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Cal Men's Tennis upsets USC 4-1 in Pac-12 semifinals, faces UCLA in final on Saturday

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The talented Cal squad will play for the Pac-12 title against UCLA on Saturday

Golden Bears face a tough test in USC Trojans on this Friday afternoon.
Golden Bears face a tough test in USC Trojans on this Friday afternoon.
Cal Men's Tennis Facebook

Bears win! Without nearly as much history as USC, the 16th ranked sturdy Golden Bears were able to upset the "rebuilding" 8th ranked USC team on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Bears will take on UCLA on Saturday night for the Pac-12 crown. UCLA has defeated Stanford earlier on the day in the other semifinals.

In addition to the berth in the Pac-12 final, the Bears have clinched the opportunity to host the first two rounds of NCAA by upsetting the No.8 team in the country.

Thanks to some gutsy shotmaking in the deciding No.1 doubles match that went into the tiebreakers, Bears took the doubles point and had a lot of momentum going into the singles.

Right off the bat, the Bears had three courts where they were up a break and was even in the other three courts. Eventually, No.1 court saw Cal's Florian Lakat blew a 3-0 lead to lose the first set. No.2 court also saw Cal in defeat. However, Filip Bergevi defeated Jake Devine in straight set in Court 4 and J.T. Nishimura followed suit in court 6 to beat Laurens Verboven. After Court 2 result became final, Cal's Andre Goransson lost to USC's Nick Crystal, the Bears punched their ticket to the Pac-12 championship team meet when Billy Griffith beat Logan Smith in court 3.

Pac-12 Championships - Semifinal

[3] No. 16 California (17-5) defeated [2] No. 8 USC (15-6) - 4-1

April 22, 2016, in Ojai, Calif.

Libbey Park

Doubles
1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) def. Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC), 7-6 (6)
2. Max de Vroome/Thibault Forget (USC) def. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikber (CAL), 6-1
3. J.T. Nishimura/Mads Engsted (CAL) def. Rob Bellamy/Jake DeVine (USC), 6-3

Cal won the doubles point

Order of Finish - 2, 3, 1*

*Clinched the doubles point

Singles
1. No. 27 Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. No. 23 Max de Vroome (USC), susp. 4-6, 6-4
2. No. 43 Nick Crystal (USC) def. No. 28 Andre Goransson (CAL), 6-4, 7-5
3. No. 82 Billy Griffith (CAL) def. No. 59 Logan Smith (USC), 6-4, 6-2
4. Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. No. 106 Jake DeVine (USC), 6-3, 6-3
5. No. 122 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. No. 117 Thibault Forget (USC), susp. 7-6(4), 1-3
6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Laurens Verbovens (USC), 6-2, 6-4

Order of finish - 4, 6, 2, 3*

*Clinched the overall match

Bears will look to make some more history (making to the final is already a historical best for the Golden Bears) and win a Pac-12 title for the first time tomorrow. It will be a tough challenge against UCLA, but nothing is impossible (wait, why am I paraphrasing the catch phrase for the sports apparel company that supports UCLA?).

ROLL ON YOU BEARS!

*******

No.16 California Golden Bears (16-5) vs. No.8 USC Trojans (15-5)

Where: Ojai, CA

When: 1 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks (live), Pac-12 Bay area at 6:30 pm PT

After defeating Washington 4-0 on Thursday in the Pac-12 quarter-finals, the Golden Bears will look to get through the very tough USC Trojans on Friday afternoon to advance to the Pac-12 final on Saturday. This year's Golden Bears squad has had its share of big upset already - namely beating the No.2 TCU down in Austin (it was hosted by University of Texas).

The Bears had lost to the Trojans 4-2 down in LA earlier this year.

This was the result from that meet:

No. 9 USC (12-4, 2-1 Pac-12) defeated No. 16 California (11-4, 2-1 Pac-12) – 4-2

April 1, 2016, in Los Angeles, Calif.

Marks Tennis Stadium

Doubles

1. No. 44 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (Cal) def. No. 38 Nick Crystal/Laurens Verboven (USC) – 6-0

2. Jack Jaede/Max de Vroome (USC) def. Andre Goransson/Billy Griffith (Cal) – 6-2

3. J.T. Nishimura/Ryan Shen (Cal) def. Thibault Forget/Tanner Smith (USC) – 6-3

Cal won the doubles point

Order of Finish – 1. 2, 3*

*Clinched the doubles point

Singles

1. No. 25 Max de Vroome (USC) def. No. 28 Florian Lakat (Cal) – 5-7, 6-2, 6-1

2. No. 55 Nick Crystal (USC) def. No. 40 Billy Griffith (Cal) – 6-2, 6-4

3. No. 58 Logan Smith (USC) def. No. 17 Andre Goransson (Cal) – 6-2, 6-4

4. Filip Bergevi (Cal) def. No. 109 Jake DeVine (USC) – 7-6(5), 6-4

5. Thibault Forget (USC) def. No. 62 Oskar Wikberg (Cal) – 6-3, 6-1

6. Rob Bellamy (USC) vs. J.T. Nishimura (Cal) – 2-6, 7-6(5), 2-1 susp.

Order of Finish – 5, 2, 3, 4, 1*

*Clinched the overall match

The Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat pairing has since ascended the rankings from No.44 to No.11. Andre Goransson will also likely be paired with Oskar Wikberg (assuming the same lineup as yesterday) rather than Billy Griffith today. Goransson, now ranked No.28 in the country, is now playing as No.2 for the Bears while No.82 Griffith slides to No.3. Lakat has the highest ranking on the Bears with No.27 in the country. Wikberg is ranked at No.122.

In the latest rankings, the USC Trojans have Senior Max de Vroome at No.23 in the country. He's joined in the top-100 by No.43 junior Nick Crystal and No.59 freshman Logan Smith. Freshman Jake DeVine now ranks No.106 in singles, while sophomore Thibault Forget checks in at No.117 this week. In doubles, USC has Crystal and freshman Laurens Verboven now sitting at No.46 in the nation.

GO BEARS!