March 10, 2013
BERKELEY - Gregory Bayane staved off multiple match points before the sophomore delivered a singles win that gave No. 24 California a 4-3 upset win over No. 4 Duke on Sunday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex. With all in attendance watching the last match of the day, Bayane beat 70th-ranked Blue Devil Chris Mengel, 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(4), on court four.
Cal improved its record to 7-5 after the nonconference victory, while Duke's record is now 12-3.
"We've played against the top teams in the country, and we've come close," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "This time we broke through. It's important in that we didn't just get close to the finish line; we finished first today. This is the step we've been trying to take for a little while now, and we finally took it today in doubles and in singles. It's encouraging. Our guys knew we could do it, but we had to go and actually make it happen. It was a very positive day from that standpoint.
"You've got to give credit to the Duke team. There were some tough three-set matches out there. Our guys fought hard."
The Bears won the doubles point when junior Ben McLachlan and freshman Mads Engsted outlasted the No. 9 duo of Michael Reclicki and Jason Tahir, 9-8(5), on court two. The Blue Devils had opened doubles play with its fourth-ranked team of Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler defeated Cal's 18th-ranked team of senior Christoffer Konigsfeldt and junior Campbell Johnson, 8-3, on court one. But Cal tied matters when Bayane and sophomore Chase Melton knocked off No. 43 Mengel/Fred Saba, 8-5, with the court two match deciding the point.
Cal fell behind in the match, 2-1, when, in singles play, Tahir beat sophomore Nikhil Jayashankar, 6-1, 6-1, on court six and then No. 44 Hemmeler defeated Engsted on court five, 6-2, 6-3.
The Bears climbed back into the lead at 3-2 when No. 34 Konigsfeldt beat No. 46 Saba, 7-5, 6-1, on court two and then No. 69 Johnson upset No. 31 Redlicki, 7-5, 7-6(7), in a tight match on court three.
McLachlan, ranked No. 56 in singles, took No. 9 Cunha to three sets on court one, but ultimately fell, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, to tie the match at 3-3, before Bayane's heroics on court two handed Cal the victory.
The Bears next host No. 12 Pepperdine at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
No. 24 California 4, No. 4 Duke 3
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2.
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 2, 3, 1, 4.