BERKELEY – California – now ranked No. 12 in the ITA poll that came out on Wednesday – plays nonconference dual matches against Hawaii and Saint Mary’s at home before competing in the upcoming ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The Golden Bears (3-0) host Hawaii on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and the Gaels on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Channing Tennis Courts.
Saint Mary’s bring a 4-0 record to Berkeley. The Warriors have a 1-1 record.
Admission is free to regular-season Cal tennis matches. Fans can also follow the Bears in action via Twitter @CalMensTennis.
With rain a possibility on Thursday in Berkeley, the match vs. Hawaii may move to another site. Please check CalBears.com for updates on Thursday.
The Golden Bears moved up four spots from the previous ITA poll. Cal is one of 13 schools with both its men’s and women’s teams ranked in the ITA’s top 25, with the Cal women currently ranked eighth. Both Hawaii and Saint Mary’s are unranked.
Scouting the Bears
Junior Gregory Bayane earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor this week after winning two singles and two doubles matches when Cal played in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Pepperdine (see below)
Goransson, the brother of former Cal women’s tennis player Annie Goransson, has a 14-3 singles record
Cal’s No. 1 singles player – senior Ben McLachlan, who held a No. 27 ITA singles ranking in the fall – has a 2-2 singles record
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
For the second straight day, No. 16 California came-from-behind to win, 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 the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The Cal freshman led 5-3 before Alcantara tied the match at 5-5 to force the tiebreaker.
Scouting the Warriors
Hawaii beat Sacramento State, 4-3, in its Jan. 17 season opener
The Warriors clinched the win over Sac State on Davis Schuster’s 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 singles victory over the Hornets’ Oliver Anderson on court four
John Nelson is in his ninth year as head coach of Hawaii
Scouting the Gaels
Saint Mary’s improved to 4-0 with its 6-1 win over Division II Sonoma State on Jan. 28 in Moraga, Calif.
Joakim Norstrom clinched the win over Sonoma State with his court-one singles victory over Matt Roberts, 6-3, 6-2
Michael Wayman is in his 19th year as head coach of the Gaels
Cal Recruiting Class Earns No. 8 Ranking
The Golden Bears claimed the No. 8 ranking on TennisRecruiting.net’s list of the top-25 winter recruiting classes in the nation, the website announced on Jan. 27. Cal head coach Peter Wright signed two of the Golden State’s top players in William “Billy” Griffith and J.T. Nishimura last fall.
Griffith, who hails from Fresno, Calif., is one of the best players to come out of the central valley. TennisRecruiting.net ranks the Clovis West High School product as the third-best recruit in the nation and the second-best recruit from California. Last June, the Fresno Bee named Griffith its Boys Tennis Player of the Year after he compiled a 27-1 singles record and 19-1 doubles mark.
In his first International Tennis Federation event last March, Griffith won the singles final of the 2013 Claremont ITF over current UCLA freshman Gage Brymer, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5). In early 2013, he reached the boys’ 18 consolation singles final in the USTA National Winter Championships, and in 2012, Griffith won the boys’ 16 singles consolation bracket at the USTA National Championships in Kalamazoo.
A San Francisco Bay Area native from San Jose, Calif., Nishimura was ranked 44th in the nation and 10th in the state by TennisRecruiting.net in November. Nishimura did not lose a set in winning the singles championship at the USTA Regional Tournament Segment at the Seascape Country Club in Aptos, Calif., after likewise winning every set in his run to the singles title at the USTA Regional Tournament Segment in Stanford, Calif. Additionally, Nishimura reached the doubles final in each tournament.
He currently attends Piedmont Hills High School in the South Bay.
Cal competes in the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships from Feb. 14-17 in Houston. Downtown Club at the Met and the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club will host the tournament.