ATHENS, Ga. –Ben McLachlan, Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton extended California’s season deep into the NCAA Championships, but the year finally came to an end as the three Golden Bears lost in their respective quarterfinals to some highly ranked competition on Saturday at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
McLachlan, ranked 55th, fell to UCLA’s second-seeded and second-ranked Marcos Giron, 6-1, 6-3. Soon after, the 28th-ranked duo of juniors Bayane and Melton lost to Tennessee’s second-seeded and second-ranked Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese, 7-5, 6-3.
The postseason runs capped a strong season for the Bears, who ended the NCAA team tournament in the round of 16 and finished with a 17-8 record. McLachlan was the first Bear to reach the singles quarterfinals since 2006, while the team of Melton and Bayane was the first Cal squad to reach the doubles quarterfinals since 2000.
Along with the Cal season, McLachlan’s Cal career ended on Sunday.
“Marcos Giron played incredibly well today, and Ben was behind most of the match,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “It’s never easy to finish your collegiate career, but I’m proud that Ben did it was one of his best tournament performances of his collegiate career and in the process became an All-American.”
McLachlan, competing in NCAA singles for the third consecutive season, claimed ITA All-America distinction for the first time in his fine career by reaching the singles round of 16. Melton and Bayane – playing in NCAA doubles for the first time – earned All-America honors for reaching the NCAA doubles quarterfinals.
“Our guys were so close out there today,” Wrights said of Bayane and Melton. “We generated a fair amount of opportunities but just didn’t convert enough of them. Tennessee did a good job with their returns, and we didn’t serve as well as the previous two days. Greg and Chase worked so hard this year and being All-Americans and NCAA quarterfinalists is just reward for their efforts. They’re both juniors, so they’re looking forward to another fantastic year as our team leaders next year.”
May 24, 2014, in Athens, Georgia
University of Georgia – Dan Magill Tennis Complex (Feild Courts)