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‘Best time of year’: Cal seeded No. 2 going into Pac-12 championships

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APRIL 26, 2023

The 2023 Pac-12 women’s tennis championship will be underway beginning on April 27 for the Bears. Cal, last year’s regular season conference champion, will face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup of the No. 7-seeded Oregon Ducks and No. 10-seeded Colorado Buffs on Thursday to kick off the postseason. The Bears have already seen both of these teams earlier in the season, and found notable success; Cal won 4-3 against Colorado on March 5, and bested Oregon 6-1 on April 9.

Finishing out the regular season with an 11-8 overall record and a 7-3 Pac-12 record, Cal is tied for second place with the Arizona State Sun Devils in conference rankings. Stanford is the only team ranked above the Bears — and is also Cal’s most recent match, as the Bears fell to the Cardinal at The Farm on Friday.

However, despite the loss, Cal head coach Amanda Augustus is proud of how her team looks going into the Pac-12 tournament, and notes that she is glad the team played Stanford prior to the championship. It was a competitive match, she said, and one that was high level enough to be a good final bout ahead of the postseason.

Cal’s season has been highlighted by high-level performances in both singles and doubles. Perhaps most notably, sophomore Jessica Alsola, ranked No. 55 in the nation in singles, maintained a win streak of 18 matches prior to her recent loss at Stanford.

Alsola also found dominance in doubles, playing alongside fellow sophomore Katja Wiersholm. Together, the team stands at No. 12 in the ITA rankings. Alsola and Wiersholm have proven themselves to work well under pressure during the fall postseason, as they were victorious in the ITA Northwest Regional Championships and competed in the ITA National Fall Championships in the consolation doubles final.

Wiersholm has also been very successful in singles, clinching several of Cal’s matches this spring. Senior Haley Giavara, who has been a valuable member of the team during her four-year campaign at Cal, will be wrapping up her career for the Bears this postseason, as well, in addition to Erin Richardson.

However, it is worth mentioning that while the Bears are seeded second, their record looks quite different from how it did leading into last year’s postseason.

The Bears touted an 8-1 conference record, and an overall record of 15-6. They also had an national ranking of No. 7, whereas they find themselves No. 26 ahead of Pac-12s this year.

That being said, Cal has an almost identical roster to the one it had last year, only missing 2022 graduate Julia Rosenqvist. The Bears have just one new addition to the team, freshman Spaniard Berta Passola Folch, who has proven herself to be very valuable in both singles and doubles, fitting seamlessly into the team.

As Cal struggled with rainouts and other last-minute cancellations early this season, its lower record may be due to simply playing less. Despite the team’s record this year, Augustus asserts that she is happy with where her team is at now, and looks forward to the Pac-12 championship.

“We finished second in the conference, so I think we’re in a really good position,” she said. “This is the best time of year.”

Contact Leila Rosenberg at 


APRIL 26, 2023