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Big Slam: No.36 Cal Men’s Tennis loses to No.2 Stanford

This is the first of two regular season meeting between the two rivals. This one does not count toward Pac-12 standings.

Can the two senior captains - Nishimura and Griffith leads the otherwise young Cal Men’s Tennis to a huge upset Big Slam win today?
Cal Men’s Tennis Twitter

Although the Golden Bears fought hard, they succumb to the more seasoned Stanford squad 4-1 in the non-conference version of the Big Slam.

Stanford took the doubles point. They also won court 5 in straight sets when Stanford senior David Wilczynski beats Cal freshman Jacob Brumm.

Bears got on the board when senior Billy Griffith won in court 1.

All 4 other courts went to a deciding 3rd set. Unfortunately, courts 6 and 2 finished first (with Stanford leading in courts 3 and 4) with the Cardinal victorious. Geller clinched the Stanford win in court 2 with a win over Cal senior J.T. Nishimura.

No.36 Cal Men’s Tennis vs. No.2 Stanford Cardinal

Where: Hellman Tennis Complex (Berkeley, CA)

When: 1 PM PT

Live Streams: Hellman Live Streams

With the No.1 recruiting class in the country, Cal Men’s Tennis has reloaded in the 2017-18 seasons to offset for the graduation of their top 3 players for the last few years. However, with youth, the Bears have to wait for the youth to gain more seasoning. After a fairly hefty preseason ranking, Cal Men’s Tennis has dropped down in the rankings after going 3-3 in dual play. On this Saturday afternoon, the Golden Bears have a great opportunity to make a big statement when they host a good Stanford team, who are coming off a ITA Indoors semifinal run last weekend. Stanford actually went through Hellman on their way to qualify for the ITA Indoors final 16; because the Bears lost their opening match, they actually did not play Stanford few weekends ago.

Bears are coming off two road losses at No.10 Illinois and No.13 Michigan (and they were not that close). Maybe some home cooking is what the young Cal team needs to end the short losing streak.

Cal Lineup:


No.30 Billy Griffith/J.T. Nishimura - the senior duo leads the young Cal squad

Ben Draper/Jack Molloy - this freshman duo played together since high school in England

Dominic Barretto/Can Kaya - another freshmen duo for the Bears


No.79 Billy Griffith - senior

Jack Molloy - freshman

Paul Barreto - freshman younger Barreto

Dominic Barreto - sophomore older Barreto

Ben Draper - freshman

Bjorn Hoffmann - sophomore

Given the Cal struggles of late, one would think that head coach Peter Wright is still experimenting with the lineups, particularly in singles.

Other Bears that may be in the mix include freshmen Jacob Brumm (who started at court 5 for the Bears in the ITA kickoff) and Jackson Suh.

Stanford Lineup:


No.36 Sameer Kumar/Michael Genender

No.27 Tom Fawcett/Axel Geller

Timothy Sah/David Wilczynski


No.14 Tom Fawcett - senior

No.34 Axel Geller - freshman

No.91 Sameer Kumar - junior

No.120 Eric Fomba - grad transfer

David Wilczynski - senior

William Genesen - sophomore

Not only does the Stanford lineup has more experience, they also have had the recent success to earn the much better rankings. Stanford were knocked out 4-3 in the ITA Indoors semifinal by the eventual champs Wake Forest. There may be some slight changes in the bottom of the Stanford lineup. Fomba has ascended from court 6 to court 4 between ITA kickoff and the semifinal. Genesen has also replaced Genender in the singles lineup. No.87 ranked Jack Barber has not played this spring for the Cardinal.

With it being a rivalry match, you can throw a lot of the numbers away. In the past, highly ranked and heavily favorite Cal squads have been pushed to the limit by Stanford and vice versa. Bears are coming off an easy 4-0 Senior Day win over the Cardinal in the latest Big Slam last year, though.

It will be interesting to see how the Cal freshmen fare in this rivalry dual meet.