Bears Tennis Marches to Northwest Regional Tournament
BERKELEY - With berths to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships on the line, California will compete in the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships from Friday, Oct. 19, through Sunday, Oct. 21, in Moraga, Calif. Head coach Peter Wright will send nine Golden Bears - senior Riki McLachlan; juniors Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson; sophomores Gregory Bayane, Nikhil Jayashankar, Andrew Scholnick; and freshmen Mads Engsted, Wyatt Houghton and Jordan Smith - to the event held at Saint Mary's.
The champion of each event gains automatic entry into the national indoor tournament, which runs from Nov. 8-11 in New York City.
The northwest region consists of the following 16 teams: Cal, UC Davis, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Oregon, Pacific, Portland State, Portland, Sacramento State, Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Seattle, Stanford and Washington.
All nine Bears will play singles, which has a field of 111 players; five of the Bears are seeded: 2. Ben McLachlan, 16. Johnson, 17t. Bayane, 17t. Engsted and 17t. Riki McLachlan. Four Cal doubles teams will compete among the field of 52 pairs: Fifth-seeded Johnson and Engsted, seventh-seeded McLachlan and McLachlan, Scholnick and Bayane, and Smith and Houghton.
Last Year at the Regional The fourth-seeded Cal doubles team of Carlos Cueto and Ben McLachlan triumphed over a Stanford pair in the title match of the 2011 USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships on Oct. 25 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. The Golden Bears also took home the team trophy for securing the most wins of any participating program.
By virtue of their victory in the final, Cueto and McLachlan received an automatic berth and joined Cal's fifth-ranked duo of Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt at the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships in New York. That marked the first time in program history that the Bears sent two doubles teams to the indoor championships.
Cueto and McLachlan earned their team-leading 10th victory by defeating the Cardinal's tandem of Walker Kehrer and Robert Stineman in the final, 9-8 (8). The two teams traded barbs to an eight-all tie to force a tiebreaker. In it, the Cardinal and the Bears stayed neck and neck, but Cal's duo pulled away, at the end, to post a 10-8 win and secure the second consecutive regional doubles title for the program.
In the singles final, the seventh-seeded McLachlan had his five-match winning streak snapped when he came up on the short end of a close three-set loss to the tournament's top-seed - No. 14-ranked Stanford senior Ryan Thacher - 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Gregory Bayane won his second tournament of the fall by clinching the Flight A Singles title on Oct. 14 in the UCSB Classic held at the Gauchos' Harder Stadium Courts, Recreation Center and Robertson Gym Courts. The sophomore edged UC Santa Barbara's Axel Bouillin, 7-5, 7-5, in the final.
Bayane had a chance to win another crown in Flight A Doubles with freshman Wyatt Houghton, but the pair fell to Cal Poly's Jordan Bridge and Jordan Kepler, 8-3, in the final. On Oct. 7 in Davis, Calif., Bayane won his first title as a Bear, when he beat Stanford's Jamin Bell, 6-1, 6-7, 6-0, in the final of the Aggie Invitational at UC Davis.
In Flight B Singles at UCSB, Houghton dropped the final to UCSB's Benjamin Recknagel, 6-2, 6-1, while Cal freshman Jordan Smith beat Northern Arizona's Alan Barrios, 6-3, 6-2, to clinch 11th place.
Also on Oct. 14, Cal junior Campbell Johnson won the consolation singles final of the Battle in the Bay Classic by topping Cal Poly's Matt Thomson, 6-7, 7-5, 10-1, at the California Tennis Club in San Francisco. In the semifinal, Johnson defeated Stanford's Anthony Tsodikov, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 10-6.
The qualified Bears will play in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Collegiate Championships from Nov. 8-11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Besides the regional champions, the other players who earn entry into that tournament are the consolation champions, doubles finalists, men's singles quarterfinalists and women's singles semifinalists from the ITA Men's and Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships as well as the winners of the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl.
A Golden Olympics for the Golden Bears
A total of 46 Golden Bear athletes, coaches and staff members represented Cal during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and together, they brought home a school-record-tying 17 medals (11 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze). The Bears have won 50 medals over the past three Olympics (16 in 2004, 17 in 2008, 17 in 2012), and they have captured 178 medals all-time (99 gold).
Cal No. 1 Public University in the Country
The University of California is the No. 1-ranked public university in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report. The faculty has won 22 Nobel Prizes, including nine current members, while 28 alumni have received a Nobel Prize. A National Research Council analysis of U.S. universities concluded that the campus has the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country (48 of 52). Cal also has a long commitment to public service, with more than 4,000 students annually doing volunteer work and more than 3,000 Peace Corps participants all-time.