April 27, 2012
OJAI, Calif. - The 14th-ranked California men's tennis team (12-11) fell, 5-0, to fifth-ranked UCLA (22-2) and was eliminated in the semifinals of the 2012 Pac-12 Championships at Libbey Park on Friday, April 27. The Golden Bears will await the decision of the NCAA committee which will announce this year's field of 64 teams on Tuesday, May 1. Under the guidance of head coach Peter Wright, Cal has made a school-record 12 straight appearances in the NCAA tournament.
The Bruins made the first move of the day as they earned victories on the bottom two doubles courts to claim the doubles point. On court two, Nick Meister and Dennis Novikov put together an 8-3 win against Cal's 56th-ranked team of senior Carlos Cueto and sophomore Ben McLachlan.
UCLA secured the doubles point with an 8-5 win at court three when Marcos Giron and Warren Hardie put an 8-5 win in the books over the Bears' freshman tandem of Gregory Bayane and Andrew Scholnick. At the top court, Cal’s fifth-ranked duo of senior Nick Andrews and junior Christoffer Konigsfeldt had run ahead with a 7-4 lead against the Bruins’ 44th-ranked team of Alex Brigham and Adrien Puget but play was halted when the doubles point was clinched.
The Bruins posted wins on four singles courts to complete their 5-0 win. On court two, 73rd-ranked Clay Thompson defeated No. 56 Andrews, 6-2, 6-3. One court down the lineup, Novikov had a 6-2, 7-5 result against Bayane.
At No. 5 singles, 46th-ranked Puget defeated junior Riki McLachlan, 7-5, 6-2. And on court six, Dennis Mkrtchian edged freshman Chase Melton in the first set and took a 6-3 win in the second. Two singles matches finished at the same time to allow the Bruins to score a fifth point, but matches at the top court and at court four were suspended when the match was clinched.
44th-ranked Ben McLachlan had defeated 17th-ranked Meister, 6-4, in the first set and the two were locked in a four-all tie for the second set when play stopped. At court four, Konigsfeldt won his first set against 71st-ranked Giron, 7-5, and held a 5-4 lead in the second set when play was stopped.
The NCAA tournament field will be announced during a live selection show that will be web-streamed on NCAA.com on Tuesday, May 1, at 2:30 p.m. PT. Last year, the Bears advanced to the round of 16 for the first time since 2003 before they were eliminated in a heavily contested 4-2 match against Tennessee.
No. 5 UCLA 5, No. 14 California 0