Kelley L Cox / KLC fotos
Lucas Magnaudet’s win earned Cal a match with seventh-ranked Michigan.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Lucas Magnaudet won a three-setter to clinch the 29th-ranked California men’s tennis team’s 4-1 victory over 34th-ranked LSU in the NCAA Championship first round on Saturday at Michigan’s Varsity Tennis Center. The Golden Bears (13-10) next play the seventh-ranked/seventh-seeded Wolverines (25-4) in the second round on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT for the right to advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
The Bears claimed the doubles point and a 1-0 lead over the Tigers after winning on court two, with Siddhant Banthia and Ryder Jackson defeating Stefan Latinovic and Welsh Hotard, 6-2, and clinching on court three, with Derrick Chen and Philip Hjorth beating Chen Dong and George Stoupe, 6-3.
LSU got on the scoreboard in singles when Latinovic beat Jackson, 6-4, 6-4, on court two to tie the contest 1-1.
But Cal reeled off the next three wins to take the match, starting with Hjorth’s 6-4, 6-1 result over Julien Penzlin on court six. Carl Emil Overbeck knocked off Dong, 6-4, 6-2, on court three to give the Bears a 3-1 lead, and Magnaudet prevailed over Stoupe, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, on court five to wrap up the Bears’ 4-1 victory.
Cal is in the NCAA team tournament after last competing in it in 2019.
“There are different conditions and a different set of rules in the postseason,” said Kris Kwinta, Cal’s Peter Wright Director of Men’s Tennis. “Most of these guys haven’t been to the NCAA tournament. It’s a different experience. But we came out ready and really composed in doubles, we hit our spots and had fun on all the courts, despite some nervousness. We found a way to enjoy this moment the team has earned.
“We kept the momentum going into singles, and took some big first sets early, with Yuta winning one, Philly coming through with a set and Carlo winning one. That put us up on the scoreboard, and that allowed us to be aggressive, continue the momentum, and play better and better.”
Cal faces a talented second-round opponent in host Michigan. The Big 10 runner-up improved its home record to 12-1 after defeating Toledo, 4-0, in Saturday’s other first-round match in Ann Arbor.
“We’ve mostly been underdogs this season,”…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at California Golden Bears Athletics…