April 26, 2012
OJAI, Calif. - 44th-ranked California men's tennis sophomore Ben McLachlan put a 4-3 win in the books for the 14th-ranked Golden Bears (12-10) in a three-set victory against No. 22 Kyle McMorrow of Washington on Thursday, April 26. Cal eliminated the No. 26 Huskies (16-8) after several rain delays at the Pac-12 Championships held at Libbey Park in conjunction with the 112th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament.
The Bears will face top-seeded No. 5 UCLA in a noon PT match on Friday, April 27, in the championship semifinals. It will be the fourth time this season that Cal and UCLA face each other in a dual match. The Bruins have won each of the three meetings; the first two by narrow 4-3 margins, and the last in a 7-0 sweep in Los Angeles.
Cal got wins at the top two doubles courts to seal the doubles point for the 15th time, this season. On court two, the Bears' 56th-ranked team of senior Carlos Cuetoand McLachlan completed an 8-3 win over Emmett Egger and Matt Stith to claim the first victory of the day.
On the top court, Cal's fifth-ranked duo of senior Nick Andrews and junior Christoffer Konigsfeldt put the doubles point in the Bears' pocket with an 8-5 victory against Marton Bots and McMorrow. Cal's freshman tandem of Gregory Bayane and Andrew Scholnick trailed Jeff Hawke and Max Manthou, 7-4, when play was suspended with the clinching of the doubles point.
Washington evened the score with the first win in singles matches when Bots upended 56th-ranked Andrews at No. 2 singles in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4, with a 7-4 first-set tiebreaker score. The Bears surged ahead once against when Konigsfeldt put in a win from court four where he took out Manthou, 7-6, 6-1, with a 7-5 score in the first-set tiebreaker.
The Huskies had another answer and it came from the bottom court, this time, as Nicholas Kamisar earned a 6-4, 7-5 win against freshman Chase Melton to make the score two-all. Once more, the Bears replied. One court over, junior Riki McLachlan flipped the set scores of Melton's match to get a 7-5, 6-4 win against Viktor Farkas and give Cal a 3-2 lead in the dual.
On court three for the first time in his career, Bayane went three sets against Egger, who won the first set, 7-5. Bayane fought back to get a 6-2 win in the second, but was turned away in the third, 6-4, as the Huskies knotted the match at three-points all.
With the dual in the balance, Ben McLachlan delivered the clinching point in his first-ever appearance on the top singles court when he finished off McMorrow, 6-3, in the final set. McLachlan got a 7-6 win in the first set thanks to a 7-4 win in the tiebreaker, but McMorrow forced a third set with a 6-3 win in the second. It was the third time this spring that McLachlan has had the dual clincher for the Bears.
Play continues on Friday (April 27) at noon PT when the Bears face the regular-season champion Bruins in one semifinal match. On the other side of the bracket, the top-ranked three-time defending NCAA champion USC Trojans (25-1) will face No. 10 Stanford (17-7) in a 3 p.m. dual. The two winners will advance to the championship match set for 4 p.m. PT on Saturday, April 28.
Please visit Pac-12.org and CalBears.com for more information.
No. 14 California 4, No. 26 Washington 3