BERKELEY – California men’s tennis opens the 2013-14 season on the road at the Harvard Chowder Fest in Boston, Mass. The Golden Bears – coming off of a run to the NCAA round of 16 last spring – play in the Crimson tournament from Friday, Sept. 13, to Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Beren Tennis Center. Besides the Bears and Harvard players, the field will include players from San Diego and Tulsa.
A pair of Cal seniors – Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson – will not make the trip due to injury.
Scouting the Bears
- Cal posted a 16-10 (5-1 in the Pac-12) record last spring
- Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson earned ITA preseason singles rankings of No. 27 and 41, respectively, this season
- McLachlan and sophomore Mads Engsted earned a No. 41 doubles ranking in the ITA preseason poll
- The ITA will release its first set of team rankings – and its next set of singles and doubles polls – on Jan. 2
- Both McLachlan and Johnson played in the NCAA singles round of 64 last spring
- With now former teammate Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Johnson earned the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year award last season
- Johnson and Konigsfeldt reached the NCAA doubles round of 32 last spring
- Peter Wright (class of 1991) is in his 21st season as head coach at his alma mater
Scouting the Field
- Harvard, Tulsa and San Diego all fell in the NCAA round of 32 last season
- San Diego earned three ITA preseason singles rankings this year: No. 32 Clarke Spinosa, No. 81 Romain Kalaydjian and No. 119 Uros Petronijevic
- Tulsa’s Japie De Klerk (12th) and Clifford Marsland (30) also earned preseason ITA singles rankings
- De Klerk lost in the NCAA singles semifinals last season
- In doubles, Tulsa’s duo of Marsland and Dylan McCloskey claimed a No. 52 ITA preseason mark
- Harvard’s team of Casey MacMaster and Denis Nguyen tied for 20th in the ITA preseason doubles poll
Bears Claim Tourney Invites
Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson recently earned invitations to main draw singles of the ITA Men’s All-American Championships, held at the University of Tulsa. The tournament is the ITA’s first national tournament of the season and kicks off with pre-qualifying matches starting on Sept. 28; the main draw is set to run from Oct. 3-6
The Bears were key components on the team that reached the NCAA round of 16 and ended with a No. 17 ranking last season. McLachlan, Cal’s No. 1 singles player who compiled a 19-18 overall record, wound up with a No. 44 final ranking after ending his season in the 2013 NCAA singles round of 64. Johnson, who had a 28-13 singles record and a No. 64 final ranking, also ended his singles season in the NCAA round of 64.
A Look Back at Last Season
The Golden Bears produced another strong season in 2012-13 that – for the Cal team – concluded in the NCAA round of 16 and a 4-0 loss to second-seeded and third-ranked Virginia on May 16 in Urbana, Ill. Cal defeated Florida State, 4-1, in the first round of the postseason and Denver, 4-1, in the second round, before facing the Cavaliers. The return of Riki McLachlan inspired the Bears in that May 10 victory over Florida State in Gainesville, Fla. The senior had been out much of the spring after suffering a knee injury in a Feb. 8 regular-season match at USC. But he played in singles against FSU and played in Cal’s subsequent postseason matches.
Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson played in the NCAA singles tournament, while Johnson and Christoffer Konigsfeldt competed in NCAA doubles action (see above).
In the Pac-12 Championships, the third-seeded Bears knocked off Utah, 5-0, and then played USC in the semifinal round, in which the Trojans upended Cal, 4-1. The pairs of Campbell Johnson and Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton clinched matches to win the doubles point for the Bears against USC.
The Bears ended the regular season on fire, winning five consecutive Pac-12 Conference dual matches, after their match against USC in Berkeley – what was to be Cal’s first appearance on the inaugural Pac-12 Networks – was cancelled due to rain. Bayane clinched the last regular-season match – a 4-3 triumph at Stanford – with a three-set victory over Robert Stineman, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Cal hosts the USTSA National team on Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley and then plays in the Napa Valley Tennis Classic from Sept. 20-22 at Meadowood Napa Valley Resort in St. Helena, Calif. Cal head coach Peter Wright and Meadowood tennis pro Doug King co-founded the latter tournament, which Meadowood will host for the 13th time.
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Cal is the No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including seven current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.