After a terrific fall campaign, Cal women’s tennis wrapped up its season Nov. 6 after playing in two tournaments from Wednesday to Sunday.
Sophomore doubles duo Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm played especially well in the highly anticipated ITA Fall National Championships in San Diego, making it all the way through to the consolation doubles finals. At the ASU Thunderbird Championships in Tempe, Arizona, junior Hannah Viller Moeller was a standout player, going undefeated in singles match play across three matches.
The ITA National Fall Championships began Nov. 2. Alsola and Wiersholm lost to Texas Tech in a long three-set match 3-6, 6-4, 10-8. The Bears’ other doubles pair that qualified for the tournament, senior Erin Richardson and sophomore Makenna Thiel, lost to UCLA 6-1, 6-4.
Bouncing back quickly, Alsola and Wiersholm had an exciting victory in the consolation draw on Nov. 3, reigning victorious over Wake Forest’s No. 3 Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth 7-6 (3), 6-1 — a pair the sophomores fell to previously at the ITA All-American Championship in October.
“(Wiersholm) and I were really proud of that win,” Alsola said. “It really felt good to get our games together, especially since we saw we would be playing them right after our first round match, so it just felt nice to get the win over them.”
That same day, Richardson and Thiel lost to Tulane’s No. 14 doubles team in a long three-set match, before joining their teammates at the ASU Thunderbird Championships in Tempe.
On Friday, match play began at the ASU Thunderbird Tournament. Five singles matches were played, with Thiel and Viller Moeller both beating their opponents in straight sets. Junior Cami Brown, senior Valentina Ivanov and Richardson, however, all lost their matches. Ivanov and Richardson each played ranked opponents: ASU’s own No. 46 Giulia Morlet and No. 111 Rachel Hanford.
The Bears also played in one doubles match. Brown and Viller Moeller took on, but lost 6-2 against, an Ohio State team.
In San Diego, Alsola and Wiersholm continued with their excellent doubles play, winning against a BYU doubles team in three sets.
The blue and gold continued with match play into Saturday. In Tempe, Viller Moeller earned her second of three singles wins against Ohio State’s Lucia Marzal Martinez. Richardson, Ivanov and Thiel also played singles, but all three lost, with the latter two falling in three sets.
In doubles, Ivanov and Richardson won against Ohio State’s Madeline Atway and Danielle Wilson, 7-5. Thiel and Viller Moeller, on the other hand, fell to an Auburn team without picking up a game, losing 6-0.
At the ITA National Fall Championships the same day, Alsola and Wiersholm beat Kentucky’s Carlota Molina and Elizabeth Stevens in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, allowing them to advance to the consolation doubles final.
On Nov. 6, all match play concluded, with Viller Moeller winning yet again in Tempe, against USC’s Naomi Cheong in straight sets. Four other Bears played singles, too, but no one managed a win. Richardson and Viller Moeller as well as Brown and Thiel also saw doubles losses against two USC teams.
The same morning, Alsola and Wiersholm fell to Patricija Spaka and Doenika Turkovic, a duo from ASU, 6-2, 6-3, causing them to miss out on winning their second title in under two weeks.
Alsola mentioned that she and Wiersholm struggled to adjust to the ASU team’s playing style in the final match.
“We needed to play a little bit smarter, especially since the last teams we played were so aggressive at the net and so solid at the baseline, so with this team we needed to use our brains more to play them,” Alsola said.
However, despite the loss, the fall season as a whole has put the Bears in a good position leading into their spring season, which will begin in January. Notably, Cal’s star senior, No. 25Haley Giavara, will make her return after being injured this fall.
“I think we’ll be at full strength, and we also have a new player coming this spring, so hopefully we will be tough to beat,” Augustus said, looking towards the second half of the season.