Cal Tops UNLV 4-3 To End ITA Kickoff Weekend
LOS ANGELES – California men's tennis waited out weather delays to finally complete its run in the ITA Kickoff Weekend at USC on Monday, edging UNLV, 4-3, in a consolation match at Marks Stadium. Senior Ben Draper defeated Eric Samuelsson, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3, to clinch the win.
Cal improved its record to 2-1, while UNLV fell to 0-2.
"We had a struggle out there today as we were a little shorthanded, and our senior class came through for us in singles," said Peter Wright, Cal's Director of Men's Tennis. "It's early in the season, and we have a lot to work on, but seeing Ben Draper clinch the match for us today was truly special. Today Ben joined Campbell's Club, a special group of players who win the deciding match in a 4-3 victory."
The Golden Bears created Campbell's Club to honor the legacy and contributions of former Cal player Campbell Johnson, who passed away in August. Johnson clinched a memorable postseason match over Texas A&M in 2014, overcoming cramps to win his match and give Cal a 4-3 victory.
On Monday in doubles, Cal picked up a win from Philip Hjorth and Yuta Kikuchi on court three, as the pair beat UNLV's Jackson Atherton and Anton Ornberg, 6-0. But the Rebels won twice – with Samuelsson and Clayton Alenik beating Draper and Thomas Wright 6-1 to clinch – and took the doubles point.
Cal roared back in singles to build a 3-1 lead. Kent Hunter started the run with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Milos Dabic. Senior Jacob Brumm followed with a 6-2, 6-2 result over Jordan Sauer, and the 42nd-ranked Kikuchi added a 6-1, 6-3 win over Alex Kobelt.
The Bears suffered losses on courts five and six to knot the overall score at 3-3 – before Draper held on to capture his three-setter on court two.
Cal's ITA Kickoff Weekend opener vs. UCLA on Saturday was delayed by rain. More inclement weather in L.A. forced the postponement of Sunday's final and consolation match to Monday.
"So much college tennis experience has been taken away from these young men over the last 10 months, so it's heartening to see them celebrate this win under quite challenging conditions," Wright added. "I'm especially proud of our senior class because their experience helped guide the team through some difficult moments today."
ITA Kickoff Weekend Consolation Match
California (2-1) def. UNLV (0-2), 4-3
Jan. 25, 2021 | Marks Stadium (Los Angeles, Calif.)
(1) Alex Kobelt/Jordan Sauer (UNLV) def. Paul Barretto/Can Kaya (Cal) - 6-4
(2) Clayton Alenik/Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) def. Ben Draper/Thomas Wright (Cal) - 6-1
(3) Philip Hjorth/Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) def. Jackson Atherton/Anton Ornberg (UNLV) - 6-0
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
UNLV wins doubles point
(1) #42 Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) def. Alex Kobelt (UNLV) - 6-1, 6-3
(2) Ben Draper (Cal) def. Eric Samuelsson (UNLV) - 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3*
(3) Jacob Brumm (Cal) def. Jordan Sauer (UNLV) - 6-2, 6-2
(4) Kent Hunter (Cal) def. Milos Dabic (UNLV) - 6-1, 6-1
(5) Anton Ornberg (UNLV) def. Can Kaya (Cal) - 6-4, 6-4
(6) Clayton Alenik (UNLV) def. Lucas Magnaudet (Cal) - 7-5, 7-5
Order of finish: 4, 3, 1, 5, 6, 2*