but No. 81 Zerbini defeated No. 68 Goldman in three set (6-4, 4-6, 6-3) to seal the match for Cal, 4-2. The Bears returned home for their final match in the Bay Area and hosted No. 17 Pepperdine at the San Francisco Tennis Club. After a spirited rally helped Cal claim the doubles point for the 12th time this season, the Waves proved to be too much as Pepperdine walked away with a narrow 4-3 victory. Sophomore Jonathan Dahan got his 15th singles win of the year, 6-1, 6-4 against Alex Moreno at No. 6 singles. With the Bears winning two singles matches (court six and court five), the final match came down to the top court between Zerbini and No. 32-ranked Bassam Beidas. The two split sets initially with Zerbini winning 6-2 in the first and Beidas getting a 6-4 win in the second. Tied at three-all in the third set, Beidas separated himself by claiming the final three games of the day. For his performance against the Wildcats, Zerbini was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season, becoming just the second Cal player to accomplish such a feat.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: Cal holds the No. 37 spot in the most recent (April 7) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Rankings. Sophomore Pedro Zerbini moved back into the rankings at No. 81 last week and teams up with senior Geoff Chizever to become the No. 13-ranked doubles team in the nation.
ON COURT - NO. 21 WASHINGTON: The Huskies (12-7, 1-2 Pac-10) lost each of their matches in Los Angeles since upsetting Arizona to end a 14-match winning streak by the Wildcats. Washington nearly pulled off another upset as it was narrowly edged by USC, 4-3, on the road. Prior to the two losses, the Huskies had won seven of their last nine matches, including three 7-0 sweeps. Washington is led by No. 40-ranked sophomore Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who has posted a team-high 18 singles wins. Nedunchezhiyan is 15-2 in duals with a 10-1 mark at the top court. No. 113-ranked senior Patrik Fischer has also contributed five wins at No. 1 singles and has amassed a 15-8 record in singles play this season (12-6 in duals). Senior Ryo Sekiguchi is second on the team with a 16-8 record (10-5 in duals) and sophomore Martin Kildahl also has a 15-8 record (12-6 in duals). Together, Fischer and Nedunchezhiyan are ranked No. 43 in doubles and have recorded nine wins together with a 3-1 mark at the top court in duals. Kildahl and junior Derek Drabble also have nine doubles win this year, going 4-0 on the second court. The Bears lead the all-time series with the Huskies by a 29-6 count and are currently riding a three-match winning streak.
ON COURT - OREGON: The Ducks (9-12, 0-3 Pac-10) have lost eight of their last 11 matches since opening the season with a respectable 6-4 mark and enter the weekend on a three-match skid. Oregon's last victory came in the form of a 4-3 victory over San Francisco at home on March 28. The Ducks have four players who have reached double figures in the singles win column. Junior Alexander Cornelissen leads the way with 12 wins (15 losses). Freshmen Jose Izquierdo and Ayrton Wibowo each have 11 wins. Izquierdo has all 11 of his wins in dual competition while Wibowo has an 8-11 record in duals. Sophomore Duncan MacDonald-Korth is fourth on the team with a 10-11 record (8-9 in duals). Cornelissen and junior Marcos Verdasco have a 15-10 record this year, going 12-9 in dual matches at the top doubles court. Oregon has no ranked players or doubles teams. The Bears have never lost to the Ducks and have registered a 24-0 mark in all meetings.
POWER OF THE PAC: The Pacific-10 Conference features six teams ranked in the top 40 of the most recent (April 7) Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll--making it one of the toughest conferences in all of collegiate men's tennis. USC holds the top ranking as the Trojans check in at No. 6. Stanford is ranked No. 8 and UCLA is right behind at No. 9. Arizona is ranked No. 18 with the 21st-ranked Huskies not far behind to give the conference five teams in the top 25 alone. Cal checks in at No. 37 with just Oregon remaining unranked. Last year, six teams from the Pac-10 earned bids to the NCAA tournament with four advancing to the second round. USC and UCLA each advanced to the quarterfinal round where they faced each other with UCLA advancing to the semifinal match. A duo from USC won the doubles championship and Alex Clayton of Stanford advanced to the semifinal of the singles competition among just a short list of conference accomplishments.
ZERBINI REPEATS AS PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Pedro Zerbini was named Pac-10 Men's Tennis Player of the Week for March 30-April 5 to become just the second Cal player to win the award more than once in the same season since Conor Niland in 2006 (three times). Zerbini helped the Bears upset No. 20-ranked Arizona, 4-2, to give the Wildcats their first and only home loss of the season. He teamed up with senior Geoff Chizever to take out No. 80-ranked Pat Methem and Francois VanderMerwe, 8-4, on the top court. Zerbini defeated his fourth-straight ranked player as he dropped a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win on No. 68 Jay Goldman at the top court. Zerbini also won the award on March 19 as he helped the Bears to a fifth consecutive win as Cal took out SMU, 4-3, and USF, 6-1, at the fourth annual Pebble Beach Collegiate Tennis Classic.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Bears have won the doubles point in 12 matches this season and have emerged with the team victory in nine of those ten wins. The Cal lineup features one of the top-15 doubles teams in the country in senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini who hold down the No. 13 ranking with a 23-7 record this year. The two have owned the top doubles court in dual matches to come up with an 12-4 record there. Along the way, the tandem has claimed victories over No. 31 Inglot and Shabaz of Virginia and No. 26-ranked Childs and Childs of Louisville, both at the ITA National Indoor Championships. In dual matches, they have taken out No. 5 Donato and Foegelman of North Carolina and No. 28 Muller and Wire of Stanford. They've also taken wins against No. 3-ranked Farah and Johnson of USC, No. 3 Brugues and Stephens of Tulsa and No. 38-ranked el-Effendi and Walsh of SMU.
FALL 2008 REVIEW: Cal enjoyed a successful fall individual tournament season, highlighted by the play of the doubles team of senior Geoff Chizever and sophomore Pedro Zerbini. The pair won the ITA Northern Cal Championship doubles title and earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Championships. The duo also won the doubles title at the Fresno State Bulldog Classic on their way to an 11-3 record together. Kallim Stewart won the coveted Norma Miner Award at the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic as he swept through his singles matches over the course of the three day tournament. Sophomores Andy Chirita and Zach Gilbert took home the Fresno State Bulldog Classic B Flight doubles title and fellow sophomore duo Jonathan Dahan and Bozhidar Katsarov advanced to the doubles quarterfinal of the ITA Northern Cal Championships. Unattached, Zerbini advanced to the singles final at the Bulldog Classic and the singles quarterfinal at the Wilson/ITA Northern Cal Championships.
HEAD COACH Peter Wright: 16th-year head coach Peter Wright has led the Golden Bears to the postseason play a school-record nine consecutive years and has only missed the NCAA tournament once in his career. He won his 200th match at Cal last season and is 212-156 (.576) overall (54-65, .454 Pac-10). His first coaching award came when he was named the 1994 Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year and earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2001. Under Wright, nine Cal players have combined to receive 13 All-America selections. Wright has also served as Chairman of the NCAA Tennis Committee as well as on the executive board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
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