Washington Drops Marathon Match At No. 15 Cal

April 10, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. - In a match with dozens of turning points over five-plus hours, the 22nd-ranked Husky men's tennis team came up just shy at 15th-ranked Cal today, falling 5-2 at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Bears (12-6, 3-2 Pac-10) won the final two matches in third sets over a hard-fighting Husky squad (16-4, 1-4 Pac-10).

As evidence of just how closely contested every match was in singles, there were a total of seven tiebreaks played in the six singles matches. Unfortunately, Cal won five of the seven, equaling the final team score.

Freshman Kyle McMorrow got the Huskies on the board in singles and even in the match with one of his biggest wins of the season. Facing another top freshman, 71st-ranked Christoffer Konigsfeldt, at No. 2 singles, McMorrow owned the first set 6-3, and then prevailed in a tiebreak in the second set, 7-4. In his last two matches against ranked opponents, McMorrow had fallen in second set tiebreakers, so today's match was an excellent breakthrough, so to speak.

Cal opened up a 3-1 lead with consecutive wins at third and fifth singles. Nick Andrews overcame senior Derek Drabble, 7-6 (3), 6-1 at the third spot, then Bozhidar Katsarov used another tiebreak win to defeat junior Tobi Obenaus, 7-6 (8), 7-5 at No. 5. Obenaus held a 5-3 lead in the second set but was unable to send the match to a third.

Junior Martin Kildahl knocked off another ranked Bear at No. 4 singles, continuing his strong run of play with a 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4 comeback win over 116th-ranked Jonathan Dahan. That pulled UW within 3-2 with the final two matches in third sets.

At No. 1 singles, 65th-ranked junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan took the first set, 6-4, from 16th-ranked Pedro Zerbini. Nedunchezhiyan then fought to a tiebreak in the second set, but Zerbini pulled through, 7-3. At 2-2 in the third set, Nedunchezhiyan broke serve to seize momentum, but Zerbini was able to break back in the next game and that fired up the home favorite and Zerbini reeled off the final three games to clinch the match with a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 win.

That left the No. 6 singles match, and junior Alex Rosinski and Riki McLachlan still had a lot of tennis left to play. Rosinski had won the first set 7-6 (8-6 in the tiebreak), but McLachlan came back with a 6-4 second set win. In the third, McLachlan rolled to a 5-1 lead, yet even with nothing to play for, Rosinski did not give in, and he won four-straight games to level the match, and the two eventually headed for another tiebreak. Unfortunately the gritty comeback ended there, as McLachlan took the final tiebreak, 7-2.

Doubles also hinged on just one match. Cal's Konigsfeldt and Zerbini defeated McMorrow and Nedunchezhiyan, 8-4, at the top spot, but Drabble and Kildahl took out Dahan and Katsarov, 8-6, at No. 2 doubles. The No. 3 match was close throughout, but in the end Andrews and Sky Lovill gave Cal the point with an 8-6 win over Obenaus and Rosinski.

The Huskies will head home to close out the regular season next Saturday, April 17, with a 2 p.m. dual against Oregon in what will be the final home appearance for senior Derek Drabble.

Washington Men's Tennis
April 10, 2010 - Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex

No. 15 California 5, No. 22 Washington 2

1. Konigsfeldt/Zerbini (CAL) def. McMorrow/Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 8-4
2. Drabble/Kildahl (UW) def. Dahan/Katsarov (CAL), 8-6
3. Andrews/Lovill (CAL) def. (65) Obenaus/Rosinski (UW), 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3*

1. (16) Pedro Zerbini (CAL) def. (65) Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3
2. Kyle McMorrow (UW) def. (71) Christoffer Konigsfeldt (CAL), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
3. Nick Andrews (CAL) def. Derek Drabble (UW), 7-6 (3), 6-1
4. Martin Kildahl (UW) def. (116) Jonathan Dahan (CAL), 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4
5. Bozhidar Katsarov (CAL) def. Tobi Obenaus (UW), 7-6 (8), 7-5
6. Riki McLachlan (CAL) def. Alex Rosinski (UW), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (2)
Order of finish: 2, 3, 5, 4, 1*, 6

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