Bears Win ITA Kick-Off Weekend
It was an exciting two days of Cal Tennis this weekend at Hellman Tennis Center, as the Bears hosted the ITA Kick Off Weekend.
The 14th ranked Bears opened up play on Friday morning of the ITA Kick Off against No. 38 Boise State.
Cal captured the doubles point, with the seventh-ranked McLachlans (Riki and Ben) teaming up to defeat the pair of Bettles and Sereke, 8-1, on court one and the duo of Bayane and Konigsfeldt topping Mitchell/Pogostkin, 8-4, on court three. Engsted/Johnson played to a 6-6 tie with Patton/Sears on court two when doubles play ended.
In singles action, Riki McLachlan, a senior, beat Boise State's Garrett Patton, 6-4, 6-4, on court five, after his brother - junior and 66th-ranked Ben McLachlan - dispatched 28th-ranked Andy Bettles, 6-1, 6-1, on court one and Cal junior Campbell Johnson powered past Scott Sears, 6-1, 6-2, on court three. The Bears finished 3-1 in singles, as freshman Mads Engsted fell to the Broncos' Thomas Tenreiro, 7-5, 6-2.
This set Cal up to face 20th ranked Michigan in the Finals on Saturday, after the Wolverines beat Santa Clara 4-1. Cal jumped out to an early lead, winning the doubles point when Bayane and Konigsfeldt defeated Petrone and Zhu, 8-4, on court three after Johnson and Engsted topped Stefan/Franks, 8-3, on court two. The seventh-ranked brothers McLachlan were in a 6-6 battle with King/Bernstein on court one when the match was abandoned.
After winning the doubles point the Bears quickly fell in a hole when the Wolverines won the first set in five of the six singles matches. Gregory Bayane was the exception, as the Cal sophomore beat Shaun Bernstein, 6-3, 6-1, on court four in the first completed match.
After going up 2-0, Michigan tied the match with singles win on court one and court six. Junior Ben McLachlan and freshman Mads Engsted played tough matches for the Bears, but lost 6-3, 7-5 and 6-4, 6-1 respectively. This left the match up to two, three, and five singles; in which the Bears all lost the first set. Campbell Johnson came close to pulling off a three-set win, dropping the first set to Michigan's Alex Petrone, 6-2, and then tying the match with a 6-1, second-set win on court three. But the gutsy Cal junior fell in the third set, 7-5.
Konigsfeldt, playing on court two, had perhaps the most dramatic singles match of the day. Down one set and trailing 4-1 in the second to Michigan's 48th-ranked Vlad Stefan - and with Cal down, 3-2 - the 42nd-ranked Cal senior rebounded to win the second-set tiebreaker and force a third set. On match point, Stefan fired into the net to clinch the win for the inspired Konigsfeldt, who claimed a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 victory.
Now tied at 3-3, the championship rested on the McLachlan/Michael Zhu result from court five. As with Konigsfeldt, McLachlan lost his first set but won a second-set tiebreaker. The Cal senior wound up winning by the same score - 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 - as Konigsfeldt and punched the Bears' tickets to Seattle.
With the No. 14 Bears trailing No. 20 Michigan, 3-2, in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend championship, seniors and team captains Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Riki McLachlan won three-set matches to spur the Golden Bears to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Wolverines on Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The win earned Cal a berth in next month's ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship.
"For all intents and purposes, Chris was gone," Cal head coach Peter Wright said. "But he somehow found a gear to get himself back in. I have to give credit to our two team captains - Chris and Riki - and they were the last two guys out there playing for us. They both lost first sets and they both came back to win in three in extremely exciting fashion. They showed a lot of heart and soul and the guts of this team. That's one of the reasons they're team captains, because those are the kinds of performances that they can turn in. We still found a way to win that match."
Thursday 1/31 Basketball Game vs. Oregon St.
Be sure to attend the Cal Men's Basektball game versus Oregon State tomorrow, Thursday January 31st. The Men's Tennis Team will be honored during halftime for their great achievements and we will be throwing t-shirts out to the crowd during halftime. Show for the basketball game and chear loud for the Bears Tennis Team.
Next Up - Saturday Feb. 2 vs. Pacific
The Bears will return to action this Saturday at 10 am against the University of the Pacific Tigers at Hellman Tennis Center. The Bears look to follow up their strong performance from the ITA Kick Off and advance to 3-0 on the season. Be sure to attend this match as there will oppotunities to win Cal Tennis Gear.
Thank you for your support, we look forward to seeing you this weekend. Go Bears!!!