BERKELEY – Saturday started off well, as the Golden Bears celebrated seniors Campbell Johnson and Ben McLachlan before the last regular-season match – and possibly the last home match – of their careers. The good fortune continued when 16th-ranked California beat No. 37 Stanford in doubles to take a 1-0 lead into singles. But the Cardinal rallied to upend the Bears, 4-2, at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
The 24th-ranked Cal team of juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton opened the day with an 8-5 win over Daniel Ho/Robert Stineman on court one. The Bears clinched doubles when freshman Filip Bergevi and sophomore Mads Engsted edged the Cardinal duo of Yale Goldberg/Trey Strobel, 8-7(5). McLachlan, playing in his last doubles match in Berkeley, teamed with freshman Andre Goransson to play Jamin Ball/John Morrissey on court two, but their match was abandoned when the Bears clinched.
In singles, Goransson played a tight match with Nolan Paige on court four, but the Cardinal player prevailed,7-5, 7-5, to tie the overall contest at 1-1. In the first of four matches to go three sets, Bergevi untied the match with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Strobel on court three; Cal lead, 2-1.
Over on court two, Johnson won the first set over Ho in his bid to win his last singles match at Hellman. But Ho rallied to win, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, and tie matters at 2-2. Stineman followed with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 win over Engsted on court six that put Stanford, now up 3-2, on the verge of claiming the match.
On court one, the 56th-ranked McLachlan looked good after winning the first set over Morrissey in his last regular-season match. But McLachlan fell to Morrissey, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, to give Stanford it’s 4-2 victory. Bayane’s match against Anthony Tsodikov on court five was abandoned.
“We certainly had our opportunities to win today, but you have to credit Stanford for hanging in there and taking advantage of some of our mistakes,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “We had an amazing crowd, and all of us are disappointed we couldn’t deliver a better result. We’ve been having a very good year so far, so we’re not going to dwell on this. We’re going to use it as a springboard for the postseason.”
Stanford’s win evened the season series with the Bears, who routed the Cardinal, 7-0, at Stanford in a nonconference match on Feb. 22.
Cal next competes in the Pac-12 Championships from April 23-27 in Ojai, Calif.
The Bears could return to play in Berkeley this season if they earn an at-large berth to the NCAA team tournament.