BERKELEY – Seventeenth-ranked California makes its fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship round of 16 when it plays ninth-seeded and ninth-ranked Texas for the second time this season on Friday at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia. The Golden Bears (17-7 record) previously played the Longhorns (22-5) on Feb. 16 in the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships.
Cal won the doubles point and freshman Filip Bergevi won his court-three singles match in that February meeting before the Bears fell to Texas, 4-2, in the tournament in Houston.
This marks the third straight postseason opponent from the state of Texas for the Bears, who beat Texas Tech, 4-0, in the NCAA first round on May 10 and then upset eighth-seeded Texas A&M, 4-3, on May 11 in the second round in College Station, Texas.
The Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens is the site of the remainder of the NCAA team tournament – with matches May 16-20 – as well as the site of the NCAA singles and doubles championships, which are scheduled for May 21-26. The University of Georgia is the host.
Cal was one of five Pac-12 teams to get into the NCAA tournament, including top-seeded and top-ranked USC, fifth-seeded and fifth-ranked UCLA, 27th-ranked Stanford and 44th-ranked Oregon. Three conference teams – Cal, USC and UCLA – remain; Stanford and Oregon lost in the first round.
Bears in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
The NCAA added three Golden Bears to the singles and doubles national championships, the NCAA announced on April 30. Cal senior Ben McLachlan will play in the NCAA Singles Championship for the third straight year, while juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton will play in the NCAA Doubles Championship for the first time.
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 21-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, following the conclusion of the NCAA team championship on May 20.
All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six-games-all will be used for all matches.
McLachlan, who is ranked 55th in the most recent ITA singles poll, earned one of 47 at-large bids to the 64-player singles field. He has compiled a record of 8-9 in 2013-14.
The Cal duo of Bayane and Melton is ranked 23rd by the ITA and brings a doubles record of 18-6 into the NCAA Championships. The two Bears claimed one of 18 at-large berths to the 32-team doubles tournament.
Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal has a 5-1 record vs. common opponents (Alabama, Baylor, Mississippi State, TCU, Texas Tech and Tulsa) with Texas; the Bears beat Alabama, 4-2, Mississippi State, 4-3, TCU, 4-3, Texas Tech, 4-0, and Tulsa, 4-0, and lost to Baylor, 4-1
Senior Ben McLachlan, Cal’s No. 1 singles play who has a record of 8-9, is ranked 55th in singles; he earned a spot in the NCAA singles tournament (see above)
Senior Campbell Johnson – Cal’s No. 2 singles player – brings a 20-11 record into NCAAs
Mostly playing at No. 3 singles, freshman Filip Bergevi has a 20-13 mark
Freshman Andre Goransson – mostly playing at No. 4 singles – has compiled a 21-9 record
Junior Gregory Bayane, one of Cal’s doubles stars, has an 18-11 mark mostly playing court-five singles
Junior Nikhil Jayashankar has a 15-5 overall record and has shared No. 6 singles duties with sophomore Mads Engsted (12-9)
The pair of Bayane and junior Chase Melton is ranked No. 28 in doubles and has a 18-6 record mostly playing on court one; the Bears claimed an invitation to the NCAA doubles tournament (see above)
At No. 2 doubles, the tandem of Ben McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson (10-6) is ranked No. 86 in doubles
Cal’s court-three duo of Bergevi and Engsted brings an 10-4 doubles record heading into NCAAs
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 Longhorns
Texas has a 6-1 record against six common opponents with Cal; the Longhorns beat Alabama, 4-0, Mississippi State, 4-1, TCU, 4-2 and 7-0, Texas Tech, 5-1, and Tulsa 6-1, and lost to Baylor, 5-2
The Longhorns beat Mississippi State in the NCAA second round on May 10 and beat Marist, 4-0, in the May 9 first round at home in Austin
Texas junior Søren Hess-Olesen (No. 16), junior Lloyd Glasspool (No. 40) and freshman George Goldhoff (No. 102) are ranked in singles
The pair of Glasspool and Hess-Olesen is ranked 16th in doubles
Michael Center – the 2014 Big 12 Coach of the Year – is in his 14th year as Texas head coach
Bears Stun Aggies, Sweep Raiders in College Station
Cal capped a hot weekend in College Station, Texas, by upsetting eighth-seeded and 10th-ranked Texas A&M, 4-3, on May 11 in the NCAA second round to advance to Athens. The Golden Bears defeated Texas Tech, 4-0, in the May 10 first round at A&M, before topping the Aggies, who had previously been unbeaten at home this season at 15-0.
Against the host, Cal captured the doubles point and then won two of the first three singles matches to take a 3-1 lead. The Aggies rallied to win twice to knot the overall score at 3-3. But senior Campbell Johnson clinched Cal’s win on court two with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, upset of 22nd-ranked Shane Vinsant.
Last Year in the NCAA Team Tournament
For the second straight season, California ended its run in the NCAA Championship round of 16 against Virginia - this time falling 4-0 on May 16, 2013, at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. The eighteenth-ranked Golden Bears' record ended up at 16-10, while the second-seeded and third-ranked Cavaliers' improved to 27-0.
Last Year in NCAA Singles and Doubles
With bad weather in the Midwest delaying the action and moving some matches indoors, Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson both completed their matches but lost in the round of 64 at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship on May 22 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center.
McLachlan, ranked 38th in singles, lost to 12th-ranked Blaz Rola of Ohio State, 6-2, 7-6(4), while the 60th-ranked Johnson fell to Oklahoma’s 58th-ranked Guillermo Alcorta, 6-2, 6-4. McLachlan was serving at 3-1 in the second-set tiebreaker when officials moved his match indoors due to the threat of lightning. McLachlan and Rola played the rest of the way indoors as it began raining in Urbana, and the Golden Bear ultimately lost the tiebreaker and the match.
Cal’s 26th-ranked team of Johnson and senior Christoffer Konigsfeldt lost to Auburn's sixth-ranked Daniel Cochran and Andreas Mies in the May 23 round of 32 at the 2013 NCAA Doubles Championship at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center. The Cal pair fell, 7-5, 6-1, to end the collegiate career of Konigsfeldt and close the season for Cal.