Ranked No. 30 in the nation, Cal women’s tennis trounced its opponents this past weekend, winning 6-1 against both Washington State and Washington on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Bears also won their Tuesday away match against Pacific 7-0, tallying four victories in a row since the Oregon win earlier this month.
As always, Cal’s play was highlighted by many terrific performances. However, it is notable that sophomore Katja Wiersholm managed to clinch the singles point in both matches. Her doubles partner and fellow sophomore, Jessica Alsola, also extended her singles win streak to an astonishing 18.
On April 13, the Bears took to the Hellman Tennis Complex to face their first Pac-12 opponent of the weekend in Washington State. Beginning the match with doubles, Cal found immediate success with seniors Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov defeating Fifa Kumhom and Yura Nakagawa 6-3. The No. 9 doubles team of Wiersholm and Alsola also beat their Washington State opponents, No. 53-ranked Eva Alvarez Sande and Elyse Tse, allowing the Bears to move onto singles with the doubles point clinched.
In singles, Berta Passola Folch breezed past her opponent, Hania Abouelsaad 6-1, 6-1, as did junior Hannah Viller Moeller who defeated Stefaniia Mikhailova 6-4, 6-4. These early victories allowed Wiersholm to be in position to clinch the match; winning against Tse 7-6(5), 6-1, Cal moved on from Saturday victorious. The last three matches were played out with Giavara falling to Alvarez Sande in a tough three-set battle 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, and Ivanov and Alsola each besting their Washington State opponents.
Moving onto their match against the No. 19 Washington Huskies on April 14, the Bears were empowered by their win the day before.
In doubles, Cal initially struggled. Alsola and Wiersholm were defeated by Erika Matsuda and Hikaru Sato 7-5, and Giavara and Ivanov lost against Jennifer Kerr and Astrid Olsen 6-3. This left Passola Folch and Richardson abandoned on court three, where they were leading 6-5.
However, undeterred by the loss of the double’s point, the Bears came out victorious in all six of their singles matches, allowing them to win the match 6-1 despite their rocky start. First, Alsola breezed past Olsen 6-0, 6-1 to extend her singles win streak to 18. Then, Giavara defeated her ranked opponent, No. 101 Sato, 6-1, 6-2 in possibly her last Hellman home match.
“I just wanted to have fun and play my best, and I knew I had friends and family here so I wanted to make sure they’d be proud of something,” Giavara said in light of her last match as a Bear at home. “I mean it’s definitely bittersweet. I’m excited to move on, but I’ve had a great time here and I love the girls. I’m definitely glad I can reflect on it, and it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”
Viller Moeller defeated her opponent, Melissa Sakar, 6-4, 6-1, which then put Wiersholm in the position to clinch her match, which she proceeded to do 6-3, 6-1. Ivanov and Passola Folch each bested their opponents after the Bears won the overall match, allowing Cal to be undefeated in the singles box score for the match.
Following the win against the Huskies, the blue and gold have bettered their record to 11-7 overall and 7-2 within the Pac-12. They will finish out their regular season on April 21, when they will face Stanford at The Farm.
“Obviously it was a great win for the team today, I mean it was a top national opponent and it will move us up in the national rankings and conference standings, so we’re clearly getting better every week,” said head coach Amanda Augustus, reflecting on the dominant performance of her team on Saturday.
However, Augustus was sure not to overlook areas she feels her players could improve upon, most notably in doubles.
“We just have got to get better. Just more consistent, and more aggressive, and more solid. I think we aren’t utilizing our strengths enough, so that’s what we need to improve upon,” Augustus said.