Another day in Tulsa, another exciting Cal Men's Tennis win. Coming down to the wire yet again, this time it is Cal No.1 Florian Lakat winning the third set tiebreaker to help the Bears advance to the NCAA semifinals.
Here is the match point and the ensuing celebration (hopefully no one got hurt in either jumping down onto the court or the scrum).
Bears took the doubles point and then won 5 of the 6 first sets in singles. Ohio State would not go away, however, and half of the matches went the distance to the 3rd set.
Here are the results:
Bears will take on top overall seed Virginia in the semifinal this afternoon.
The men's semifinal will take place after the women's semifinal, where top seed Cal Women's Tennis will take on Oklahoma State.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
NCAA tennis implemented a couple of scoring changes recently -
1) doubles will now be played as first to 6 games as opposed to 8
2) no ad scoring is now in effect - when a game is at deuce, a "deciding point" is played with the returner deciding which sides the point will be played at. The no ad scoring is also true in doubles.
The immediate effect of these changes have been that upsets are much much more easier to come by due to these deciding points. The new era of parity in collegiate tennis is really clear in the women's tournament this year (the final four consists of the top seed Cal with 6th seed Vanderbilt, 12th seed Oklahoma State, and the heavy underseeded 15th seed Stanford left).
While the men's tournament is not nearly as topsy-turvy (yet), the Golden Bears' 4-3 win over TCU (after beating them 4-2 at a neutral court earlier this year) shouldn't really surprise anyone. Neither should if the Bears can knock off the 5th seed in Ohio State today. While the Bears are the lowest seed (13th) of the remaining 8 teams, nearly everyone left has survived a scare. Ohio State squeezed past Texas (who eliminated the Bears for the past two years, by the way) 4-3 in their Round of 16 match.
Here is the scores from Cal vs. TCU:
#13 California (20-6) defeated #4 TCU (26-4), 4-3
Bears got some key points at the end of the doubles to win 7-5 in No.1 doubles and clinch that valuable doubles point (TCU has been dropping the doubles point often in recent days). The matches in courts 1 and 4 were fairly decisive. Bears got a bit of a break when in the 1st set tiebreaker, Oskar Wikberg's opponent Nava got hurt. He got treatment, came back to play the rest of the tiebreaker (and promptly lost that) before retiring due to the injury. Billy Griffith battled hard in court 3, but a few late key points gave TCU that match.
When everything came down to courts 2 and 6, both in the 3rd set - the Bears knew that they only needed one. J.T. Nishimura actually went ahead 3-0 in his 3rd set but promptly lost the next 6 games (J.T. is really streaky from watching him in this one and the Pac-12 final vs. UCLA). Cal junior Andre Goransson was down a break when J.T. started to unravel. Goransson fought back that break point at 3-3 then proceeded to hold his serve and apply the one game lead pressure.
Eventually, this was the deciding point:
The Bears will next battle The Ohio State Buckeyes today, starting at 10 AM PT.
You can watch the streams here.
The Bears are fired up and ready to go (I LOVE THIS BY THE WAY).
Doubles is already underway (sorry for not getting this post up earlier).
Bears listed 1st— Cal Men's Tennis (@CalMensTennis) May 22, 2016
3 Engsted/Nishimura-Di Feo/Mendez
Bears take the doubles point, clinching it on this play:
Bergevi/Lakat lost 6-1 to Ohio State's Pollanen/Torpegaard
Engsted/Nishimura defeated Di Feo/Mendez by a 6-3 score (Bears were up 4-1 and held on).
The decider came in No.2 doubles, Bears actually trailed 2-3 before breaking for a tie and then going on a roll to win 6-3 thanks to a couple clutch plays on deciding points.