Everything must come to an end. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not so good. For most of the members of the No. 11 Cal men’s tennis team, this just means the end of another regular season and start of postseason. For the senior Bears, however, this means something more.
On Saturday, Cal hosts No. 15 Stanford in the seniors’ last regular season match as a Bear.
Throughout the entire regular season, No. 14 Florian Lakat, No. 49 Andre Goransson and Filip Bergevi have all displayed the dedication and leadership that should be expected of every senior. That attitude is part of why those three are the main components to Cal’s success this spring.
With the most exciting match of the season on the line, those players will get a chance to once again show why they are such integral parts of the team. The Cardinal has been looking strong this season as well, with the Bears losing 4-3 in the last matchup
“Stanford is very tenacious,” said Cal head coach Peter Wright. “They’re a very well coached team. We know we have to execute in certain areas and come out strong in doubles to start out the match. I think the biggest thing is to continue to improve and develop our aggressive tendencies as we get into the rest of the season.”
The highest-profile player on Stanford is No. 11 Tom Fawcett, whom Lakat has been facing on court one in their rival matchups. In addition to Fawcett, the Cardinal has one other ranked singles player in No. 117 sophomore Michael Genender. The rest of Stanford’s singles lineup should not be underestimated though, because although it may only have two ranked players, the rest of the team is still very solid.
The Cardinal also has two ranked doubles teams, although it can only play one at a time. The first features junior Fawcett who pairs up with senior Yale Goldberg to form the No. 61 ranked duo in the nation. Following not far behind is the No. 71 team of Goldberg and sophomore Sameer Kumar. It’s hard to say which one of those two ranked doubles teams will get the nod to face Cal’s pair of No. 2 Lakat and Bergevi.
The doubles point will be an important part of this match, especially because in the past, Cal-Stanford matchups are rarely separated by more than one point.
Consistency among the Bears’ singles lineup will also be critical for success, as Cal has struggled with that in the past. Recently, though, it’s players have been looking a lot more in sync, especially in singles.
“We’re getting into postseason form,” Wright said. “Anytime you play your rival it’s a great match. We have a long history the past few years with exciting matches over the past few years. We have our work cut out for us, but it will be an exciting match.
This Saturday will likely be a nail biting match, as always. And what better way for the seniors to end their last regular season with a bang than by facing their biggest rivals.