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California Athletics | March 23, 2014

No. 17 Cal survives test from Pepperdine

MALIBU, Calif. -- Leading at one point 3-1 in the overall contest, California got a clutch performance from freshman Filip Bergevi to hold off Pepperdine and ultimately edge the No. 46 Waves 4-3 on Sunday at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. Cal improved its record to 10-3 after the nonconference victory, while Pepperdine fell to 10-11.

Bergevi, ranked 117th in singles, defeated No. 115 David Sofaer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on court No. 3 to wrap up the win.

The Bears began the match by winning the doubles point. The 76th-ranked tandem of senior Ben McLachlan and freshman Andre Goransson started with an 8-3 win against Alex Giannini/Tom Hill on court No. 2, and then Cal juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton upset the Waves’ team of No.15 Francis Alcantara/Alex Sarkissian 8-4 to capture the point.

Pepperdine tied the match at 1-1 when 27th-ranked Alex Sarkissian beat the 84th-ranked McLachlan 6-0, 6-1. But sophomore Mads Engsted gave the lead back to Cal with a 6-3, 6-1 win against Kento Tanaka-Tamaki on court No. 6. Bayane beat Hill on court No. 5 7-5, 6-2 to make the score 3-1.

The matches tightened up from there, as Cal senior Campbell Johnson -- ranked 81st -- dropped a three-setter, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, to  Francis Alcantara on court No. 2, and Goransson, ranked 113th, took Stefan Menichella to two set tiebreakers before falling 7-6(5), 7-6(3). That knotted the overall match at 3-3.

In Bergevi’s match, he hit a passing shot down the right line in the third set to beat Sofaer and clinch the dual.

“We had a strong start to the match with some high quality doubles, but we followed it up with a lack of focus in singles,” Cal head coach Peter Wright said. “Pepperdine played well enough to win, and it took some high-pressure tennis from Filip Bergevi to pull us through. Chase Melton and Gregory Bayane continue to be impressive every time they take the court in doubles.”