The No. 13 Cal women’s tennis team will continue its decade-long stretch of dominance, advancing to the Round of 16 for the 11th straight season. With a 4-0 win in the Round of 64 against San Jose State followed up with another 4-0 victory against No. 21 LSU in the Round of 32, the Bears keep their streak of advancing to the Round of 16 alive, a streak that dates back to 2007.
The Bears kicked off tournament action with a 4-0 dismantling of the Spartans. The No. 55 duo of sophomore Olivia Hauger and junior Karla Popovic claimed the Bears’ first victory in doubles on court two against the Spartan seniors Marine Dans and Gaelle Rey. Dans and Rey captured the first point of the match to jump out to a 1-0 lead, but Hauger and Popovic responded immediately with six straight points for the 6-1 win.
Not far behind from Hauger and Popovic was the No. 34 duo of graduate student Maya Jansen and senior Maegan Manasse, which shook off an 0-1 deficit of its own against the No. 88 duo of junior Sybille Gauvain and senior Marie Klocker before battling back en route to a commanding 6-2 win, securing the doubles point for Cal.
The Bears’ pair of senior Denise Starr and freshman Alexis Nelson was down 3-4 before abandoning the match after Jansen and Manasse’s victory.
In singles, Cal was equally dominant and made short work of San Jose State. All Bears won their first sets and were on pace to win the second sets as well. No. 34 Manasse was the first of the bunch to win her singles matchup, besting No. 81 Gauvain 6-3, 6-2 on court one.
Sophomore Maria Smith, who replaced Nelson for singles, followed suit with 6-1, 6-1 wins over Rey. Hauger clinched the Cal win over San Jose State with 6-2, 6-0 wins over freshman Tamara Culibrk.
The Bears were every bit as dominant in singles and doubles in a 4-0 Mother’s Day victory over LSU. Jansen and Manasse were the first Cal duo to win in doubles, besting the No. 16 LSU duo of senior Joana Valle Costa and junior Ryann Foster by a 6-2 margin on court one. On court two, Hauger and Popovic beat the freshman duo of Jade Lewis and Rebecca Weissman, 6-3, to secure doubles point.
In a repeat of Saturday’s performance, every Bear won their first sets in singles. No. 123 Starr kicked off the string of singles victories, beating No. 105 Foster 6-3, 6-2. Jansen defeated Weissman 6-1, 6-4 and Hauger once again secured a Cal victory for the second straight day with 6-3, 6-1 wins over sophomore Jessica Golovin.
Following its last home action of the season, Cal will leave the comfort of its home court and fly out to Athens, Georgia for a matchup against No. 3 Vanderbilt, which has the fourth seed in the tournament. The Commodores handed Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville its first loss of the season in the Round of 64 with a 4-0 victory and beat Clemson 4-1 in the Round of 32.
Justice delos Santos is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]