Springtime is typically a season of new beginnings: Flowers blossom, the sun comes out and a whole new world seems to be on the horizon. In college, springtime brings a feeling of closure, as students finish off classes, projects, semesters — and even college careers.
This weekend, Cal women’s tennis’s regular season is coming to an end. And with it ends senior Julia Rosenqvist’s time with the program. The only senior on the team will be honored this weekend on Senior Day.
The day will also be important because of the opponent. For the first time this season, the Bears will be facing their “archnemesis.” Called the “Big Slam,” No. 7 Cal will be facing off against No. 17 Stanford. With several ranked players on their team, the Cardinal will surely put up a fight.
“We’ll be honoring Julia (Rosenqvist) before the match a little bit, and looking forward to some great Bay Area tennis,” said Cal head coach Amanda Augustus.
Last weekend, Cal went north to face Washington and Washington State. Despite losing in doubles, it beat both and set the team up nicely for the last match on the road to the Pac-12 championship next week.
Playing away against Arizona and Arizona State the weekend before that — beating the former 7-0 but losing out to the latter — Cal retains an impressive 7-1 Pac-12 record this spring. A win against Stanford would put the team in a comfortable position for next week.
“It’s always such a good match,” Augustus said. “We’re happy to have it at home after being on the road the last few weeks, we’re just looking forward to a weekend home.”
In the week leading up to the match, the team has been working on its doubles. Focusing on cleaning up play and working on aspects of the game like serve returns, the coaching team aims to put Cal in a good position to face this important rival.
If the rain doesn’t give the teams too much trouble, as this could lead to cancellation or rescheduling, it should be a great match for fans of both sides to attend. With packed stands, loud fans and talented players, Saturday could be a great day for college tennis.
The Bears are also keeping their eyes set on another goal: the NCAA championships. Though the team faces big hurdles before that, a high-aiming team sets its eyes on a high-aiming prize.
“This team is still building towards the postseason, so our goal is to host as many NCAA matches here in Berkeley as we can, which is motivating this team day in, day out to pull out these victories to make it happen,” Augustus said.
Maria Kholodova covers women’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected].