Cal’s top doubles team reached as far as the semifinal round this past weekend in the prestigious ITA Intercollegiate National Indoor Championships.
After the duo of Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt fell in the semifinals, the Cal men’s tennis team’s fall season came to a close.
The National Indoors held in Flushing, N.Y., at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, is not only the final tournament of fall, but also the most prestigious.
“It’s basically the Indoor NCAA Championships of the fall,” coach Peter Wright said.
Andrews and Konigsfeldt are the fifth-ranked doubles team nationally and one of the top seeds in the tournament. They fell to a pair from Ohio State, Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola who are ranked third in the country. Although the duo from Cal took the first set of the semifinals, it lost the next two.
Last year, the Cal pair qualified for the National Indoors as well and successfully made it to the doubles quarterfinal round in which they were eliminated by Chris and Marcel Thiemann of Mississippi.
At the same point last season, the Bears’ pair was unranked and not highly seeded. The Mississippi team they lost to were ranked 10 and seeded fourth at Indoors.
It would appear that Andrews and Konigsfeldt have progressed significantly over the course of one year.
“I think they’re just a more mature team,” Wright said. “They’ve grown together by playing a lot of matches together. They know each other’s games better this year. I think they’ve had a good fall and they’ve got a lot of potential for the spring.”
Based on their performance of the course of the season and their rather impressive display at Indoors, Wright is optimistic that the twosome can reach national prominence.
“It’s an attainable goal to be the best doubles team in the country,” Wright said.
Andrews and Konigsfeldt were not the only doubles team that participated in the National Indoors for the Bears.
Although they did not perform as well as their Cal counterparts, junior Carlos Cueto and sophomore Ben McLachlan also competed. This second Cal doubles team won in the first round, but lost their next match. They were consequently entered into the consolation doubles bracket. The tandem proceeded to the quarterfinal consolation round where they were defeated by Princeton’s team of Matt Siow and Matt Spindler, 8-6.
Cal was the only school in the country to qualify two doubles teams into this esteemed tournament.
“I think that just shows a lot of the hard work that the guys have been putting in this fall,” said Wright.
Now entering into about a two month off-season period, the team is going to focus on its fitness while each individual will look to improve in their areas of weakness before the start of fall.