No. 4 Cal Opens ITA Indoors Vs. No. 8 Texas A&M
BERKELEY – Fourth-ranked California women's tennis returns to the site of one of its greatest victories when the Golden Bears play No. 8 Texas A&M on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT at the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.
The fourth-seeded Bears bring a 4-1 record into the clash with the Aggies, who are 9-0.
Fans can follow the ITA indoor/University of Wisconsin live stream by clicking here, the live scores from the match here and Twitter updates at @CalWomensTennis. For more information, please visit the ITA's tournament central page here.
Cal won its first national team title (see below) in the 2016 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship in Madison, where the Bears defeated North Carolina in the final.
Cal is ranked fourth in the latest ITA and Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25 polls. The ITA ranks Texas A&M eighth, while the Aggies are ranked ninth in the Tennis Channel/USTA poll.
Last Time: Cal Suffers First Loss at No. 20 Michigan
In its first indoor dual match of the season, Cal (4-1) suffered its first loss in a 5-2 result at No. 20 Michigan (4-2) on Tuesday at the Varsity Tennis Center.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead over the Wolverines when they captured the doubles point. After a court-one loss for the Bears, Cal's Erin Richardson and Julia Rosenqvist defeated Kari Miller and Julia Fliegner, 7-6(5), on court three. In another close contest on court two, Cal freshmen Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm clinched the point with a 7-6(2) win over Anca Craciun and Nicole Hammond.
Cal increased its lead to 2-0 over Michigan when Wiersholm posted a quick victory over Gala Mesochoritou at court-five singles. But the Bears fell in straight-set defeats on courts four, three and six to give the Wolverines a 3-2 lead. Michigan clinched the overall win at 4-2 when the 17th-ranked Miller beat Cal junior Haley Giavara, 6-7(2), 6-0, 6-1 on court one. Cal's 108th-ranked Valentina Ivanov then lost to the 120th-ranked Hammond on court two, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, to end the match.
Scouting the Bears
- Jessica Alsola earned her first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor (see below) on Jan. 25
- Alsola is ranked 51st in singles and at 21-3 has the most singles wins for the Bears
- The pair of Alsola and Erin Richardson (10-4) is ranked 49th
- Haley Giavara, who competed in both the 2021 NCAA singles and (with Valentina Ivanov) NCAA doubles tournaments, has a 6-4 singles record
- Ivanov (10-5) is ranked 110th in the most recent ITA singles poll
- Giavara and Ivanov have an 11-1 doubles record, including 2-1 on court one
- Hannah Viller Moeller, a sophomore, is ranked 99th in singles and has a 17-5 record
- Freshman Katja Wiersholm (10-0 in singles) is ranked 120th in singles
- Wiersholm clinched Cal's first two wins of the season against the Gauchos and Waves
- 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.
Scouting the Aggies
- Texas A&M beat SMU, 6-1, on Feb. 6 at home in its most recent match
- The Aggies beat Princeton, 4-1, on Jan. 29 and Texas Tech, 4-0, on Jan. 30 in the ITA Kickoff Weekend to advance to Madison
- Four Aggies have played No. 1 singles this season, with Carson Branstine posting a 3-1 record on the top court
- Four Aggies are ranked in singles: No. 105 Tatiana Makarova, No. 111 Carson Branstine, No. 117 Jayci Goldsmith and No. 122 Mary Stoiana
- Texas A&M has one ranked doubles team in No. 23 Goldsmith and Makarova
- Two more Wolverines are ranked in singles in No. 99 Julia Fliegner and No. 120 Nicole Hammond
- Mark Weaver is in his 23rd season as head coach at Texas A&M
Jessica Alsola Named Pac-12 Player of the Week
Cal freshman Jessica Alsola earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor on Jan. 25 after she helped the Golden Bears open the dual-match season 2-0 on the road. This is the first Pac-12 honor for Alsola and the first of the season for Cal.
Alsola picked up a big win in ninth-ranked Cal's 4-3 win over No. 2 Pepperdine on Jan. 22, defeating the 30th-ranked Victoria Flores at court-three singles, 6-3, 7-6(5), in Malibu. One day earlier, Alsola beat Camille Kiss, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, in Cal's 6-1 rout of UC Santa Barbara.
Along with her No. 51 singles ranking, Alsola is ranked seventh in the ITA Newcomer poll.
Cal Wins First National Title In 2016 ITA Indoors
Freshman Olivia Hauger defeated North Carolina's Marika Akkerman to clinch No. 6 California's first title at the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship on Feb. 8, 2016, at Wisconsin's Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The fourth-seeded Golden Bears wrapped up the victory over the third-seeded, fifth-ranked - and defending champion - Tar Heels, 4-3, once Hauger prevailed in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, on court five.
Cal entered singles down 1-0 after UNC won the doubles point.
Senior Klara Fabikova tied the match at 1-1 in singles, as the 10th-ranked Bear beat the 88th-ranked Whitney Kay, 6-2, 7-5, on court two. But UNC moved ahead, 2-1, when Cal's fifth-ranked Maegan Manasse lost to the sixth-ranked Hayley Carter, 6-2, 6-2, on court one.
Sophomore Karla Popovic then posted a 6-1, 6-3 victory over the 112th-ranked Ouellet-Pizer on court six, and Chi beat Kate Vialle, 6-3, 7-5, on court three to pull the Bears ahead, 3-1.
On court four, junior Denise Starr - who clinched the quarterfinal win over Virginia - fell to the 68th-ranked Jessie Aney, 7-6, 6-4, to knot the contest at 3-3, leaving it up to one of the newest Bears to make history for Cal women's tennis.
For further coverage of the Bears, follow them on Twitter (@CalWomensTennis), Instagram (@CalWomensTennis) and Facebook (@CalWomensTennis).
After the completion of ITA indoors, Cal plays at San Diego State on Feb. 20 and then plays at UCLA in a nonconference match on Feb. 21.