NCAA Mens Tennis

No. 33 Cal Tops No. 50 SMU 5-2

No. 33 Cal Tops No. 50 SMU 5-2

Zach Franzen

Siddhant Banthia clinched Cal’s wins over USF and SMU this season.

BERKELEY – The 33rd-ranked California men’s tennis team defeated No. 50 SMU, 5-2, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Siddhant Banthia claimed his second clinching victory as a Golden Bear when he defeated Julian Steinhausen, 6-0, 1-6, 6-4.
The Bears improved their record to 8-3 after splitting its first two contests – including Monday’s 4-2 loss to No. 11 Columbia – in a four-match homestand. SMU is now 9-9.
The Bears captured the doubles point for the eighth time in nine tries to take a 1-0 lead over the Mustangs. Cal’s 54th-ranked pair of Ryder Jackson and Lucas Magnaudet led off with a 6-2 win over SMU’s Kyle Sillman and Jack Winkler, and then Philip Hjorth and Yuta Kikuchi clinched the point with a 7-5 win over Pranav Kumar and Antonio Muniz-Hildalgo.
Cal won five of the six first sets in singles after winning the doubles point against SMU just as the Bears did vs. Columbia. But this time, the overall result went the Bears’ way.
Derrick Chen won in straight sets over Kumar, 6-2, 6-4, to give Cal a 2-0 lead. Jackson, ranked 94th, followed with another straight-set win – 6-4, 6-2 over Liam Krall. Banthia triumphed on court five to give Cal a 4-0 lead and the official victory.
“This was a much-needed win over a good, well-coached SMU team,” said Kris Kwinta, Cal’s Peter Wright Director of Men’s Tennis. “The guys came out with good energy and took the doubles point. We were pretty much in control of the match, and then we started getting in a little bit of trouble. It was almost a repeat of Monday. But courts two and three were able to bring the energy and step up, and the guys were a little more vocal today. We were able to stop their momentum in time. After Ryder and Derek delivered good wins, we were able to come back on Sid’s court and play some good tennis in key moments. I’m proud of the guys.”
The teams completed the final three matches, and after losses on courts one and four, Cal led 4-2. Magnaudet ended the day when he bested SMU’s Louis Cloud, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5, and settled the Bears’ 5-2 win.
Cal plays its third match of the homestand and opens Pac-12 Conference play on Friday at 3 p.m., when the Bears…

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