With the Cal women’s tennis team needing one more win to clinch a victory over No. 18 USC, sophomore Tayler Davis found herself on the wrong side of a 5-1 score in the third set in her match against the Trojans’ Cristala Andrews.
Six games later, Davis rocketed a backhand past Andrews to win the match, 7-5, and clinch the overall contest for her team.
The No. 9 seeded Bears (18-6) defeated USC, 4-1, on Sunday at Hellman Tennis Complex to advance to the third round of the NCAA team championships.
Cal got off to a quick start in the match, taking the first two doubles matchups to win the first point. The team of Davis and freshman Alice Duranteau dominated Andrews and Alison Ramos, 8-3, to open the day with a win for the Bears. Cal’s Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting followed up the performance with an 8-4 victory over the Trojans’ Lyndsay Kinstler and Valeria Pulido.
The singles portion proved to be more of the same for the Bears, as Goransson opened things up with a quick win in straight sets over Pulido (6-0, 6-2), making the overall match score 2-0.
After dropping the first set, senior Marina Cossou battled back against Ramos, w
inning the next two sets to take the match (1-6, 6-3, 6-4). Cossou’s win pushed the Bears’ lead to 3-0, making it so Cal only had to win one of the remaining four matches to take the contest over the Trojans.
Cal’s Mari Andersson looked like she was going to end it for USC when she took three out of four games to force a tiebreak in the third set with the Trojans’ Danielle Lao. The native of Bastad, Sweden then lost her momentum, dropping the tiebreak, 3-7, to lose the match. Her 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(3) defeat would turn out to be Cal’s lone blemish on the afternoon.
Davis’s win then sealed the match for the Bears, giving them a 4-1 win over the Trojans, and advancing them to round three.
In what could have been a preview for the upcoming NCAA singles championship, the match between top-ranked Jana Juricova and No. 2 Maria Sanchez of USC was ended early by Davis’s win. Sanchez took the first set, 7-6, in a tiebreak, but Juricova responded in the second with a 6-4 win of her own. When the match was cut short, Juricova was hanging on to a 3-2 lead in the final set.
On Saturday, the Bears dominated Boston University, 4-0, in the first round of the tournament. Cal opened up by winning the first two matches in the doubles portion, and continued their dominance throughout the singles match-ups.
In the three singles matches that went to completion, the Bears’ didn’t drop a single set, and only collectively lost nine games.