The beautiful thing about symphonies is that all the parts gel together to create a seamless piece of music, individual entities blend to create one beautiful whole. Although college tennis is not a stereotypical team sport, Cal women’s tennis worked together seamlessly to achieve a seamless 7-0 victory over both Utah and Colorado last week, going 3-0 in Pac-12 matchups.
It started off with doubles against Utah.
On Friday, the Bears began strong with solid, quick wins on courts one and three, clinching the doubles point. Court one saw two freshman phenoms, No.47 team Katja Wiersholm and Jessica Alsola, pull off a stellar 6-0 win. The now-seasoned pair of Erin Richardson and Julia Rosenqvist came in not too far behind, winning their match 6-2.
Richardson also played her first singles dual matches of the season –– and came out swinging. The junior showed a strong game on court six, with an aggressive game at the net and strong serve. She only let her opponent take five games over two sets, winning 6-1, 6-4.
“When they told me yesterday that I was playing I was so excited. I just want to go out and do everything I can for this team,” Richardson said. “Everyone knows how much it means to me.”
The rest of the Bears, too, left it all out on the courts. Senior Rosenqvist dropped the first set 5-7, but fought back to take the next set 6-1, also taking the tiebreak that followed. Hannah Viller Moeller also had a slow start, playing a long first set tiebreak, but coming out strong with 6-3 in the second. Her match was the last to be finished, even after Cal had earned the win.
“Everyone deserves to get a result, and just because Hannah doesn’t play as fast as some of the other girls doesn’t mean she’s any less important,” said Cal head coach Amanda Augustus.
Against Colorado on Sunday, Cal had its quickest dual win of the season yet.
Junior Haley Giavara –– who normally plays with classmate Valentina Ivanov –– was joined this week by Viller Moeller. Augustus remarked how much more confident the team seemed to be against Colorado. Whilst against Utah the duo lagged behind 3-3 when the point was clinched, on Sunday they raced ahead and took the win 6-0.
“We haven’t played together in a while, so there’s still some kinks to work out, but there’s no reason why we can’t be a strong team as well,” said Giavara.
Richardson and Rosenqvist clinched on court three, earning Cal its doubles point in just about half an hour.
After Viller Moeller’s slow start on Friday, it was Richardson that had a tough start to the day in singles on Sunday. The junior dropped the first set 2-6.
“She had a really clear strength in her backhand that she was really going for,” she said of her opponent. “I really had to take a step back, refocus, speak to (Zack Warren, associate head coach) about some tactics to help me kind of turn it around.”
Richardson ended up coming out on top in the second set, winning 6-2 and taking the tiebreak. The other five Bears defeated their Colorado opponents fairly quickly, only one player going up to 6-4.
The team putting in their work and finishing so strong on all courts bodes well for the week to come –– and it’s a big one. For the next two Pac-12 matches, Cal will be facing two of its biggest conference rivals: UCLA and USC.
Playing the former on Friday and the latter on Saturday, the Bears will look to continue their Pac-12 winning streak. Given their record, the team should feel optimistic, but not too comfortable. Having already lost against UCLA earlier in the season, it will be important to keep up the momentum going off of the recent wins.
Maria Kholodova covers women’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected].