BERKELEY – For the second time this season, No. 17 California heads to Malibu, Calif., to play No. 46 Pepperdine on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Now with a 9-3 record, the Golden Bears previously won, 4-2, at the Waves (now 9-9) on Jan. 25 in the finale of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. That victory qualified Cal for the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships.
The teams have two common opponents in Tulsa and TCU. Cal defeated TCU, 4-3, at home and topped Tulsa, 4-0, in the Oracle Collegiate Tennis Challenge (see below); Pepperdine won at Tulsa, 4-3, and lost to TCU, 4-2, at home.
In the March 18 ITA team poll, Cal moved up three spots to No. 17, while Pepperdine dropped four spots to No. 46. The ITA did not release new singles or doubles rankings, which will instead come out on March 25.
Scouting the Bears
Senior Campbell Johnson is tied for 81st in the ITA singles poll and has compiled a 16-7 singles record
Cal’s No. 1 singles player – senior Ben McLachlan – is ranked 84th in the ITA singles poll and has compiled a 4-5 singles record
The team of McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson (3-3) is ranked 76th in the doubles poll
Junior Gregory Bayane earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 28 after winning two singles and two doubles matches when Cal played in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Pepperdine
Two proud Cal alumni lead the Golden Bears: Peter Wright (class of ’91) is in his 21st year as head coach, while associate head coach Tyler Browne (class of 2008) is in his sixth year on the staff
Scouting the Waves
Pepperdine hosts No. 2 Oklahoma on Wednesday and San Francisco on Friday
Alex Sarkissian is ranked 27th in singles
David Sofaer is No. 115
The team of Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara is ranked 15th in doubles
Adam Steinberg is in his ninth year as head coach at Pepperdine
Last Time vs. Pepperdine: Cal Qualifies for National Indoors
For the second straight day, No. 16 California came from behind to win in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, this time upsetting 12th-ranked host Pepperdine, 4-2, on Jan. 25 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 in Malibu, Calif.
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 national indoors.
Last Time for Cal: Bears Blank Tulsa, 4-0, in Indian Wells
Campbell Johnson posted a three-set singles win to clinch No. 20 California's 4-0 victory over No. 31 Tulsa on March 16 at the Oracle Collegiate Tennis Challenge. The match concluded the Golden Bears' run in Indian Wells, Calif.
Johnson – a senior ranked 81st in singles –beat 68th-ranked Clifford Marsland, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, on court two.
The Bears’ two matches – including the 4-1 loss to No. 12 Baylor on March 15 – in Indian Wells were played as part of the inaugural Oracle event during the BNP Paribas Open professional tournament. Oracle president Mark Hurd played tennis at Baylor. The college competition included No. 6 Illinois.
Cal opened the March 16 contest by capturing the doubles point. First sophomore Mads Engsted and Filip Bergevi topped the Tulsa duo of Matthew Kirby and Daniel Santos, 8-4, on court three, and then the 76th-ranked Cal tandem of senior Ben McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson fell to Alejandro Espejo/Jape De Klerk, 8-4, on court two. Cal juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton secured the point with an 8-5 upset of No. 19 Marsland/Dylan McCloskey on court one.
In singles, Bayane gave Cal a 2-0 overall lead with his 6-3, 6-1 win over Or Ram-Harel on court four. Engsted then beat Carlos Bautista, 6-2, 6-3, on court five to set up Johnson to clinch the match.
Cal returns to Pac-12 Conference action and plays at Arizona on March 28 and at Utah on March 30.