Reserves compete for Bears at Pac-10 Championships

Eugene W. Lau/File

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On Saturday, the No. 16 Cal men's tennis team wrapped up play at the Pac-10 Championships - one day earlier than the end of the tournament itself.

Coach Peter Wright said earlier in the week that his team didn't place too much emphasis on the competition, especially with big-ticket tournaments such as the NCAAs coming up at the end of the month. He didn't play his top athletes for fear of injury, and he completely reassembled his doubles teams rather than stick with the solidified dual season lineup. Overall, the Bears planned to get some "live matches" in and work out any kinks before the national tournament.

The Pac-10 results in Ojai, Calif. reflected his attitude.

No singles player made it past the semifinals, and only the duo of senior Zach Gilbert and junior Sky Lovill took a final round win - the doubles invitational crown in a 9-8(5) tiebreaker against Marton Bots and Matthew Stith of Washington.

However, the other Bears in the weekend's two doubles rounds were not as fortunate. Sophomore Riki McLachlan and Boris Katsarov were eliminated in an 8-3 quarterfinal bout by Bots and Stith.

In the much larger doubles championship draw, the third-seeded duo of junior Nick Andrews and senior Jonathan Dahan posted an 8-5 victory over Oregon's Robin Cambier and Alex Rovello in the round of 16. However, Cal's tandem was matched up against Stanford's second-ranked team of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher - the result was an 8-5 loss.

Meanwhile, sophomore Christoffer Konigsfeldt and Murphy battled -and fell to- another Cardinal duo. Matt Kandath and Denis Lin of Stanford narrowly topped the Cal team in an 8-6 decision.

All eight Bears also played in the singles draws, but only two made it past the first rounds on Friday.

With a swift 6-0, 6-3 win over Arizona's Geoff Embry, Andrews was the only Cal player to move past the round of 32 in the men's singles championships. Konigsfeldt, McLachlan, and Dahan all fell in the first round.

Andrews moved farther still after upsetting Kyle McMorrow of Washington in the round of 16 and sweeping Stanford's Lin in the quarterfinals. However, he met his match in another Stanford athlete, the No. 9-ranked Klahn, in the semifinals, where Klahn nabbed a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory in three sets.

Prior to the competition, Lovill said that while the team was concentrating most on NCAAs, it wasn't overlooking other tournaments. However, a quick finish to the Pac-10 Championships means that now the Bears have nothing else standing between them and the national championships they look forward to all year.


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

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