The pursuit of perfection. It is what all teams strive for when they start a season. While the No. 18 Cal women’s tennis team is off to a marvelous season, they are by no means flawless. Even though they may not be completely perfect, the Bears do hold one distinction in which for the time being they can say they are perfect: their undefeated record at home. With today’s thumping against Sacramento State, the Bears moved to 7-0 at home.
In this nonconference match, the Bears came in as a major favorite against the Hornets. They didn’t disappoint. In doubles, Coach Amanda Augustus played around with her lineup by trying a couple of different combinations. On Court 1, graduate transfer Maya Jansen returned to the lineup and joined senior Maegan Manasse in doubles, where the pair showcased their chemistry in a convincing 6-0 win. On Court 3, it was more of the same for the Bears as senior Stephane Lin and sophomore Maria Smith won 6-2 and clinched the doubles point.
In singles, it was still cruise control for the Bears as they continued where they left off in doubles. Lin was the first to finish her singles match after a 6-0, 6-0 win on Court 6. Senior Denise Starr followed her and continued the rout with a win of her own.
Maya Jansen clinched the victory for the team on Court 4 in her return to singles, and sophomores Olivia Hauger and Smith delivered two more victories soon after that. To finish the deal was junior Karla Popovic, who returned to Court 1 and showed everyone why she’s ranked No. 9 in the country. Popovic comfortably won her match 6-1, 6-3 to give Cal the 7-0 victory. All in all, it was another solid day of tennis for the Bears as they pushed their winning streak to five games.
Next up for the Bears this weekend is Oregon.
After a short week during which the Bears had to play a midweek match, they will have to regroup quickly before they take on the Ducks. While this is another game that the Bears are favored to win, they will still have to travel up to Eugene for an important road match.
Cal must not have any letups in order to keep pace with Stanford atop the Pac-12 standing. This means continuing to serve effectively and strong, aggressive double’s play. If the Bears play the same way they did against Sacramento State, they should have a good time against the Ducks.
At the end of the day for the Bears, there is only one main goal: a national championship. Even with the coveted title in their sights, they certainly want to maintain their perfect home record. Not just for pride, but also for a higher seeding in the national tournament. Just like Russell Westbrook chasing a triple-double average, the Bears must put their heads down and continue to play strong tennis. With only a few home games remaining, there is no reason that Cal cannot maintain this record.
Praveen Kuruppu covers women’s tennis. Contact him at