Tennis Starts Pac-10 Play With Hellman Split





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After the final ball was hit Saturday, the Washington tennis team's Andy Posavac sat, head buried in a towel, in tears.

Believe it or not, Posavac was on the winning team. His individual disappointment versus Cal's Erik Dmytruk did not overshadow the Huskies' team glory.

A weekend that started out on a high note for the Bears ended with disappointment, as Cal split two matches between Pac-10 foes Oregon and Washington at Hellman Tennis Center.

The Huskies headed into Saturday's match coming off a 5-2 loss to Stanford.

Things started off well for the Bears (4-1, 1-1 in the Pac-10), with the No. 21 doubles team of Dmytruk and Scott Kintz disposing of Jeremy Berman and Posavac, 8-6.

Freshman doubles team John Paul Fruttero and Robert Kowalczyk easily outplayed its counterpart from the Pacific Northwest with a 8-3 win over Nicholas Quatrochi and Ari Strasberg.

But when it was time for singles play to begin, Cal's fortunes took a turn for the worse.

"We had a lot of opportunities," Bears coach Peter Wright said. "We just got outplayed at critical times in the matches."

Coming off two straight losses, Washington (6-3, 1-1) was eager to score a victory, and clawed its way back to a 5-2 victory.

"It was important to win," Berman said. "We had lost to a couple of teams ranked around the same place as Cal. I think we're just as good as anybody."

And it didn't hurt that Cal did not shut the door on the Huskies when they had a chance.

Both Fruttero and Hiro Nakamura won the first sets of their matches, but were unable to finish off their opponents.

"My serve went away from me," said Fruttero, who fell, 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, to Matt Hanlin. "He really stepped it up."

In addition to losing its first match of the season, the Bears lost team captain Adrian Barnes for six to 10 weeks due to a shoulder injury.

"We can't blame it on Adrian Barnes being out," Wright said. "Washington's a stronger team (than Oregon) and we didn't take advantage (of our opportunities.)"

Meanwhile, Cal began the Pac-10 season Friday against Oregon (3-3, 0-1). The Ducks' misfortune began early, when the Bears took two of the three doubles and gained a 1-0 advantage in team play.

In singles , Fruttero took the No. 1 position for Cal. He and Cowalczyk, who manned the No. 3 slot, suffered the team's only defeats in singles play.

Nevertheless, the Bears prevailed by taking the remaining four matches. Dmytruk clinched the victory with a thrilling 6-2, 3-6, 7-6, (6-4) victory over Guillermo Carter for a 5-2 team win. Kintz, Nakamura and David Tzou completed the scoring for Cal.

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