Friday, April 24, 2015

Cal men barely survive in Pac-12 quarterfinals

   The 25th-ranked Cal men battled back numerous times and narrowly averted an upset loss to No. 50 Oregon in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Championships in Ojai.
   Gregory Bayane defeated Simon Stevens 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 on Court 3 on Thursday to give the fourth-seeded Bears (18-7) a 4-3 victory over the fifth-seeded Ducks (15-9).
   “We knew going into this that Oregon would be a tough match today,” Cal coach Peter Wright said on “Unfortunately, we dug ourselves quite a hole today by losing the doubles point and the first set in four of the singles matches. We were down match points at No. 4 singles, and Oregon served for the match at No. 3.
   "I have to give credit to our guys for how hard we fought to get back in the match today – the Bears did not quit. Gregory Bayane showed tremendous grit when he clinched the match for us because he was on the brink of cramping at the end.”
   Archrivals will meet in both of today's semifinals. Cal will face top-seeded and 26th-ranked Stanford at noon, and second-seeded USC will play third-seeded UCLA at 3 p.m.
   The Trojans are coming off their fifth NCAA team title in six years. Mackenzie McDonald, a sophomore from Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, plays No. 1 singles and doubles for the Bruins.
   In women's singles, top-seeded Giuliana Olmos of USC and fourth-seeded Klara Fabikova of Cal each won two straight-set matches to reach the quarterfinals.
   Olmos, a junior from Fremont in the Bay Area, will take on Nia Rose of Oregon. Fabikova, a junior from the Czech Republic, will go against UCLA's Jennifer Brady, the reigning champion of the $25,000 Redding Challenger who's ranked No. 208 in the world.
   None of the top three players in the country -- No. 1 Robin Anderson of UCLA, No. 2 Carol Zhao of Stanford or No. 3 Maegan Manasse of Cal -- is playing singles. Nor is No. 17 Taylor Davidson of Stanford.
   Davidson and Zhao are seeded first in doubles, which begins today, and ranked second nationally. Manasse and Denise Starr are seeded third and ranked eighth. Anderson isn't playing doubles, either.
   West Coast Championships in San Diego -- The third-seeded USF men and fourth-seeded coasted into the semifinals. The Dons will play No. 2 Pepperdine, and the Tigers will face No. 1 San Diego.
   In the women's tournament, third-seeded USF and fourth-seeded Saint Mary's advanced to the semis with 4-0 victories. The Dons will meet No. 2 Portland, and the Gaels will battle No. 1 Pepperdine.
   Mountain West Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. -- The fifth-seeded Boise State men whipped fourth-seeded Fresno State 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
   On the women's side, top-seeded Fresno State and third-seeded San Jose State will play today in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs are led by Mountain West Player of the Year Sophie Watts, a junior from England.

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