No. 4 Cal Hosts ITA Kickoff Weekend
BERKELEY – The fourth-ranked California women's tennis team hosts one of 15 ITA Kickoff Weekends around the nation this week, with BYU, San Diego and Vanderbilt joining the Golden Bears in Berkeley as the teams vie to qualify for the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship.
In the first match of the four-team event at the Hellman Tennis Complex, Cal (2-0) hosts BYU (1-3) on Friday at 11 a.m. San Diego (1-0) plays Vanderbilt (2-0) at Hellman at 2 p.m. On Saturday at 10 a.m., the two losing teams from Friday play in a consolation match, and then at 1 p.m., Friday's two winning teams play in the championship. The winner of Saturday's final advances to national indoors, which are slated for Feb. 11-14 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Cal won its first national indoor championship in 2016, when the Bears defeated North Carolina, 4-3, in the final in Madison.
Admission is free to regular-season tennis matches at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
Cal Athletics follows all state and local public health guidelines to mitigate risk and support the health and well-being of those who attend Cal athletic events. Under these policies, fans attending outdoor events on campus are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings in outdoor areas. Facial coverings are required at all times in indoor spaces (i.e., restrooms) for guests ages 2 and up regardless of vaccination status, unless actively eating or drinking. Masks will be available at entrances for fans upon request.
Individuals who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or are under a quarantine or isolation order should not attend.
These protocols are subject to change based on local, state and national guidelines.
Fans can follow the action and scores at Hellman via the live stream by clicking here and can follow updates of Cal matches at @CalWomensTennis.
After the big win over Pepperdine (see below), Cal moved up from No. 9 to tied for No. 4 - with UCLA - in Wednesday's ITA Coaches Poll. Pepperdine dropped from No. 2 to No. 7.
Last Time: Bears Beat Waves, Gauchos To Open 2-0
Katja Wiersholm clinched a Cal women's tennis victory for the second time in as many days, as the ninth-ranked Bears defeated second-ranked Pepperdine, 4-3, in a thriller on Jan. 22 in Malibu. Wiersholm, in her first semester at Cal, beat Nikki Redelijk 7-5, 7-5, to wrap up Cal's victory. The Bears also got big wins from Jessica Alsola – 6-3, 7-6(5) over the 30th-ranked Victoria Flores – Hannah Viller Moeller – 6-1, 6-3 over the 36th-ranked Savannah Broadus – and Julia Rosenqvist – 6-2, 6-3 over the 93rd-ranked Janice Tjen.
The Bears beat host UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 21, with Wiersholm beating Kira Reuter, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 to clinch that dual-match opener. Cal swept singles and got a doubles win from Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov, who bested the Gauchos' Reuter and Amelia Honer, 7-5.
Scouting the Bears
- Haley Giavara, who competed in both the 2021 NCAA singles and (with Valentina Ivanov) NCAA doubles tournaments, has a 5-3 singles record in 2021-22
- Ivanov (10-4) is ranked 108th in the most recent ITA singles poll
- Jessica Alsola, a freshman, is ranked 110th in singles and at 19-2 has the most singles wins for the Bears so far this season
- Alsola is also ranked seventh in the ITA Newcomers poll
- The pair of Alsola and Erin Richardson (10-4) – which reached the round of 16 in the ITA National Fall Championships in November – is ranked 27th
- Freshman Katja Wiersholm (8-0 in singles) clinched Cal's first two wins of the season (see above)
- Former two-time NCAA doubles champion Amanda Augustus – the 2021 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and ITA Northwest Region Coach of the Year – is in her 15th year as head coach at her alma mater
- Associate head coach Zack Warren – the 2021 ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year – is in his eighth year on the staff, which includes former Cal star Maegan Manasse as the Bears' volunteer assistant coach
Scouting the Cougars
- BYU started its season in the Cal Fall Invitational in September in Berkeley
- The Cougars upset 19th-ranked Baylor, 4-3, in its opener
- Freshman Madison Smith beat Baylor's Ana Carmen Zamburek, 6-4, 6-4, to clinch BYU's win
- BYU has since lost to three unranked teams in Illinois, 5-2, Washington State, 6-1, and Washington, 7-0
- Holly Parkinson Hasler is in her fourth year as BYU's head coach
Scouting the Toreros
- USD beat Fresno State, 6-1, in its opener
- Two Toreros are ranked in singles in No. 44 Solymar Colling and No. 62 Abigail Desiatnikov
- Colling, a first-team All-WCC selection in 2021, played in last year's NCAA Singles Championship, falling in the first round
- Sherri Stephens is in her 37th season as USD's head coach
Scouting the Commodores
- Vanderbilt beat Middle Tennessee State, 7-0, and Northwestern, 5-2, to start the season
- Marcella Cruz – part of the 2021 SEC All-Newcomer Team – clinched the win over Middle Tennessee State with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Zani Barnard
- Sophomore Anessa Lee clinched the result over NU with a win over Justine Leong
- Aleke Tsoubanos – who led the Commodores to the NCAA second round in 2021 – is in her second season as Vanderbilt's head coach
For further coverage of the Bears, follow them on Twitter (@CalWomensTennis), Instagram (@CalWomensTennis) and Facebook (@CalWomensTennis).
Cal plays a nonconference dual match at Michigan on Feb. 8.