The Cal women’s tennis team seized three titles at its Cal Fall Invitational this weekend. In the top-flight bracket, junior Julia Rosenqvist won the singles crown and added on a doubles title with partner junior Jasie Dunk. Senior Katerina Stloukalova was also able to help the Bears, securing the Gold singles title.
We saw an all-Cal showdown for the top-flight doubles title, after third-seeded Rosenqvist and Dunk defeated San Francisco’s Mya Bui and Chiho Mushika 8-5 in the round of 16 and proceeded to win two more matches Saturday to advance to the finals. Junior Anna Bright and freshman Erin Richardson won their semifinal 8-5 against Davis earlier in the day, making it a final between the teammates.
“We tried some new doubles teams, so I think overall it went pretty well,” said Cal head coach Amanda Augustus. Ultimately, Rosenqvist and Dunk brushed past fourth-seeded Bright and Richardson and won 8-7(5) in a tiebreaker. “It’s always hard, because we know each other so well,” Rosenqvist said. “We just have to be the best when we really needed to.”
Later Sunday, top-seeded Rosenqvist entered the finals after dominating the competition throughout the weekend, winning in straight sets against Pacific’s Elsie Frigout in the round of 16, Gonzaga’s Haruna Tsuruta in the quarters and University of San Diego’s Gemma Garcia in the semifinals.
In the final, 24th-ranked Rosenqvist prevailed over 68th-ranked Mariia Kozyreva of Saint Mary’s and won 6-4, 6-3. She had played against Kozyreva the previous year and lost to her in the semifinals at the 2018 Cal Invitational. “It feels really good to have won it for Cal,” Rosenqvist said. “It feels really good to just win against her and get that revenge in the finals.”
In the Gold bracket, top-seeded senior Katerina Stloukalova captured the singles crown in three sets after defeating Gonzaga’s Cate Broerman 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. On her journey to the title, she won in straight sets against Sacramento State’s Ege Tomey in the round of 32, Fresno State’s Ella Husrefovic in the quarterfinals and Pacific’s Zoe Eberle in the semifinals.
The tournament saw all three Cal freshmen win their first college matches. In the round of 16, Richardson won 6-3, 6-3 against San Diego’s Kati Kukaras, but lost against third-seeded Kozyreva in the quarterfinals.
Cal freshman Valentina Ivanov won in three sets over San Diego’s Daniela Morales, going on to beat Cal’s second-seeded Bright 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinal. She fell to the same fate as fellow Bear Richardson, losing to Kozyreva in the semifinals.
Cal freshman Haley Giavara edged Davis’ Sara Tsukamoto in the round of 16, winning 6-2, 7-6(6). “I think they all did a really good job,” Augustus said. “I was pretty pleased with what I saw this weekend.”
“I think the fall is a really good opportunity for everyone to get matches and compete,” Augustus said about the Bears’ start to the season. “We’ll just try to make small improvements each week.”
The difficult weather conditions and delayed matches were also a factor for Cal this weekend. “I think it’s important in our sport to learn how to handle different types of conditions,” Augustus said.
Cal women’s tennis plays next in the Women’s Collegiate Classic in Malibu starting Thursday, and then at Saint Mary’s Invitational in Moraga on Friday.
Margaret Mckay covers field hockey. Contact her at [email protected].