The No. 21-ranked Cal men’s tennis team (13-7, 4-3 Pac-10) has solidified a third place finish in the Pac-10 with a 4-3 conference record. The last time the Bears finished their conference season in the top three dates back six years to 1995, when the Bears tied for third in the conference with a 5-5 record.
That year, the Bears ended their season in the Round of 16 at the NCAA championships, while garnering a No. 13 national ranking at the end of the season. It was the second year with head coach Peter Wright at the helm. The year before, Wright was named Wilson/ITA Regional Coach of the Year for guiding the Bears to the postseason after Cal had missed the Big Dance the previous two seasons.
The Bears have had considerable success against teams with higher rankings, and could move up before the season’s end. On April 6, Cal handed No. 18-ranked USC a 4-2 defeat in Los Angeles. On April 16, Cal upset then No. 12-ranked Pepperdine in Berkeley, defeating the Waves, 4-3, behind four wins in singles.
The Bears biggest win came on March 17, when Cal defeated No. 8-ranked Southern Methodist in Indian Wells, 4-3, winning the doubles point and three singles matches at No. 3, 4 and 5. Despite a loss to No. 4-ranked Texas Christian on March 27 and a season-opening loss at No. 16 Washington, the Bears only major losses have come to conference foes UCLA and Stanford, who have been ranked in the top five for a majority of the season.
Cal will close its season this weekend with two non-conference matchups with the Los Angeles schools.