The Daily Californian Online

Stewart Leads Clean Sweep of Quakers as Cal Goes Back-to-Back For First Time Since January

By Joshua Linville
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Category: Sports > Spring > Tennis (Men's)

Down 1-4 in his second set, sophomore Kallim Stewart took a moment to compose himself and calm down before turning the match around. Using his tremendous serve, Stewart rattled off five straight points, turning the deficit into a 7-5 win.

Much like Stewart's serves, everything seemed to fall into place for the Cal men's tennis team yesterday as it defeated Pennsylvania (7-5) by a score of 7-0. The victory marked the first time the Bears have shut out an opponent this season.

"This was a good match for us. We hit on all cylinders today," coach Peter Wright said. "Collectively it was a great effort against a tough team. I was very happy in how we handled ourselves in the match."

Cal (6-5) was perfect against the Quakers as it did not lose a single set. The Bears have now won back-to-back matches while Penn has lost four in a row.

Stewart led the Cal charge with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Jason Pinsky. In his first set, Stewart broke his opponent early, going up 3-0 in the process before holding serve. Stewart faced a little bit more difficulty in the second set, doubling faulting to go down 2-1. A couple of misplaced shots dug Stewart into a deeper hole.

But the sophomore relied on his powerful serve to carry him through as there were a couple of times when Pinsky just flat out whiffed on the return, getting nothing but air and shaking his head in disbelief.

"My serve felt very good today, I have been working on a new motion," Stewart said. "At the end I was very motivated to close him out because he is a good player."

Stewart, who is currently the team's only ranked player, is now 3-0 in the month of March on court one. Wright has taken notice of the sophomore's stellar play.

"He is much better in the tight situations," Wright said. "He is starting to think better and his shot selection has improved dramatically."

The Bears started the day off right, winning all three doubles matches to go up 1-0. Junior Geoff Chizever partnered with freshman Pedro Zerbini to defeat Pinsky and Joseph Lok in convincing fashion, 8-2. Stewart also teamed up with junior Eoin Heavey to beat Brandon O'Gara and Eric Riley 8-6. Finding themselves down 4-6, Stewart and Heavey dug deep for the victory in an extremely long match that contained five deuces.

"We were a little sluggish at the start but we got our act together towards the end," Heavey said. "We just kind of stepped up our game and made sure we made a lot of returns."

Heavey also chipped in with a 6-1, 6-1 singles win over Penn's Lok, giving Cal a 2-0 advantage. In addition, freshman Bozhidar Katsarov was his consistent self-garnering a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory against Justen Roth.

"With so many young guys on the team it takes a little while to get things into the right places but we are starting to get there," Wright said. "We are a work in progress (but) today was a very encouraging step along the way."


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