Returning home after a weekend of play in Southern California, the Bears played three days of back-to-back matches, taking on Arizona State, Arizona and Loyola Marymount this past weekend at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
Cal, now holding a 7-7 overall record, started off the weekend strong by defeating both Arizona teams but fell to Loyola Marymount on Sunday.
“Obviously we hoped to finish this weekend with three wins, but we’ll take two,” said Cal head coach Amanda Augustus. “Still a really successful weekend overall, we had two really good top national wins.”
The Bears kicked off the three matches with the Sun Devils.
In doubles, Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov defeated Sedona Gallagher and Giulia Morlet 6-1, while No. 15 duo Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm triumphed over No. 18 Patricija Spaka and Domenika Turkovic, 6-2, earning Cal the doubles point.
In singles, No. 40 Alsola started the tally of blue and gold wins after defeating No. 93 Morlet, 6-1, 6-2. ASU secured its one and only point after Ivanov lost to Marianna Argyrokastriti, 6-2, 6-3. After Wiersholm and Viller Moeller each beat their opponents in straight sets, Cal took home the first victory of the weekend.
Continuing their win streak, the Bears then took on Arizona. Once again, Cal took the doubles point, with Giavara and Ivanov defeating Reece Carter and Salma Ziouti 6-1 along with Berta Passola Folch and Erin Richardson defeating Midori Castillo-Meza and Belen Nevenhoven 6-3.
Unlike the day before, however, Cal did not let the Wildcats claim a single point. Five of six singles matches were straight-set wins for the Bears as Ivanov emerged with her first Pac-12 win of the season after defeating Ryngler 6-2, 6-3 to clinch for Cal 4-0.
Capping off the weekend, the Bears fell to Loyola Marymount 4-3. Despite capturing both doubles points in their previous matches, the Bears were unable to replicate this success against the Lions.
Cal began doubles with a win as Cal’s Richardson and Viller Moeller bested LMU’s Anna Paradisi and Stefania Rogozinska-Dzik, 6-1. However, the other two teams, Alsola and Wiersholm along with Giavara and Ivanov, fell to their opponents 6-3 and 7-5, respectively.
Going into singles, Wiersholm evened out the score, defeating Vorachek 7-5, 6-0 and bringing the match to one apiece.
Taking back the lead, Loyola Marymount’s Rutkowska defeated Richardson 6-0, 3-6, 6-4.
Alsola tied the match on court two against Rogozinska-Dzik, 6-3, 6-4 while Ivanov beat Paradisi 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 to bring Cal back into the lead with 3-2.
With two more points on the line, Cal’s Giavara lost to Miroshnichenko 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 and Tcherkes-Zade brought home the win for the Lions after defeating Viller Moeller 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
“We knew this is a good team and they compete hard. Sometimes you lose a doubles point and have to fight back. We just didn’t close out — they closed out a little bit harder than we did,” Augustus said. “(The matches) were all within a really few points, so overall we want to get to a place where we close out those sets, no matter what court it’s on.”
Against the Lions, fatigue may have been a factor for Cal, given that this marked the third consecutive match for the blue and gold over the weekend. However, with the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments within their sights, the Bears will have to push past these issues.
Though the Bears took a loss, Alsola added yet another tally to her now 14-win streak in singles this season.
“Hopefully we can keep it going. When I am playing I usually don’t think about (the streak) but it feels good,” she said. “I am definitely a little beat up, not going to lie. I knew I just needed to stay with my game, stay committed and trust the coaches.”
Back on the road, the blue and gold will head to Malibu to face off against Pepperdine on Friday.
“The good news is we still have plenty of tennis to play,” Augustus said. “We’ll take away the positives … we’re moving up in the conference standings and in the national rankings — the losses don’t really hurt (our) ranking that much anyway.”