MALIBU, Calif. – For the second straight day, No. 16 California came from behind to win, this time upsetting 12th-ranked host Pepperdine, 4-2, on Saturday to clinch a berth in the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. Cal freshman Filip Bergevi beat the Waves’ Francis Alcantara, 6-4, 6-5(7-5), on court three to wrap up the Golden Bears’ victory.
The Bears trailed, 1-0, after dropping the doubles point to the Waves. Cal won the first doubles match, as juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton beat David Sofaer/Pedro Leme, 6-2. But Pepperdine won the other two matches to take the point. Bergevi and sophomore Mads Engsted dropped a 6-4 result to Rakshay Thakkar/Alex Giannini on court three, and then seniors Campbell Johnson and Ben McLachlan lost, 6-4, to Alex Sarkissian/Francis Alcantara on court one.
McLachlan fell, 6-2, 6-1, in court one singles to the 33rd-rankd Sarkissian to give Pepperdine a 2-0 lead. Johnson, ranked No. 74, started the comeback, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 58 Sofaer on court two. Bayane tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Pedro Leme on court five.
On court six, junior Nikhil Jayashankar led Cal to a 3-2 lead by beating Thakkar, 6-3, 6-2, before Bergevi’s heroics clinched the trip to the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The Cal freshman led 5-3 before Alcantara tied the match at 5-5 to force the tiebreaker.
“After losing the doubles point again today, we came out for the singles with tremendous focus,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “The Pepperdine crowd was incredibly vocal, but our guys did a great job of shutting out the noise and competing together as a team. Advancing to the team indoors in Houston is exciting for us, and it’s an appropriate reward for the high-quality tennis we played this weekend.”
Before heading to Houston, Texas, for national indoors, Cal hosts a pair of matches at the Channing Tennis Courts. On Thursday, Jan. 30, the Bears play Hawaii at 1:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 1, Cal takes on Saint Mary’s at 1 p.m.