Men's Tennis Falls to Cal
April 3, 1998
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The California men's tennis team recorded its biggest victory of the year Friday with a 4-1 win over ninth-ranked USC in a rain-shortened dual match at the Hellman Tennis Center. The victory, which snapped a 16-match losing streak against the Trojans, was Cal's first over USC since the Bears 6-3 win over the Trojans on April 22, 1989.
"This is a big win for us and really puts our season in perspective," Cal head coach Peter Wright said following match. "USC is the first Top 10 team we've played this year other than Stanford and although it's a match we knew we could win, knowing you can win and doing it are two different things. It's a breakthrough win for us, no doubt about it. We've been preparing for it for a long time and I'm just happy for our guys."
Cal's victory also improved the Bears to 12-2 overall, 5-1 Pac-10, the team's best start over 14 matches since the 1990 squad posted the same record. The loss dropped USC to 13-4 overall, 4-3 Pac-10.
The start of the match was delayed nearly two hours due to intermittent rain in the Bay Area, but once things got underway, David Sutton got the Bears rolling on court No. 6 with a 6-4, 6-4 straight set victory over Akram Zaman. USC evened the match at a point apiece soon there after as Roman Kukal knocked off Cal's Nathan Jackmon 6-3, 6-2 in the No. 2 position.
But Kukal's victory would prove to be the Trojans lone win on the day as Adrian Barnes defeated Fernando Samayoa at No. 4 6-4, 6-1 and Minh Le dropped Patrick Gottesleben 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 to give Cal a commanding 3-1 lead.
The Bears clinched the match on Court No. 1 as Bobby Mahal downed 23rd-ranked George Bastl 6-4, 7-6, taking the second set in a tie-breaker, 9-6, to secure the victory.
With the victory in hand and rain beginning to fall once again, the final match of the day between Cal's Kian Raiszadeh and Kyle Spencer was suspended with Spencer leading 7-6, 3-6, 1-0 in the third. The doubles portion of the contest was also suspended.
Cal will return to the court in search of its sixth conference victory Saturday, April 4, when the Bears host eighth-ranked UCLA at the Hellman Tennis Center. Match time is scheduled for 12 noon.