Men's Tennis Earns 11th-Consecutive NCAA Selection
May 4, 2010
BERKELEY - The No. 17-ranked California men's tennis team (12-7, 3-3 Pac-10) received its school-record 11th-consecutive selection to the NCAA championship tournament on Tuesday, May 4. The Golden Bears will face Big West tournament champion UC Irvine (17-11, 3-2 Big West) in a 9 a.m. PT first-round match on Saturday, May 15, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center in Los Angeles. Ninth-seeded site-host UCLA (14-6, 4-2 Pac-10) draws Sacramento State (17-11, 7-1 Big Sky) in the other first-round match.
Tickets may be purchased upon entrance to the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Adult admission is $7 and youth/student tickets are $5. There are no advanced ticket sales available.
The winners of each match will face each other in a noon PT second-round match on Sunday, May 16. The winner of the second-round match advances to the round of 16 which begins on Thursday, May 20, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of host University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.
Cal enters its 45th overall appearance in the NCAA championships after claiming fourth place in the ultra-competitive Pac-10 Conference. All but one team from the league earned bids to the NCAA tournament this season with conference champion USC holding the No. 5 seed overall. The Bears lay claim to one national title from the 1925 season.
'We are always very excited to get out there and play some more tennis,' said head coach Peter Wright. 'UC Irvine is a dangerous team and we'll have to have our focus set right from the get-go, but I think it's a good test for us. We look forward to not having to travel too far from home with final exams on the horizon and we're certainly glad we'll be playing in a familiar place.'
The Bears are led by No. 18-ranked junior Pedro Zerbini who was recently named the All-Pac-10 first team. Zerbini tallied 19 singles wins this season and has played exclusively at the top singles court where he has amassed a 14-4 mark. Freshman Christoffer Konigsfeldt became the first Cal freshman to receive All-Pac-10 honors since 2003 and has posted 24 wins to rank second on the squad. Sophomore Nick Andrews leads all Bears with a 25-8 overall singles mark and a 14-4 record in dual matches.
Cal has won the doubles point 10 times this season and has emerged with a team victory on each of those occasions. The Bears' lineup boasts two ranked doubles teams in No. 30 Zerbini and junior Jonathan Dahan as well as the No. 67-ranked tandem of Andrews and Konigsfeldt.
Last season, Cal was sent across the Bay to face Pepperdine in the opening round at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium and fell, 4-1, to a surging Wave squad. Under Wright, the Bears have earned 16 postseason bids and have advanced as far as the national quarterfinals (2003) with three additional appearances in the round of 16 (1995, '98, 2001).
The 16 national seeds in 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships are: No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Tennessee, No. 3 Texas, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 USC, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Baylor, No. 8 Stanford, No. 9 UCLA, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 11 Georgia, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 Illinois, No. 14 Texas Tech, No. 15 Louisville and No. 16 Duke. All first- and second-round matches (May 14-16) are played on campus sites, with the final 16 teams converging on Athens, Ga. for the NCAA Championships beginning on May 20. Please visit CalBears.com for more information.