Senior Nic Barretto is Berkeley bound

Heidi Roenisch

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Tamiscal senior Nic Barretto committed to University of California, Berkeley for tennis on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Barretto, a four-star recruit on a scale from one to five, based his decision to commit off several criteria.

“I knew that I wanted to stay close to home so there were only a handful of schools I was seriously looking at,” Barretto said. “My dad played tennis at USF and my brother is a sophomore on the team now, so it was really between Cal and USF.”

Another factor that contributed to his decision was the competitive program at Cal.

According to the Pac-12 ITA rankings, last year’s Cal team had five all-conferences players, including one of the top 50 singles players nationwide.

Berkeley has won two team NCAA national championships in its history, but has been dominated by Pac-12 rivals Stanford, USC, and UCLA in recent years.

Senior Nic Barretto practices his backhand while playing against his brother Paull

Senior Nic Barretto practices his backhand while playing against his brother Paul.

Barretto will look to reverse that trend and help Cal return to former glory.

Barretto was also influenced by the high quality of Berkeley’s coaches.

“I love the coaching staff. That’s easily one of the best things about the program,” Barretto said.

According to the Cal athletic department, head coach Peter Wright has coached the Irish Olympic tennis team and has been the head coach at Berkeley for 23 years.

Wright was recently inducted into the USTA NorCal Tennis Hall of Fame.

Barretto was not initially in contact with Cal, but after visiting the school and meeting the coaching staff he was offered a spot on the team.

Despite his commitment, Barretto will continue to play a demanding tournament circuit in order to continue improving.

Starting in mid-September, Barretto will play a tournament every other weekend.

Barretto explained that he will focus on more local tournaments during the fall and attend bigger national tournaments in the spring.

Barretto’s longtime tennis partner and younger brother Paul is a five-star recruit.

Barretto said that he wanted to continue his career with Paul, but was unsure of their future together.

“Obviously I would want Paul there with me, but he’ll probably try to shoot for the best school he can. Yesterday [Sept. 1] was the first day coaches could contact him and he got a lot more emails than I did, so we’ll see where he ends up,” he said.

Barretto joins football player Jake Curhan, who was recruited as an offensive tackle last year, as the second senior currently committed to Berkeley in athletics.