Cal Beats Kentucky To Reach NCAA Round Of 16
BERKELEY – Thirteenth-ranked and 16th-seeded California women's tennis defeated No. 26 Kentucky, 4-2, in the NCAA second round on Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Complex to advance to the round of 16 in Orlando, Florida.
It was a tight contest that came down two three-set matches in singles, with Cal sophomore Valentina Ivanov playing Carlota Molina on court three and freshman Golden Bear Jada Bui battling Elizabeth Stevens on court four. In the end, Bui prevailed over Stevens, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, to complete Cal's victory over the Wildcats.
In the NCAA round of 16, the Bears will face top-seeded and top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday, May 16 at 7 p.m. ET at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.
"I'm really proud of the team today," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "It was a very tough match. The Bears handled everything that this team threw at them with great fight, class and sportsmanship. I knew it was going to be tough, and Kentucky battled to the very last point. I was proud to see the team win another match at Hellman in front of a few player guests, and having some fans in attendance was nice.
"I'm excited to see this group continue its journey as a team. They've grown and improved each week we've competed this year."
The second-round match was close in singles and doubles, though senior Anna Bright and freshman Hannah Viller Moeller claimed the first win in doubles with a 6-1 result over Ana Tkachenko and Carla Girbau on court two. Both courts one and three featured intense battles. Bui and Erin Richardson were tied 6-6 with Kentucky's Lesedi Jacobs and Elizabeth Steven on court three when the Bears came through on court one. It was a big win on court one, as the Cal pair of Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov upset the top-ranked duo in the country in the Wildcats' Akvile Parazinskaite and Fiona Arrese, 7-6(6), to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Bright quickly turned it into a 2-0 lead when she knocked off Arrese, 6-1, 6-1, at court-six singles.
But Kentucky got a win on court one when the 28th-ranked Parazinskaite topped the 31st-ranked Haley Giavara, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. Cal led 2-1.
The teams traded wins again when Cal's Viller Moeller defeated Girbau, 6-2, 6-2, on court five and then Jacobs beat the Bears' Julia Rosenqvist on court two, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. That left Cal with a 3-2 lead, with court four ultimately deciding the match.
Now the Bears turn their attention to North Carolina, which defeated Old Dominion, 4-0, in the second round to improve to 28-0. Cal will face the Tar Heels in Bright's home state, and the Boca Raton product will be playing the match about three hours from home.
In their most recent meeting, in 2017, Cal and North Carolina faced each other in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. The Bears fell to the Tar Heels, 4-2, in the quarterfinals.
In 2016, Cal claimed one of the biggest victories in program history at the expense of UNC. The Tar Heels were trying to repeat as the champions of that year's ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Instead, Cal defeated North Carolina, 4-3, in the final, to earn its first national team title. Olivia Hauger, now Cal's volunteer assistant coach, was a freshman for the Bears in 2016 and clinched the championship win.
NCAA Championship Second Round
 No. 13 California (19-6) defeated No. 26 Kentucky (16-9), 4-2
May 8, 2021, in Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex
1. Haley Giavara/Valentina Ivanov (Cal) def. No. 1 Akvile Parazinskaite/Fiona Arrese (UK), 7-6(6)*
2. Anna Bright/Hannah Viller Moeller (Cal) def. Ana Tkachenko/Carla Girbau (UK), 6-1
3. Jada Bui/Erin Richardson (Cal) vs. Lesedi Jacobs/Elizabeth Stevens (UK), 6-6 Unfinished
Order of Finish - 2, 1*
*Clinched the doubles point
1. No. 28 Akvile Parazinskaite (UK) def. No. 31 Haley Giavara (Cal), 6-4, 6-2
2. No. 115 Lesedi Jacobs (UK) def. Julia Rosenqvist (Cal), 2-6, 6-0, 6-3
3. Valentina Ivanov (Cal) vs. Carlota Molina (UK), 7-6(2), 5-7, 0-1 Unfinished
4. Jada Bui (Cal) def. Elizabeth Stevens (UK), 2-6, 6-1, 7-5^
5. Hannah Viller Moeller (Cal) def. Carla Girbau (UK), 6-2, 6-2
6. Anna Bright (Cal) def. Fiona Arrese (UK), 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish - 6, 1, 5, 2, 4^
^Clinched the overall win