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Bears fall early in NCAA tournament, end season with loss to San Diego

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MAY 08, 2023

After falling in the semifinal round of the Pac-12 tournament, Cal faced San Diego in Austin, Texas on May 5. While the No. 28 Bears played tough against the No. 34 Toreos, they ultimately lost 4-1, causing their 2022-23 team season to come to an end.

Friday’s match began in the early morning, with seniors Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov defeating USD’s top-ranked doubles team of Solymar Colling and Kailey Evans 6-3. However, senior Erin Richardson and junior Hannah Viller Moeller lost 6-2 soon after on court three, making court two the deciding match for doubles. Cal’s sophomore duo of Alsola and Wiersholm, ranked No. 12 nationally, fought hard but lost 6-3, allowing the Toreos to clinch the doubles point.

Cal head coach Amanda Augustus stressed the importance of clinching the doubles point and expressed disappointment in her team’s inconsistency in this regard throughout the spring season.

“It obviously would have helped us to only need to get three points in singles instead of four,” Augustus said, reflecting on Cal’s failure to come up on top in doubles against USD.

Trailing 0-1 going into singles, Cal needed four victories to move forward in the NCAA tournament. First, No. 103 Giavara lost to Claudia De Las Heras, 6-3, 6-1, extending USD’s lead by one point. Soon after, Viller Moeller defeated No. 70 Evans 7-5, 6-4, allowing the momentum to swing in the Bears’ favor.

“I was just thinking about fighting for every point and cheering on my teammates next to me,” Viller Moeller said. “I just wanted to have fun out there playing.”

Augustus was also impressed with Viller Moeller’s performance, expressing that she “just put her head down” and did a good job on the court.

However, Cal ultimately failed to complete the comeback. No. 55 Alsola lost against No. 98 Colling in a tough three-setter, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Despite her loss, the sophomore has been stellar for the blue and gold this season, finishing with an impressive record of 29-5 and All-Pac-12 First Team honors.

The remaining three matches of the day were also fiercely competitive, all extending to three sets. However, freshman Berta Passola Folch fell to her USD opponent 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, officially ending the match for the Bears and cutting their NCAA tournament journey short.

“Obviously we were hoping to win today,” Augustus said. “We just had some opportunities that we didn’t convert. We nearly pulled it out at the end but we ultimately came up short.”

Despite the early exit, several members of the blue and gold were recognized for their performances this season. Giavara, who has been excellent throughout her four years playing at Cal, joined Alsola with First Team All-Pac-12 honors. The senior was also named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an homage to her excellence on, and off, of the court. Wiersholm joined her teammates, receiving Second Team All-Pac-12 honors, with Viller Moeller and Passola Folch receiving honorable mentions.

Cal’s team season may have come to a close, but Alsola and Wiersholm will continue their postseason efforts May 22-27 in Orlando, Florida. Both will participate in the NCAA doubles championship as a duo, while Alsola will also face off against fellow highly-ranked players in the NCAA singles championship.

Contact Leila Rosenberg at 


MAY 08, 2023