No. 7 Cal Hosts Big Slam Saturday
BERKELEY – The ninth-ranked California women's tennis closes out the regular season when the Golden Bears host No. 17 Stanford in the Big Slam on Saturday at 12 p.m. Saturday is also Senior Day, with the Bears set to celebrate the career of veteran Julia Rosenqvist prior to the match.
The defending Pac-12 tournament champion, Cal brings a 14-6 overall record and a 7-1 Pac-12 mark Saturday's showdown with the Cardinal (14-4, 7-1 Pac-12).
Admission is free to regular-season matches at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Fans can also follow the action and scores at Hellman via the live stream by clicking here and can follow updates of Cal matches at @CalWomensTennis.
Under current state and local guidelines, fans attending events held in outdoor venues are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings at all times.
Last Time: Cal Sweeps In Washington
Cal defeated Washington State and No. 28 Washington in a pair of 4-3 results in the Evergreen State.
On April 8, the Bears dropped the doubles point and the first match in singles to trail the Cougars 2-0 indoors in Pullman. But Cal rallied to eventually tie the match at 3-3, with wins from Julia Rosenqvist (she beat Hania Abouelsaad, 6-3, 6-2), Katja Wiersholm (6-2, 3-6, 6-1, over Maxine Murphy) and Erin Richardson (6-3, 6-1 over Stefaniia Mikhailova). Hannah Viller Moeller completed Cal's 4-3 victory with a 7-6(1), 6-1 win over Elyse Tse on court five.
In rainy Seattle on April 9, Cal dropped the doubles point but then won two of three singles matches to tie the match at 2-2. Rosenqvist earned Cal's first point with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Huskies' Kelly Leung, and Alsola beat Hikaru Sato, 6-2, 6-4. After the teams split the next two matches – including Cal junior Erin Richardson beating Ashley Chung, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 – the contest was tied, 3-3. Haley Giavara prevailed over Vanessa Wong, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, to seal Cal's 4-3 victory.
In the latest national rankings, Cal is No. 7 in the ITA poll, No. 11 in the Cracked Rackets poll and No. 11 in the Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25. In singles, Jessica Alsola (30-7 record) – who leads Cal in singles wins – is ranked 59th, Haley Giavara (12-13) is 97th and Katja Wiersholm (20-2) is 124th. In doubles, Giavara and Valentina Ivanov (15-6) are ranked 30th, Wiersholm and Alsola (8-2) are 47th, and Alsola and Erin Richardson (10-4) are 50th.
Scouting the Bears
- Cal freshman Katja Wiersholm and Jessica Alsola earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season (see below)
- Wiersholm has clinched four of Cal's wins, including March 18 against Utah and March 6 against Oregon
- Wiersholm clinched Cal's first two wins of the season in the first two matches of her career against UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine
- Jessica Alsola reached the singles semifinals of the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in the fall
- Junior Haley Giavara was a singles All-American and the ITA Northwest Regional Rookie of the Year as a freshman
- Cal has won the doubles point in 13 of its 20 dual matches
- 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
- Augustus was inducted into the Cal Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011
- 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 Cardinal
- Stanford is ranked 17th in the latest ITA poll and 15th in the Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25
- In its last two matches, both on the road, Stanford beat No. 28 Washington, 6-1, on April 8 and defeated Washington State, 6-1, on April 10
- Three Stanford players are ranked in singles in No. 19 Connie Ma, No. 20 Alexandra Yepifanova and No. 112 Valencia Xu
- In doubles, Ma and Angelica Blake are ranked 12th
- Lele Forood is in her 22nd season as Stanford's head coach
Katja Wiersholm Named Pac-12 Player of the Week In March
Katja Wiersholm earned her first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor for her play in Cal's win over USC, 4-3, on March 26 in Berkeley.
In doubles vs. USC, the 29th-ranked Wiersholm and Jessica Alsola defeated the 64th-ranked Eryn Cayetano and Grace Piper, 6-3, on court one to clinch the doubles point for the Bears. In singles, the 122nd-ranked Wiersholm beat USC's 77th-ranked Snow Han, 6-4, 6-3, on court three, to clinch the victory.
A product of Kirkland, Washington, Wiersholm has records of 20-2 in singles and 14-4 in doubles in her first semester of collegiate tennis.
Jessica Alsola Named Pac-12 Player of the Week In January
Jessica Alsola earned her first 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.
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. 50 singles ranking, Alsola is ranked seventh in the ITA Newcomer poll.
For further coverage of the Bears, follow them on Twitter (@CalWomensTennis), Instagram (@CalWomensTennis) and Facebook (@CalWomensTennis).
Cal defends its 2021 conference tournament title in the Pac-12 Championship from April 20-23 in Ojai, California.