BERKELEY – California returns to the postseason for the 15th straight time on Saturday when it takes on Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Championship at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. The 17th-ranked Golden Bears – who have played in 33 postseason championships – bring a 15-7 record into the match with the 41st-ranked Red Raiders, who have a 13-10 record. The Bears and Raiders clash at 7 a.m. PT/9 a.m. CT on Saturday at the Mitchell Tennis Center.
Tenth-ranked Texas A&M (24-6) is the NCAA’s eighth seed, has a 14-0 home record and will host Alcorn State (9-8) in the first round on May 10 at 10 a.m. PT/noon CT. The Cal/Texas Tech and Texas A&M/Alcorn State first-round winners will meet in the second round at 11 a.m. PT/1 p.m. CT on May 11 in College Station.
“We’re excited about traveling to Texas A&M for the first two rounds of the NCAAs,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “We know Texas Tech is a tough team, and Texas A&M has a very good record at home, but his is the postseason, so anything can happen. We’re playing well and definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
After the second round, teams will play at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, from May 15-20 for the remainder of the NCAA Championship. The University of Georgia is the host.
Saturday’s match marks the second time that Cal will play Texas Tech in the NCAA first round, as the Bears beat the Red Raiders, 4-3, on 2012 in Berkeley. That was also the last time the two teams met, and Cal holds a 2-1 advantage in the short series with Texas Tech. Senior Ben McLachlan was a sophomore in 2012 and, playing at No. 1 singles, clinched the match with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Gonzalo Escobar.
The 64-team field includes automatic qualifiers from 31 conferences along with 33 at-large teams. First and second-round competition takes place May 9-11 and features four teams playing in a single-elimination format. The winner of each site advances to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., where the remaining 16 teams will compete for the national championship May 16-20. The event will be hosted by Georgia.
Cal is one of five Pac-12 teams in the NCAA tournament, including top-seeded and top-ranked USC (26-3), fifth-seeded and fifth-ranked UCLA (22-3), 27th-ranked Stanford (14-5) and 44th-ranked Oregon (17-9).
Ticket Information at Texas A&M
Here are the ticket prices for the May 10-11 NCAA men’s tennis matches in College Station, Texas:
$12 All-Session Reserved (Stadium Club)
$7 Single Day Reserved (Stadium Club)
$5 Single Day General Admission
$3 Single Day Student/Youth
Free for children under age two
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 in Athens, Georgia, following the conclusion of the NCAA team championship, which ends 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 61st 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 7-8 in 2013-14.
The Cal duo of Bayane and Melton is ranked 23rd by the ITA and brings a doubles record of 18-5 into the NCAA Championships, which for Cal begins with the NCAA team tournament on May 10 vs. Texas Tech. The two Bears claimed one of 18 at-large berths to the 32-team doubles tournament.
Scouting the Golden Bears
- Cal has a 2-3 record vs. common opponents (Alabama, UCLA, Mississippi State, Baylor, TCU and Texas) with Texas Tech, which has a 0-5 record against those teams
- The Bears defeated Mississippi State (4-3) and TCU (4-3) and lost to Texas (4-2), Baylor (4-1) and UCLA (4-1)
- MSU beat Alcorn State, 6-0, on Feb. 9 and then in its next match lost to Cal, 4-3, on Feb. 14
- Senior Ben McLachlan, Cal’s No. 1 singles play who has a record of 7-8, 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 an 18-11 record into NCAAs
- Mostly playing at No. 3 singles, freshman Filip Bergevi has a 20-12 mark
- Freshman Andre Goransson – mostly playing at No. 4 singles – has compiled a 20-9 record
- Junior Gregory Bayane, one of Cal’s doubles stars, has a 16-11 mark mostly playing court-five singles
- Sophomore Mads Engsted has a 12-9 overall record and has shared No. 6 singles duties with junior Nikhil Jayashankar (15-4)
- The pair of Bayane and junior Chase Melton is ranked No. 28 in doubles and has a 18-5 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 (8-6) is ranked No. 86 in doubles
- Cal’s court-three duo of Bergevi and Engsted brings an 8-4 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 Red Raiders
- Against its common opponents with Cal, Texas Tech lost to UCLA (4-0), Mississippi State (4-3), Baylor (7-0), TCU (4-3) and Texas (5-1)
- In its last match, Texas Tech lost to Oklahoma State, 4-3, on April 25 in the first round of the Big 12 Championships
- Raider sophomores Felipe Soares (60th) and Hugo Dojas (100th) are ranked in singles
- The doubles team of Dojas and freshman Maxime Hinnisdaels is ranked 76th and the duo of Dojas and Soares is ranked 82nd
- Tim Siegel is in his 20th year as Texas Tech’s head coach
Scouting the Aggies
- Texas A&M beat then-No. 15 Florida, 4-2, on April 20 to win the SEC tournament title
- Three Texas A&M players are ranked in singles and three Aggie doubles’ teams are ranked in doubles
- A&M’s ranked singles players are 19th-ranked sophomore Harrison Adams, 22nd-ranked sophomore Shane Vinsant and 69th-ranked junior Jeremy Efferding
- Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow form A&M’s sixth-ranked doubles team, the pair of Adams and Vinsant is ranked 70th and Efferding and Jordan Szabo are ranked 89th
- Steve Denton is in his eighth year as Texas A&M’s head coach
Scouting the Braves
- Alcorn State won its fourth SWAC title in six years for its eighth overall crown at the conference tournament on April 27
- SWAC Tennis Freshman of the Year Nischay Rewal clinched Alcorn State’s championship in a 4-2 win over Alabama State
- A sophomore, court-one singles player Ernesto Santillan claimed the SWAC Tournament MVP award
- Anthony Dodgen is in his 13th year as head coach of the Alcorn State men; he also leads the Braves’ women’s tennis team
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.