NCAA Mens Tennis

Cal Blanks Pepperdine 4-0 – California Golden Bears Athletics

Overbeck, Chang Reach Doubles Semifinals

Robert Edwards/KLC fotos

Alex Chang won twice Sunday to help Cal beat Pepperdine.

BERKELEY – Alex Chang won a three-setter over Chris Papa to clinch the California men’s tennis team’s 4-0 victory over Pepperdine on Sunday at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Cal junior also paired with Ryder Jackson to clinch the doubles point.
The Golden Bears have won three straight to improve their record to 3-3. The Waves fell to 1-4.
The duo of Mikey Wright and Carl Emil Overbeck got Cal off to a good start in doubles, beating Linus Carlsson Halldin and George Davis, 6-2, on court two, as Overbeck hit a big service return down the line to complete the win. Chang and Jackson followed with a 6-3 triumph over Papa and Maxi Homberg on court one to claim the doubles point for the Bears.
Sunday’s contest was a tight match despite the score, with the teams splitting first-set wins in singles. Freshman Timofey Stepanov eventually doubled Cal’s lead when he beat Homberg, 7-6(3), 6-3, on court five, and John Kim soon followed with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Robert Shelton on court six to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. Chang rebounded from dropping the first set to Papa on court two to prevail, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2, and end the match.
Peter Wright Director of Men’s Tennis Kris Kwinta lauded his team, which evened its record after opening the dual-match season 0-3.
“It’s a funny group,” he said. “We were on a losing streak, but nobody was hanging their heads. We just kept working harder and harder, and showing up. Sometimes that’s what it takes – you have to be kicked down a little bit to stand up stronger. But the Bears really followed suit in that regard. They really showed up the last two weeks, training harder and not giving up on themselves.
“As much as we suffered playing in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, the younger guys got exposure that benefitted us today. I firmly believe without a big tournament like that, they wouldn’t be ready for a match like today. I’m proud of Carlo and Alex, who are team captains and played at a high level today and played unbelievable in doubles, especially Carlo. John Kim and Timofey Stepanov, for them to step up and protect the home soil is huge. I’m very happy.”
Cal completes its early season homestand with a Feb. 18 match against…

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