Kikuchi earns Cal No. 43 win over Santa Clara
Photos by Robert Edwards/KLC
Yuta Kikuchi improved to 15-9 in singles with his win over the Broncos.
BERKELEY- The California men’s tennis team enjoyed a strong return to doubles play, with the No. 43 Golden Bears beating Santa Clara, 5-2, Friday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Cal senior Yuta Kikuchi picked up the win with a singles win on the court.
With the non-conference result, Cal improved to 6-3 in its first game since competing at the Pacific Coast Men’s Doubles Championship in La Jolla, Calif. Santa Clara fell to 4-6.
The Bears won the first in doubles, with the pair of Sean Hill and Philippe Hjorth beating Guillaume Dalmasso and Santiago Hinojosa, 6-2, on court two. But the Broncos won on first court and then clinched the doubles point when James Bell and Nick Cmager beat Cal freshmen Alex Chang and Carl Emil Overbeck7-5, on court three.
Cal used new duplicate pairings.
“We decided to break up a bit to see how the guys would react,” said Kris Kwinta, Peter Wright, director of men’s tennis at Cal. “It was a good test, but it put our backs against the wall a bit. It was a great situation where we had to answer in singles, and I think the guys did a really good job in singles answering a little adversity, a little stress.”
Early Singles Derrick Chen tied the game overall, 1-1, when he eliminated Hinojosa, 6-0, 6-2, on court five. Overbeck won by the same scoreline over Bell of the Broncos on court four, and Cal led 2-1. Lucas Magnaudet followed by a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Cmager on court six.
Kikuchi, ranked 91st, then beat Arthur Neuhaus on the first court to make it 4-1 and secure the Bears victory. After a tight first set, the Cal senior was dominant in the second and won 6-4, 6-1.
The teams split the last two games to make the final score 5-2.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how we finished and how motivated we were in the singles,” added Kwinta. “I’m looking forward to another competitive game against Utah on Sunday. It’s a good challenge for us to see where we are in the conference.”
Cal begins Pac-12 conference action Sunday at 12 p.m. against No. 22 Utah (16-1, 0-1 Pac-12) at Hellman Tennis Complex.
No. 43 California (6-3) beat Santa Clara (4-6), 5-2
March 11, 2022, in Berkeley, California.
Hellman Tennis Complex
1. Arthur Neuhaus/Mann Shah (SCU) def. Derrick Chen/Yuta Kikuchi (California), 6-2
2. Sean Hill/Philippe Hjorth (Cal) def. Guillaume Dalmasso/Santiago Hinojosa (SCU), 6-2
3. James Bell/Nick Cmager (SCU) defeat. Alex Chang/Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal), 7-5*
Order of arrival – 2, 1, 3*
* Landed the doubles point
1. No. 91 Yuta Kikuchi (Cal) def. Arthur Neuhaus (SCU), 6-4, 6-1^
2. Guillaume Dalmasso (SCU) defeated. Philippe Hjorth (Cal), 7-6(0), 7-6(5)
3. Sean Hill (Cal) def. Mann Shah (SCU), 6-3, 6-3
4. Carl Emil Overbeck (Cal) def. James Bell (SCU), 6-0, 6-2
5. Derrick Chen (Cal) def. Santiago Hinojosa (SCU), 6-0, 6-2
6. Lucas Magnaudet (Cal) def. Nick Cmager (SCU), 6-1, 6-1
Finishing order – 5, 4, 6, 1^, 3, 2
^ Won match overall