Cal women’s tennis, ranked No. 20 in the nation, faced off against No. 16 Miami and No. 10 NC State this weekend in Coral Gables, Florida. While Cal performed well, it ultimately lost both matches, falling 5-2 against the hosts and 4-0 against NC State.
The Bears began their Saturday strong against Miami, with competitive match play throughout the day. Notably, sophomores Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm won their singles matches, with Alsola coming out victorious during a three-set match against Miami’s Isabella Pfennig. Senior Haley Giavara played against Alexa Noel, the Hurricanes’ highest ranked singles player, and ultimately lost 6-3, 6-1. Junior Hannah Viller Moeller, freshman Berta Passola Folch and senior Erin Richardson all dropped their matches as well.
In doubles, Cal’s sophomore duo of Alsola and Wiersholm faced off against Miami’s pair of Daevenia Achong and Noel. Their match was extremely close, but Cal’s team, ranked No. 12 among NCAA doubles teams, ultimately fell to Miami’s No. 17-ranked duo 6-4. The Bears’ Viller Moeller and Passola Folch were defeated by the Hurricanes as well, losing 6-1, which halted Cal’s Giavara and Richardson’s doubles match while they were ahead 6-5.
The following day, Feb. 12, Cal played in its second match of the weekend against NC State. Ranked No. 10, the Wildcats came in boasting a 4-1 record with several highly ranked singles players, such as No. 15 Alana Smith, No. 19 Amelia Rajecki and No. 35 Abigail Rencheli. In addition, 18-year-old Diana Shnaider, who qualified for the Australian Open main draw and nearly beat veteran Maria Sakkari in the second round, announced Feb. 4 that she was granted eligibility to compete for NC State.
Currently ranked 94th in WTA singles, Russian-born Shnaider played her second collegiate singles match against Giavara, winning in two sets. Cal’s Wiersholm and Passola Folch were also bested by their Wolfpack opponents. The blue and gold had three other singles matches in motion when NC State clinched the doubles point, all of which ended unfinished.
The Bears also played three doubles matches Sunday. Giavara and Passola Folch faced off against a Wolfpack duo of Sophie Abrams and Rencheli, losing 6-1. Richardson and Thiel also lost in straight games against NC State’s Gina Dittmann and Rajecki. Alsola and Wiersholm, Cal’s doubles duo who won the ITA Northwest Regional Championships this past fall, were in the midst of a match against Shnaider and Smith when match play came to a halt.
As Cal’s matches against UCLA and Pepperdine were canceled last weekend, this weekend’s tournament marked the team’s first competition since ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 28, a loss to USD. While the Bears hoped to find themselves victorious this weekend, they ultimately continued the losing streak and are now 2-3 on the season.
However, despite the hard weekend, Cal head coach Amanda Augustus is not discouraged.
“We’re getting better each match we play. It’s just that some teams have played several matches, and that was just our fourth. One match at a time,” Augustus said to CalBears.
Cal will return home to Hellman Tennis Complex for its next match against San Diego State, where it hopes to put an end to its current losing streak.