NCAA men's tennis: 3 singles, 1 doubles team advance to quarterfinals
Three Pac-12 men’s singles players and one Pac-12 doubles team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA men’s tennis championships hosted by the University of Georgia at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. All three of the singles victories in Friday’s round of 16 came against SEC opponents, helping to knock the SEC out of the lead for most singles representatives. Heading into the quarterfinals, the Pac-12’s three remaining singles players are the most for any conference.
What is it with these unseeded Cal tennis players making deep runs in the singles brackets? Lynn Chi advanced to the quarterfinals on the women’s side, while Ben McLachlan did the same on the men’s side after taking down Vanderbilt’s Ryan Lipman 6-3, 6-4, winning the last three games of the second set to do so. After having taken down an opponent from the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC in the first three rounds, McLachlan will now enter a battle with conference compadre Marcos Giron of UCLA in the quarterfinals.
That positive Golden Bear mojo stretched over to the doubles bracket as well, where Cal’s Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton eked past NC State’s Ian Dempster and Robbie Mudge in a third-set tiebreaker, winning 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(5). Clear into the long weekend, let’s take this moment to admire some All-Americans:
— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 23, 2014
On to the quarterfinals, Bayane and Melton will take on the Tennessee twosome of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese on Saturday. Libietis and Reese are the No. 2 seed, so it will be another tough challenge for Bayane and Melton, who started off the doubles draw by beating a seeded opponent (5-8 Becker O’Shaughnessey and Daniil Proskura of Alabama). As the press release points out, Melton and Bayane are the first Cal doubles team to reach the Elite Eight since 2000.
The good vibes continued for UCLA men’s tennis in singles play, as both Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald advanced to the quarterfinals. Giron took out Georgia’s Nathan Pasha 7-6, 6-3, while McDonald outlasted Ole Miss’ Nik Scholtz in a three-setter, telling the Rebel that resistance is futile in a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 result.
When combining their powers together in doubles, however, Giron and McDonald were not able to continue their winning ways. Tennessee’s Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese took out the pair in two sets (6-1, 6-4), thus forcing the two to solely focus on singles competition. In the singles bracket, Marcos Giron will play Cal's Ben McLachlan in the quarterfinals, while McDonald will take on 9-16 seed Søren Hess-Olesen of Texas.
All remaining Pac-12ers will be back in action Saturday for the quarterfinals, and the Pac-12 Post will again recap the day’s results.