The spring season is a time for expansion, when the entirety comes complete circle and starts to blossom. Cal males’s tennis feels it has spent the previous few years rising, and now it is able to display simply how a ways it’s come.
The Bears will go back and forth to Stanford to take part in the yearly ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Ranked No. 18 within the nation, the Bears will constitute the second one seed of their bracket, which is made up of Miami (FL), Tulane and host Stanford.
First up on Cal’s match slate is Miami, which is recently ranked No. 36 within the country. The Hurricanes are available as a seasoned staff with quite a few veteran management within the type of six juniors and two seniors. Miami represents the primary problem Cal can have confronted since November, when it took phase within the ITA Nationwide Fall Championships and the Chowder Fest, however the staff feels assured and is the use of this weekend as a litmus check.
“We all know what we’re in a position to doing and it is going to be a possibility for our staff to turn whether or not we’re taking part in at that degree or if we want to deal with some industry and get ourselves taking part in at that degree,” mentioned Peter Wright, Cal’s director of fellows’s tennis.
The Bears shall be taking a look to give a boost to upon their efficiency on the ITA Kick-Off Weekend final yr, the place they fell to then-No. 16 Virginia of their first spherical. This yr, alternatively, Cal believes it might make the most of the revel in the staff has collected since 2019. While final season the Bears had been younger and simply starting to face such stiff pageant, Wright feels this yr’s squad has passed through rising pains and is now battle-ready.
“During the last couple of years, we’ve performed some difficult fits — and I’ve taken the blokes to a few beautiful tough puts to play the place the contest is prime and the lovers are superfans, and vocal — so our guys have noticed that and confronted that, and this yr goes to be a yr of revel in,” Wright mentioned.
Present process such worrying moments has simplest introduced the staff nearer in combination, and Wright sees this as considered one of his staff’s biggest strengths. Whilst the autumn portion of the season is excited by paving pathways to non-public development for people, the spring is when groups come in combination and feature a possibility to show the camaraderie they have got constructed.
“The way in which that our guys combat for each and every different and combat in combination as a unit is in reality a factor that separates us from many different groups,” Wright mentioned. “They create it on a daily basis and each and every man feels responsible to the fellow subsequent to him, and each and every man who’s no longer taking part in feels responsible to the fellow who’s taking part in.”
Nonetheless, Wright is aware of that Cal has a protracted highway forward. This match represents the beginning of what he feels is usually a particular season for the Bears, however Wright doesn’t need his staff to transform complacent.
“We, on no account, want to top this weekend — however we want to have a top efficiency this weekend,” Wright mentioned.
With a veteran staff that has been right here prior to and the bonds between avid gamers simplest rising more potent, the elements are there for Cal to move on a surge this spring. Whether or not or no longer they may be able to totally capitalize at the alternative is left to be noticed this weekend, however it’s transparent that the Bears are actually out of hibernation.
Kabir Rao covers males’s tennis. Touch him at [email protected].
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