Men's tennis defeats Cal for Bay Area split

By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, March 1, 2004

The UA men's tennis team upset No. 20 California Saturday to bounce back from a setback the day before at No. 5 Stanford.

With the 4-3 win over Cal, the Wildcats improved to 7-4, while the Bears dropped to 3-5. Arizona lost to Stanford 5-4 on Friday after the match was rescheduled due to rain.

Going into the California match, a school from Arizona had never in history beaten a California school in California. The Wildcats, however, changed that, battling back from a 3-1 deficit to overcome history and the Bears.

"It was amazing," said senior Tom Lloyd, who played against Stanford but missed the California match with a groin injury. "Words really can't describe it."

Because of a scheduling conflict with the Cal women's tennis team, the match started with singles play. Whi Kim, Roger Matalonga and Tim Mullane all lost their matches, while Daniel Andrus won his 7-5, 6-1 over Tyler Brown. The Cats were down 3-1 with Colin O'Grady and Paul Warkentin still playing, but both rallied and won three-set matches to force the doubles tiebreak. O'Grady defeated Daniel Sabescen 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, while Warkentin defeated Patrick Briaud 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"We were getting beat up early," Warkentin said. "We were down the first set in pretty much all the matches. For Colin to come back, it was definitely amazing. For Daniel to come back after being down 5-3 it was a good feeling after those guys had their comebacks, to pull it out."

Against Stanford, Matalonga and O'Grady continued their success on the court, winning the only two points the Wildcats would get. Matalonga and O'Grady dominated once again, winning both matches in straight sets over James Pade and Phil Sheng, respectively.

"We want to come in and beat (Pacific 10 Conference) teams at their place," Warkentin said. "We expect to win all our Pac-10 matches at home."

In the doubles matches, O'Grady and Matalonga beat Patrick Briaud and Balazs Veress 8-6 in the No. 1 position. Warkentin and Andrus, along with the team of Kim and Mullane, won their doubles matches to finish off the Golden Bears.

"Our coach had coached at Cal for a while and we wanted to get him a win at his old school," Warkentin said. "Everybody's feeling as good as we could possibly feel. Everybody knows that if we look down the line, we can beat anybody, and that's about Tom Lloyd, our senior captain. Once we got this win, we know that we could reach our potential."