Without Juricova, Bears no match for Cardinal

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In its third straight match without top player Jana Juricova, the Cal women’s tennis team lost a 5-2 decision to visiting Stanford on Friday. The No. 11 Cardinal (6-0) took the doubles point and never looked back, as the Bears (6-4) suffered their first four-match losing streak since 2005.

The team has lost three straight, albeit all against top teams, without Juricova. The All-American suffered a lower-back strain, and had been practicing, but was not at full health at game time.

“Our big goal is that when she comes back in, she’s in 100 percent,” said coach Amanda Augustus. “I think the injury, per se, is not that bad, but the fact that it’s up and down a little bit makes it frustrating.”

Anett Schutting and Annie Goransson earned Cal’s only two points in their singles matches. Schutting beat Stacey Tan, ranked in the top 40, 6-3, 6-3. Schutting had lost to Tan in two sets in October.

“I really kept pushing her and getting her to believe that she could get over that last little mental hurdle,” Augustus said of Schutting. “I’m really glad to see because Anett has really been working hard with that.”

Goransson’s 6-2, 6-4 victory on court four over Kristie Ahn was another spot of hope for the home team. Ahn defeated Goransson three times last season, all in straight sets.

Cal’s Tayler Davis won the first set of her second-court match with No. 7 Mallory Burdette, but fell in the second set, 7-5, and then dropped the tiebreak after the dual had been awarded to Stanford. Davis had multiple opportunities to achieve a marquee win and called the match “heartbreaking.”

The four-game skid is Cal’s first under coach Amanda Augustus, yet the team has still not played the Pac-12 elite – Stanford, UCLA, and USC – with a healthy Juricova.