Kikuchi Clinches No. 43 Cal’s Win Over Santa Clara
BERKELEY – The California men's tennis team had a strong return to dual-match play, with the No. 43 Golden Bears defeating Santa Clara, 5-2, on Friday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Cal senior Yuta Kikuchi clinched the win with a court-one singles victory.
With the nonconference result, Cal improved to 6-3 in its first match since competing in the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in La Jolla, California. Santa Clara fell to 4-6.
The Bears won first in doubles, with the pair of Sean Hill and Philip Hjorth defeating Guillaume Dalmasso and Santiago Hinojosa, 6-2, on court two. But the Broncos won on court one and then clinched the doubles point when James Bell and Nick Cmager beat Cal freshmen Alex Chang and Carl Emil Overbeck, 7-5, on court three.
Cal used new pairings in doubles.
"We decided to break it up a little bit to see how the guys would react," said Kris Kwinta, Cal's Peter Wright Director of Men's Tennis. "It was a good test, but it put our backs against the wall a little bit. It was a great situation where we had to respond in singles, and I thought the guys did a really good job in singles responding to a little adversity, a little stress."
Early in singles Derrick Chen tied the overall match, 1-1, when he knocked off Hinojosa, 6-0, 6-2, on court five. Overbeck won by that same score over the Broncos' Bell on court four, and Cal led 2-1. Lucas Magnaudet followed with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Cmager on court six.
The 91st-ranked Kikuchi then defeated Arthur Neuhaus on court one to make the score 4-1 and secure the Bears' win. After a close first set, the Cal senior was dominant in the second and won 6-4, 6-1.
The teams split the last two matches to make the final score 5-2.
"Overall I'm pretty happy with how we finished and how motivated we came out in singles," Kwinta added. "I'm looking forward to another competitive match against Utah on Sunday. It's a good challenge for us to see where we stand in the conference."
Cal starts Pac-12 Conference action on Sunday at 12 p.m. against No. 22 Utah (16-1, 0-1 Pac-12) at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
No. 43 California (6-3) defeated Santa Clara (4-6), 5-2
March 11, 2022, in Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex
1. Arthur Neuhaus/Mann Shah (SCU) def. Derrick Chen/Yuta Kikuchi (Cal), 6-2
2. Sean Hill/Philip Hjorth (Cal) def. Guillaume Dalmasso/Santiago Hinojosa (SCU), 6-2
3. James Bell/Nick Cmager (SCU) def. Alex Chang/Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal), 7-5*
Order of Finish – 2, 1, 3*
*Clinched the doubles point
1. No. 91 Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) def. Arthur Neuhaus (SCU), 6-4, 6-1^
2. Guillaume Dalmasso (SCU) def. Philip Hjorth (Cal), 7-6(0), 7-6(5)
3. Sean Hill (Cal) def. Mann Shah (SCU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal) def. James Bell (SCU), 6-0, 6-2
5. Derrick Chen (Cal) def. Santiago Hinojosa (SCU), 6-0, 6-2
6. Lucas Magnaudet (Cal) def. Nick Cmager (SCU), 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish – 5, 4, 6, 1^, 3, 2
^Clinched the overall match