BERKELEY – Eighth-seeded and 11th-ranked California will face ninth-seeded/ninth-ranked Mississippi State to open the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships on Friday in Houston. The first-round match is slated for a 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT start at the Galleria Tennis Athletic Club. The Golden Bears bring a 5-0 record into the tournament, while the Bulldogs have an 8-0 record.
The ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships will include action at two venues – the Galleria Tennis Athletic Club and the Downtown Club at the Met. Fans can follow the action at both sites via live scores linked to the ITA’s tournament webpage. Click here for the live stats link for the Cal/Mississippi State match.
Texas A&M is the host of the tournament. Virginia, the defending champion, has won ITA indoors in five of the last six years. USC – last year’s runner-up - won the 2012 title.
Cal and Mississippi State are two of 16 teams competing in the prestigious tournament. The other 14 teams in the tournament are top-seeded Virginia, No. 2 seed UCLA, No. 3 seed USC, No. 4 seed Georgia, No. 5 seed Ohio State, No. 6 seed Baylor, No. 7 seed Oklahoma, No. 10 seed Illinois, No. 11 seed Texas A&M, No. 12 seed Florida, No. 13 seed Texas, No. 14 seed Tennessee, No. 15 seed Pepperdine and No. 16 seed Notre Dame.
Pepperdine was a late substitute for Duke, which was the original No. 15 seed.
The Cal/Mississippi State winner plays the winner of the match between Virginia and Notre Dame in a quarterfinal at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT on Saturday at the Met. The Bears/Bulldogs loser plays the loser of the Cavaliers/Fighting Irish match in a consolation match on Saturday at 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT at the Met.
The ITA, which will release its new team rankings on Feb. 18, released its latest singles and doubles rankings on Tuesday (see Cal’s and MSU’s rankings below).
Scouting the Bears
Cal’s No. 1 singles player – senior Ben McLachlan – is tied for 62nd in the ITA singles poll and has compiled a 2-2 singles record
Senior Campbell Johnson is ranked No. 68 in the ITA singles poll and has compiled a 13-4 singles record
Goransson, the brother of former Cal women’s player Annie Goransson, has a 15-3 singles record
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
Filip Bergevi and Andre Goransson won California’s first match of the day, and Bergevi captured the last match took secure the 12th-ranked Golden Bears’ 4-0 victory over Saint Mary’s on Feb. 1 at the Channing Tennis Courts. Cal improved to 5-0 while handing the 4-1 Gaels’ their first loss of the season.
Goransson and Bergevi – freshmen who both hail from Sweden – defeated the Gaels’ Tuomas Manner and James Markiewicz, 6-3, on court three in the first completed doubles match of the day. Cal juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton ran their dual-match record to 5-0 and secured the doubles point with a 6-3 win over Joakim Norstrom and Wil Martin on court one.
Cal seniors Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson led the Saint Mary’s duo of Thomas Alexander Hunt and Samuel Bloore, 5-4, on court two when the Bears’ clinched doubles, and the court-two match was abandoned.
Goransson – ranked 85th – won the first singles match, handling Bloore, 6-1, 6-2, on court four to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the overall match. Playing on court five, Bayane then beat Nathan Lewis, 6-4, 6-4, to make the score 3-0.
Bergevi ended the contest when he topped the Gaels’ Thomas Alexander Hunt, 6-4, 6-2, on court three.
McLachlan, on court one, and Johnson, on court two, won the first set in each of their matches, while Cal junior Nikhil Jayashankar lost the first set on court six. But those three matches were abandoned once the Bears clinched the victory.
Last Year at ITA Indoors
Last season, Cal fell to Ohio State, 4-0, in the opening round of the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships. The Bears then bested Florida, 4-1, in the back draw opener, before falling to Oklahoma, 4-3, in the next round.
The Golden Bears are tied for eighth in most tournament final appearances (3). Cal is tied for fifth in most titles – two, in 1980 and 1989 – and was the runner-up in 1990.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Mississippi State won twice on Feb. 9, beating Samford, 7-0, and Alcorn State, 6-0, in Starkville, Miss.
Malte Stropp is ranked No. 49 in the ITA singles poll
The ITA ranks Florian Lakat at No. 52
Jordan Angus is ranked No. 115
The doubles team of Angus and Stropp is tied at No. 55 in the ITA poll
Per Nilsson is in his seventh year as head coach of Mississippi State