Sept. 19, 2012
BERKELEY - Despite wins by Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Ben McLachlan in singles and doubles in California's exhibition with the USTA Junior National Team on Wednesday, the depleted Golden Bears - missing three starters - fell to the USTA Juniors, 7-2, at the event held at the Hellman Tennis Complex and Channing Tennis Courts.
In only their second competition of the fall, the Golden Bears won two of eight singles matches and one of three doubles matches in the exhibition with the junior national team.
"The USTA Juniors are a good squad," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "They have consistency from top to bottom. We played pretty well. We definitely have some rust. For a lot of our guys, this is their first competition of the year, so they were just getting some cob webs out.
"There was some good tennis out there. I'm actually pleased with how we're playing at the moment. At the end of the day, this is an exhibition for us. This was a good day for the USTA kids and for our team."
Konigsfeldt, a senior, and McLachlan, a junior, posted a score of 8-6 to win against Deiton Baughman and T.J. Pura on court one at Hellman, which hosted all the doubles matches. The duo of senior Riki McLachlan and freshman Mads Engsted fell to the USTA's Robbie Bellamy and Henry Craig, 8-2, while sophomore Gregory Bayane and freshman Wyatt Houghton dropped an 8-4 match to USTA Juniors Jack Murray and Joseph DiGiulio. Sophomore Nikhil Jayashankar and freshman Stuart Miller fell to the pair of Konrad Zieba and Gage Brymer, 8-1.
In singles, Ben McLachlan topped Craig, 6-0, 6-2, at court one, while Konigsfeldt beat Baughman at court two, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. The national team won the remaining singles matches in the exhibition, with Brymer beating Bayane, 7-6(2), 6-3; Bellamy outlasting Riki McLachlan, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; Zieba defeating Engsted, 6-4, 6-3; Pura beating Jayashankar, 6-4, 6-7, 1-0; and Jack Murray upending freshman Jordan Smith, 7-5, 6-3. The latter two matches took place at the Channing Tennis Courts.
"I think it's really good for everybody," Wright said of the competition pitting the juniors against his Bears. "It's an exhibition, so we get some free matches for our guys to train and get better. For them it's really good, because they get to compare themselves to some college players and give them an idea of where they are, as in 'I just beat the No. 3 guy at Cal' or 'the No. 6 guy' or 'lost to the No 2 guy.' This allows them to have some data as far as `How good am I really?'"
Four of the Bears - Konigsfeldt, Riki McLachlan, Ben McLachlan and Engsted - will see the eight USTA Juniors again when they compete in the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic at the Meadowood Napa Valley Resort from Friday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 23, in St. Helena, Calif. The round-robin tournament will feature 32 players, with 24 coming from six college teams. Last year, former Bear Nick Andrews won the title at Meadowood by beating then-sophomore teammate Ben McLachlan in the final.
USTA Junior National Team 7, California 2