#46 Waves' Upset Bid Falls Short, #17 Cal Wins 4-3
March 23, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #46 Pepperdine men's tennis team nearly pulled off a brilliant upset over #17 Cal on Sunday afternoon, but fell just short and settled for the 4-3 loss. After the Waves posted three singles victories, Cal's Filip Bergevi won 6-4 in the third set vs. David Sofaer to clinch the dual for the Golden Bears.
Cal and Pepperdine met earlier this season during the finals of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in January. Although the Waves had struck first by winning the doubles point, the Golden Bears took the dual in singles to win by a final score of 4-2.
It would be Cal who took the opening advantage today, winning doubles matches at No. 1 and No. 2 to take the early lead.
The Waves made a strong opening charge in singles, winning first sets in three of the six contests.
Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) was lights out today for Pepperdine, nearly blanking Cal ace Ben McLachlan 6-0, 6-1 to knot the team score at 1-all.
The Golden Bears took a 3-1 lead courtesy of wins by Mads Engsted and Gregory Bayane, but Pepperdine was still in the thick of it in the remaining three matches.
After splitting sets on court two, Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) controlled set three vs. Campbell Johnson to the tune of a 6-2 score.
Despite falling behind two breaks early, Stefan Menichella (Santa Barbara, Calif./University HS) battled his way back against Andre Goransson to send the first set to a tiebreaker. Behind a strong serving performance, Menichella won 7-5 to claim the first frame.
The second set ended much the same, with the freshman winning 7-3 in the tiebreaker to tally point No. 3 for Pepperdine.
The deciding match came down to Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) and Bergevi at No. 3. Sofaer was down a break in the third set, 3-5, when Menichella won but Sofaer broke Bergevi's serve to stay alive.
In the next game, the Golden Bear took match point 40-30 but hit a ball just long to bring the score to deuce.
Sofaer fell behind match point once again, and Bergevi laced a passing shot down the line to win the final set 6-4 and clinch the dual for Cal.
Next up, the Waves host Santa Clara at 3 p.m. on Tuesday before traveling to Provo, Utah to take on BYU on Saturday.
California vs Pepperdine
#17 California 4, #46 Pepperdine 3