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Bears Battle Bruins, Trojans In L.A.

Mar 24, 2022
Carl Emil Overbeck won in singles and doubles against UCLA in February.

BERKELEY – The 27th-ranked California men's tennis team returns to Pac-12 Conference action when the Golden Bears play No. 59 UCLA and No. 15 USC this week in Los Angeles. The Bears (10-3, 1-0 Pac-12) play at the Bruins (4-7, 0-0 Pac-12) on Friday at 1 p.m. and at the Trojans (11-5, 1-1 Pac-12) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Fans can follow the UCLA live stream and live scores by clicking here and the USC live stream and live scores here.  Fans can also follow match updates on Twitter at @CalMensTennis.
In nonconference action earlier this season in Berkeley, Cal blanked UCLA, 4-0, on Feb. 5 and lost to USC, 4-2, on Feb. 6 (see below).
Last Time: Bears Extend Winning Streak To Seven
Cal is on a seven-match winning streak after beating nonconference opponents Purdue, Yale and No. 56 Cal Poly in Berkeley. On March 16, Yuta Kikuchi clinched his third-consecutive Golden Bear victory in the 5-2 result over the Boilermakers. Kikuchi defeated Athell Bennett at court-one singles, 6-4, 6-4, to secure the win. The Cal senior also teamed with freshman Carl Emil Overbeck to clinch the doubles point, with the 17th-ranked pair beating Purdue's Michal Wozniak and Piotr Galus, 6-3, on court one.
The Bears next hosted Yale on March 19 at Hellman. Cal trailed 1-0 after Yale captured the doubles point. The Bears rallied in singles, getting wins from Carl Emil OverbeckSean Hill and Yuta Kikuchi to take a 3-1 lead. The Bulldogs eventually knotted the match at 3-3, with the deciding point coming down to the court-two clash between Cal senior Philip Hjorth and Theo Dean. Hjorth, playing in his third consecutive three-setter, won a break point to take a 6-5 lead over Dean in the third set and then hit a backhand volley at the net to complete his win over the Bulldog, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
After losing the doubles point to Cal Poly on March 20, the Bears were dominant in singles. They dropped just one set and got wins from Kikuchi, Hjorth, Sean Hill, Derrick Chen, Lucas Magnaudet and Overbeck, who clinched the 6-1 victory with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Colter Smith, 6-3, 6-0.
Poll Position
Cal is ranked 27th in Wednesday's ITA team poll and is receiving votes in the Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25. In singles, Yuta Kikuchi (19-9 record) is ranked 102nd, and in doubles, Cal's top duo of Kikuchi and Carl Emil Overbeck (15-4) is ranked 28th.
USC is ranked 15th in both the ITA and the Tennis Channel/USTA polls, while UCLA is ranked 59th by the ITA.
Scouting Cal

  • Cal has a 9-1 home record and is 1-2 on the road
  • Yuta Kikuchi was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on March 15 after clinching a pair of 5-2 wins over Santa Clara and, in the Bears' Pac-12 opener, No 22 Utah
  • Kikuchi defeated Arthur Neuhas, 6-4, 6-1, on March 11 to clinch against the Broncos and beat Franco Capalbo, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to secure the victory over Utah
  • Carl Emil Overbeck – with a 22-7 singles – leads the Bears with the most singles victories
  • In the fall, Overbeck won the consolation final of the ITA Northwest Regional Championships, beating Utah's Ryan Ali, 6-2, 7-5
  • Senior Philip Hjorth (20-9) has Cal's second-most singles wins
  • Kris Kwinta (UCLA '08) is in his first season as the Peter Wright Director of Men's Tennis
  • Kwinta's first-year staff includes assistant coach and former BYU player Francis Sargeant along with volunteer assistant coach and former professional player Jared Donaldson
  • Kwinta and Sargeant won the consolation bracket of the Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship, beating Bears Sean Hill and Lucas Magnaudet in the final of the open tournament on March 6 in La Jolla

Scouting the Bruins

  • UCLA's last two matches (March 18 at Arizona and March 20 at Arizona State) were canceled due to health and safety protocols within the Bruin program
  • The Bruins have lost four straight matches, including a 4-3 setback at San Diego on March 7 and a 4-2 loss to TCU on March 10 in L.A. in their last two contests
  • Alexander Hoogmartens (10-4) is ranked 38th in singles
  • The pair of Bryce Pereira and Patrick Zahraj (3-3) is ranked 69th in doubles
  • Billy Martin is in his 29th season as head coach of UCLA

Scouting the Trojans

  • USC hosts Stanford on Friday at 3 p.m. at Marks Tennis Stadium
  • In their last match, the Trojans lost to No. 24 Arizona, 4-3, on March 20 at home
  • Including a 4-3 win over Arizona State on March 18 and 4-3 loss to No. 15 Texas on March 15, USC is 1-2 in its last three matches
  • Four Trojans are ranked in singles in No. 6 Stefan Dostanic, No. 46 Peter Makk, No. 73 Lodewijk Westrate and No. 116 Bradley Frye
  • In doubles, Dostanic and Frye are ranked 17th
  • Brett Masi is in his third year as head coach of the Trojans

Last Time Against the L.A. Teams
Yuta Kikuchi completed an impressive victory for Cal on Feb. 5, as the senior defeated Drew Baird, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, at court-one singles in the Golden Bears' 4-0 win over No. 23 UCLA at the Hellman Tennis Complex. In doubles, Kikuchi paired with Carl Emil Overbeck to beat Alexander Hoogmartens and Bryce Pereira, 6-4, and then Sean Hill and Lucas Magnaudet knocked off Baird and Max Wild, 6-3, to clinch the point.
On Feb. 6 in Berkeley, Cal won the doubles point and fought eighth-ranked USC hard in singles, but in the end the Trojans prevailed, 4-2. USC clinched when the 40th-ranked Lodewijk Westrate defeated Cal's Derrick Chen, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, on court five.
Goransson Wins Battle Of Cal Alums To Reach Davis Cup
Cal alumnus Andre Goransson qualified for the Davis Cup finals with Sweden on March 5, when his team defeated Japan and former Cal teammate Ben McLachlan, 3-2, in Helsingborg, Sweden.
"It was amazing to do it at home," Goransson said. "It was unlike anything I'd ever done in terms of the atmosphere and the excitement."
Goransson paired with Elias Ymer to beat McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama, 2-6, 7-6(9), 7-5, in a doubles match that took two hours and 40 minutes. Sweden clinched the victory over Japan when Ymer beat Yosuke Watanaki in singles, 6-3, 6-3.
"It was great playing him and sharing a court with Ben," Goransson said. "He's a great friend of mine. It was fun given that we played together here at Cal, and to play Davis Cup against each other, we were both excited to do that.
McLachlan – currently ranked 34th in the world in doubles – and Goransson – who's ranked 69th in doubles – partnered in doubles while at Cal in the 2013-24 season, when McLachlan was a senior and Goransson was a freshman.
The United States also qualified for the Davis Cup finals on March 5 when the U.S. beat Colombia, 4-0, in Reno, Nevada. The U.S. team features former Cal volunteer assistant coach Rajeev Ram, who's ranked fourth in doubles. Ram paired with Jack Sock to clinch the victory when they beat Colombia's Nicolas Barrientos and Juan-Sebastian Cabal, 6-3, 6-4.
Stay Posted
For further coverage of the Bears, follow them on Twitter (@CalMensTennis), Instagram (@CalMensTennis) and Facebook (@CalMensTennis).
Next Time
Cal plays at Arizona State on April 1 and at Arizona on April 3.