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Cal men’s tennis to face UCLA, USC this weekend

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Senior Staff

APRIL 07, 2023

Cal men’s tennis is set to face No. 28 UCLA on Friday and No. 10 USC on Saturday, marking the end of its regular-season matches at home.

With four consecutive losses — most recently a loss on the road against Utah — and a 1-2 conference record, the Bears will be looking to win both matches if they want to turn their momentum around and have a winning record in the Pac-12.

These next two matchups will put a few former teammates against each other. Cal head coach Kris Kwinta graduated from UCLA in 2008 and served as an associate head coach and assistant coach for the Trojans for nine years before coming to Cal. In addition, Ryder Jackson, who has taken up court two in singles for the Bears, transferred from USC last summer.

There are also questions surrounding whether the Bears have been able to fix their issues maintaining energy. This season, Cal has usually won the doubles point — winning 10 out of 14 doubles points — and gotten an early lead, only to falter later in the matches. This was the case in the losses against Utah and Columbia, as well as the win against ASU.

When looking at the teams’ previous records, UCLA has split its last two games, losing against No. 12 Arizona 4-0, while winning against No. 46 ASU 4-3. Cal also lost against Arizona and won against ASU in its matchups, but won 4-2 against ASU and lost 4-3 against Arizona.

The Bruins have also lost 4-0 against Columbia, while the Bears lost 4-2. Though the Bruins managed to best Pepperdine 4-3 — while the Bears lost 4-3 — the Bruins had the home court advantage for that matchup whereas the Bears did not. Overall, the Bears have performed better than the Bruins when facing the same opponents.

Cal also has the advantage when it comes to individual rankings. UCLA’s top singles player, Alexander Hoogmartens, is ranked No. 75, while Cal’s Yuta Kikuchi is ranked No. 37 in singles. In doubles, UCLA’s pair of Hoogmartens and Patrick Zahraj is ranked 89th, while Cal’s Lucas Magnaudet and Jackson are ranked 60th, having only lost two doubles matches this season.

But where the Bruins may fall short against its opponents, the Trojans appear stronger. USC won 6-1 against ASU, while also losing 4-3 to Arizona. In singles rankings, the Trojans have two players — Stefan Dostanic and Peter Makk — ranked No. 35 and No. 36, respectively. What’s more, USC’s pair of Dostanic and Bradley Frye are ranked No. 16 in doubles.

On paper, the Trojans will be a harder fight than the Bruins, but both are no pushovers.

Saturday’s events will not be limited to the match against the Trojans: Prior to the match, the Bears plan to honor Philip Hjorth, Kikuchi and Siddhant Banthia at their Senior Day ceremony. Hjorth is an undergraduate senior, while Kikuchi and Banthia are pursuing graduate degrees.

To add to the festivities, Fuddruckers will be providing free hamburgers to attendees Saturday while supplies last in honor of Cal’s late alumnus Jim McManus. McManus was inducted into the United States Tennis Association NorCal Hall of Fame in 1994 and the California Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009. And, yes, admission is free.

Contact Christopher Ying at  or on Twitter


APRIL 07, 2023