May 13, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. - Despite some heated battles on several singles courts, the UC Santa Barbara men's tennis team saw its 2006 campaign come to an end Saturday with a 4-0 loss to California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Taube Tennis Center.
The 20th-ranked Golden Bears improved to 16-6 overall and advance to Sunday's second round against either host Stanford or Quinnipiac. Meanwhile UCSB's season ends with a 15-11 dual match record.
After Cal clinched the doubles point with convincing wins on courts one and three, the action turned to singles. Berkeley's Lennart Maack earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory at the No. 3 spot, while his teammate Ken Nakahara did the same at No. 5 with a 6-1, 7-5 triumph over Scott Hohenstein.
A spirited contest ensued at the top spot, where Berkeley's Connor Niland - the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year squared off with Nick Brotman, who earned similar honors in the Big West Conference. The Golden Bear senior, also recently named ITA West Region Player of the Year, pulled out a narrow 6-4, 6-4 win to clinch a second round berth for his squad.
Play was suspended while Santa Barbara was within striking distance on the three remaining courts. Gaucho freshman Max Taylor won the first set on court six, 6-3, before Cal's Dean Wallace knotted the score by taking the second frame 6-4. At No. 2 singles UCSB rookie Bijan Hejazi dropped a tough 7-6 (7-5) decision to Tyler Browne but then held a commanding 4-1 second set advantage. Finally, on court four Santa Barbara junior Elad Stern rallied from a 6-1 opening-set loss to Daniel Sebescen and was on the verge of knotting the score, up 6-5 in the second.
The Gauchos were making their third NCAA tourney appearance and first since 2003 under head coach Marty Davis, who was a three-time All-American at Cal in the late-1970's.
Doubles: (California wins doubles point) 1. Conor Niland/Tyler Browne (Cal) d. Nick Brotman/Anders Dalskov (UCSB) - 8-2 2. John Petit/Daniel Sebescen (Cal) vs. Carsten Thorstensen/Scott Hohenstein (UCSB) - 6-3, dnf 3. Lennart Maack/Dean Wallace (Cal) d. Bijan Hejazi/Elad Stern (UCSB) - 8-3 Order of finish: 3,1
Singles: 1. Conor Niland (Cal) d. Nick Brotman (UCSB) - 6-4, 6-4 2. Tyler Browne (Cal) vs. Bijan Hejazi (UCSB) - 7-6, 1-4, dnf 3. Lennart Maack (Cal) d. Anders Dalskov (UCSB) - 6-3, 6-1 4. Daniel Sebescen (Cal) vs. Elad Stern (UCSB) - 6-1, 5-6, dnf 5. Ken Nakahara (Cal) d. Scott Hohenstein (UCSB) - 6-1, 7-5 6. Dean Wallace (Cal) vs. Max Taylor (UCSB) - 3-6, 6-4, dnf Order of finish: 5, 3, 1