Cal Poly opens the 2023 season against No. 4 Michigan on Saturday

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — After a season in which the Mustangs won their second straight Big West regular-season championship, the Cal Poly men’s tennis team begins the 2023 season this weekend when it travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan. travels to attend the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Cal Poly will open the game Saturday morning at 7 a.m. PT against No. 4 Michigan. The winner of that game will play the winner of Saturday’s game between Arkansas and 24th Northwest at 11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday. The losers of both games meet Sunday at 7am PT.

Live scoring and video streaming are available for fans to follow online this link.

Michigan went into the season as the No. 5 team in the nation, recently jumping up to No. 4 after a 4-0 start. The Wolverines (4-0) surrendered losses to Boston University, Brown, Cleveland State and No. 6 Tennessee. The Wolverines are coming off a 2022 season in which they put up a record of 25-4 while winning the Big Ten tournament and making the NCAA Elite Eight.

Michigan is bringing back all but one player from its roster a season ago and adding three newcomers. They are led by four top-ranked singles players, as well as a top 15 doubles team. The Mustangs and Wolverines last met in 2017, where Michigan came out on top.

Northwestern comes in at No. 24 in the nation over the weekend. The Wildcats (3-1) started their season with victories over Notre Dame, Chicago State and No. 19 NC State while losing to Louisville. Northwestern follows a season where they went 20-11 with three All-Big Ten honorees and an NCAA tournament bid.

Like the Wolverines, Arkansas (4-0) went unbeaten into the week. The Razorbacks exit a season they finished with a 15-14 record. Sunday’s matchup will be Cal Poly’s first fight against both teams.

Cal Poly is returning seven members of its 2022 roster, five of whom received All-Conference honors. Including Junior Noah Berry (First Team Singles, Honorable Mention Doubles), Redshirt Juniors Fernando Fonseca (Double Honorable Mention), Joe Leder (first team doubles, second team singles) and ColterSmith (Second Team Doubles, Honorable Mention Singles) and sophomore Bastian Weststrate (Second Team Doubles.) In addition to the seven returns, the Mustangs welcomed two newcomers Aaron Eliscu and Zachary Pellouchoud, who were both top 100 high school recruits. head coach Nick Carless returns with the program for his 11th season and assistant coach Jurgen De Jager returns to the coaching staff for his third season. De Jager spent his last two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach before being promoted in early August 2022.

Berry, ranked 55th in the ITA National Singles Rankings, is looking to build on his success last season and this fall. In the fall, Berry reached the round of 16 in singles at the ITA Regional Championships in Pepperdine while playing against some of the West Coast’s best college players.

After this weekend’s tournament, Cal Poly will travel to Utah next weekend where they will face off against BYU and the University of Utah. During the regular season, the Mustangs are scheduled to play 21 games, 11 home and 10 away.

Story by: Brenden Fisher, Cal Poly Athletics


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