Bears crush Ducks but fall prey to Huskies

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As far as the No. 10 Cal men's tennis team and Oregon are concerned, history has a habit of repeating itself.

Since 2006 the Bears have edged out the Ducks in Pac-10 play by at least five points, and Friday's 7-0 sweep at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore., was no different.

Cal (12-6, 3-2 in the Pac-10) snatched its ninth doubles point of the season after the senior duo of Jonathan Dahan and captain Pedro Zerbini took the first match of the day in an 8-0 shutout over Aaron Clissold and Douglas Mayeda on court No. 2. The No. 22 tandem of junior Nick Andrews and sophomore Christoffer Konigsfeldt then decided the doubles round in a breakaway 8-6 win over Robin Cambier and Alex Rovello on the top court.

According to Bears coach Peter Wright, having Dahan in the lineup for the second time this season helped the team clinch the doubles point.

Oregon (10-10, 1-4 in the Pac-10) won the final doubles match in a 7-6(5) decision over sophomore Riki McLachlan and his freshman brother Ben. But that would be the Ducks' only win of the day.

Singles was more of the same - Bears domination. Sophomore Carlos Cueto subbed in for a sick and hurt Zerbini on the top court and quickly put away Alex Rovello, 6-2, 6-3, for the first win.

Two finishes later, freshman Ben McLachlan defeated Jose Izquierdo, 6-2, 6-4, on the fourth court and clinched the day's match for Cal.

"Overall our performance was strong," Wright said. "I think this was a solid win. We put ourselves in a position to win which gave us that opportunity. That's all you can ask for."

Less than 24 hours later, the Bears repeated history of a different sort: the team added to its mixed-bag results of the last few years versus No. 22 Washington (15-8, 2-3 in the Pac-10) in a 4-3 defeat.

Cal took an early lead at the Nill Quillian Stadium in Seattle when Dahan and Zerbini clinched the doubles point in a 9-8(1) decision over Martin Kildahl and Tobi Obenaus.

But in the singles round, a cat-and-mouse chase for the overall victory ensued.

Huskies player Marton Bots evened the overall score with his 6-3, 6-2 triumph over senior Bozhidar Katsarov on court No. 6 before Konigsfeldt put the Bears in the lead again after beating Daniel Schmidt, 6-1, 6-2.

The two squads traded wins again until Washington won its third point with Obenaus' defeat of Ben McLachlan in a close 7-5, 7-5, call.

With the decision sitting on the final match of the day, Cueto battled back and forth across the net from Washington's Kyle McMorrow in a match that went into two tiebreakers over the course of three sets.

At the end of a 2-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(6), bout, McMorrow walked off the court the victor.

"It was right there for both teams," Wright said. "We both played our hearts out. There wasn't much in it. One point here or there to Cal, and we could have won."


Annie Gerlach covers men's tennis. Contact her at [email protected]

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