Katsarov Bests Field, Wins Pac-10 Singles Draw

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For freshman Bozhidar Katsarov it was the same story, different venue this weekend.

Katsarov won five matches at the Pac-10 championships en route to winning the Invitational Singles Draw yesterday. The championships were held in Ojai, Calif., at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club.

This is the Cal men's tennis player's third tournament victory after winning the Flight A Singles Draw at the Chandler Cup and the Flight B Singles Draw at the Bulldog Classic back in October.

"Again the freshman is putting up big numbers for the Bears down here in the Pac-10 tournament," coach Peter Wright said.

In the tournament final, Katsarov beat Arizona State's Wes Miller in two exciting straight sets, 7-6(4), 7-6(7).

Katsarov now has a record of 34-10 in singles this season-the best mark in Cal history for a freshman.

The rest of the team had mixed results at the championships. The eight Bears players in attendance went a combined 9-7 in singles and 6-3 in doubles. Four of those players did not even make it past the first round of their respective draws.

Fellow freshman Pedro Zerbini made it to the quarterfinal of the main singles draw before bowing out to No. 1 seed Robert Farah of USC, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

Zerbini also made it to the semifinals of the main doubles draw with junior Geoff Chizever. However, the tandem ran into the No. 2 doubles team in the country, the Trojans' Farah and Kaes Van't Hof, and fell by a score of 8-4.

"(Geoff and Pedro) played a decent match. But you have to give credit to the USC guys," Wright said. "They are one of the top teams in the country and they played well."

Nevertheless the duo is now 21-10 together and got some much needed practice before the NCAA tournament.

Junior Eoin Heavey and senior Ken Nakahara did not participate in the tournament, as they are resting minor injuries.

All that's left for Cal now is to wait for the tournament selection show to see if it will end up in the postseason. Announcements will be made between 11 and 11:30 a.m. tomorrow on ESPNews.

"I think we are pretty confident about being selected for the tournament," junior Nicolai Horgen said. "I don't know where we are going yet, but I feel that we are ready. All the guys are really pumped."

The Bears (12-10, 4-3 in the Pac-10) have a good resume and look as though they are a shoo-in to be selected. In addition to being ranked 30th in the country, Cal finished fourth in a tough Pac-10 conference that boasts two of the best teams in the country. Although the Bears are a meager 3-7 against top-25 opponents, four of those losses came at the hands of No. 7 USC and No. 3 UCLA.

The Bears also have history on their side, having made eight straight postseason appearances and qualified for 13 of the last 14 NCAA tournaments.

Tags: PAC-10 CHAMPAIONSHIPS


Contact Joshua Linville at [email protected]



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