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Cal loses Pac-12 Men's Tennis Championships final to UCLA

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Talented but clear underdogs Golden Bears are looking for the first Pac-12 title in program history, but inability to close out 2nd set tiebreakers (Bears were 0 for 3) doomed the Bears to a 4-1 loss.

In a battle of Bears vs. little Bruins, who will reign supreme?
In a battle of Bears vs. little Bruins, who will reign supreme?
Pac-12 Networks twitter

What a crazy meet and how frustrating it is to see the Bears come so close but yet so far from the program's first Pac-12 title. Instead, UCLA will take home their 38th Pac-12 title.

5 of the 6 singles matches went to a 3rd set. Although the Bears won 4 first sets, they actually lost 3 of those 4 matches. With 3 2nd set tiebreakers in courts 3, 5, and 6 - Golden Bears Billy Griffith, Oskar Wikberg, and J.T. Nishimura can't close things out (a couple of them even had decent leads). Coincidentally, the only win came from Filip Bergevi in court 4 where he had to overcome a first set loss to win.

4-1 was the final score but it really wasn't that far off.

Doubles
1. Martin Redlicki/Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL), 6-1
2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikber (CAL) vs. Karue Sell/Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA), susp. (CAL up 5-4)
3. Austin Rapp/Maxime Cressy (UCLA)  def. J.T. Nishimura/Mads Engsted (CAL), 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 3

Singles
1. Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. Florian Lakat (CAL), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
2. Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. Andre Goransson (CAL), 6-2, 6-3
3. Gage Brymer (UCLA) vs. Billy Griffith (CAL), susp. (UCLA up 4-6, 7-6 (4), 3-0)
4. Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. Karue Sell (UCLA), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. Logan Staggs (UCLA), susp. (UCLA up 4-6, 7-6, 4-2)
6. Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA)  def. J.T. Nishimura (CAL), 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 4, 6, 1

We just have to hope that this is a good learning experience for the Bears ahead of the NCAA tournament, rather than a debilitating mental defeat.

UCLA took the doubles point in a mild surprise. Maybe it was some nerves for the Cal squad, who has never played with a stake (the Pac-12 title) so high. Nevertheless, the Bears came out to play in the singles.

1.  No.4 Mackenzie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA) defeated Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) 6-1

2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. Karue Sell/Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA) was abandoned with the Bears up 5-4

3. Austin Rapp/Maxime Cressy (UCLA) defeated Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (CAL)  6-3

For Sunday, it will be another Cal vs. UCLA contest for the Women's Singles title (they don't do team championship for the women's)

Maybe Cal's Meagan Manasse can beat defending champ in UCLA's Catherine Harrison at 10 AM PT. Check back to CGB for the gamethread (I won't be able to live update that however).

GO BEARS!

*********

Pac-12 Men's Tennis Championships Final: California Golden Bears (17-5) vs. UCLA Bruins (20-2)

Where: Ojai, CA

When: 6 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

After an upset win over No.8 USC on Friday afternoon, 16th ranked California Golden Bears will look to make some history, a potential first Pac-12 title in program history is at stake, when they face a tough 4th ranked UCLA team on Saturday late afternoon for the 2016 Pac-12 Men's Tennis crown.

No. 3 California 4, No. 2 USC 1

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
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

Singles
1. Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. Max de Vroome (USC), susp. (4-6, 6-4)
2. Nick Crystal (USC) def. Andre Goransson (CAL), 6-4, 7-5
3. Billy Griffith (CAL) def. Logan Smith (USC), 6-4, 6-2
4. Filip Bergevi (CAL) def. Jake DeVine (USC), 6-3, 6-3
5. Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 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

A video posted by CalMensTennis (@calmenstennis) on

Friday's upset win has all but ensured that the Bears will be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament in a couple of weeks. However, a win today can go a long way to give the Bears better seeding and that always pivotal confidence boost. 2016 saw the Cal Women's Tennis team win their first national title of program history earlier this season at the ITA Indoors, maybe the Cal Men's Tennis can also make some remarkable history of their own.

Like yesterday, the Bears will have a chance to avenge for a regular season loss down in LA to the UCLA Bruins. In that 4-2 loss, Bears won the doubles point but only J.T. Nishimura was able to win his singles matchup.

#5 UCLA 4, #16 California 2
Apr 02, 2016 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. #9 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #28 Florian Lakat (CAL) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)

2. #49 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #17 Andre Goransson (CAL) 6-1, 6-3

3. #41 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. Filip Bergevi (CAL) 7-6 (10-8), 7-5

4. #98 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #62 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 6-2, 6-3

5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. Mads Engsted (CAL) 4-6, 7-5, 5-1, unfinished

6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition

1. #44 Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) def. #4 Mackenzie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA) 6-4

2. Joseph Di Giulio/Karue Sell (UCLA) vs. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) 5-4, unfinished

3. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) def. Gage Brymer/Maxime Cressy (UCLA) 6-2

Match Notes

California 11-5 (2-2 Pac-12); National ranking #16

UCLA 16-2 (4-0 Pac-12); National ranking #5

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,4,1,6,3)

UCLA has not loss since early on the year at Charlottesville, VA when they lost to host Virginia and then North Carolina. All these means is that the Bruins are due for a loss, right?

There have been some shifts in the rankings since the beginning of the month. The likely matchup today will pit:

Doubles:

1. Filip Bergevi/Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. No.4 Mackenzie McDonald/Martin Redlicki (UCLA)

2. Andre Goransson/Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. Karue Sell/Joseph DiGiulio (UCLA)

3. Mads Engsted/J.T. Nishimura (CAL) vs. Austin Rapp/Maxime Cressy (UCLA)

Singles:

1. No. 27 Florian Lakat (CAL) vs. No.8 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA)

2. No.28 Andre Goransson (CAL) vs. No.45 Martin Redlicki (UCLA)

3. No. 82 Billy Griffith (CAL) vs. No.58 Gage Brymer (UCLA)

4. Filip Bergevi (CAL) vs. No.86 Karue Sell (UCLA)

5. No.122 Oskar Wikberg (CAL) vs. Logan Staggs (UCLA)

6. J.T. Nishimura (CAL) vs. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA)

Every Golden Bear played quite well on Friday afternoon, we shall see if they can keep up the shot making today against the Bruins.

GO BEARS!