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Top-Seeded Cal Opens Pac-12s Vs. Utah

Apr 18, 2022
Freshman Katja Wiersholm will play in her first conference tournament starting Thursday in Ojai.

BERKELEY – Top-seeded and defending champion California opens the Pac-12 Women's Tennis Championship on Thursday at 12 p.m., when the eighth-ranked Golden Bears face ninth-seeded and 52nd-ranked Utah at the Ojai Valley Tennis Club in Ojai, California. The winner of Saturday's 12 p.m. final wins the conference tournament championship and the Pac-12's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
Cal brings a 15-6 overall record into Thursday's contest against a Utah team (15-10, 3-7 Pac-12) that defeated eighth-seeded and 48th-ranked Arizona, 4-1, in Wednesday's first round in Ojai. The Bears captured the Pac-12 regular-season title with a conference-best 8-1 mark upon defeating No. 17 Stanford, 5-2, on April 16 at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley (see below).
Live scores will be available for every Pac-12 tournament match in Ojai – check later this week for links – and the Pac-12 Networks will televise Saturday's final. The final will be played at Libbey Park, while the tournament's earlier matches will be played at the Ojai Valley Tennis Club.
Last Time: Cal Captures Pac-12 Regular-Season Title Vs. Stanford
Seventh-ranked Cal won the 2022 Pac-12 regular-season championship when it bested No. 17 Stanford, 5-2, on April 16 at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. Julia Rosenqvist - who clinched Cal's 2021 Pac-12 tournament championship in San Diego – defeated the Cardinal's India Houghton in singles to hand the Golden Bears their latest conference title.
Rosenqvist – whom the Bears celebrated before the match in its Senior Day ceremony – also won in doubles, as the Swede teamed with Erin Richardson to beat the Cardinal's Niluka Madurawe and Valencia Xu, 6-3, on court three. The Bears clinched the doubles point when Haley Giavara and Hannah Viller Moeller defeated Sara Choy and Alexandra Yepifanova, 6-3, on court two.
With singles wins from the 97th-ranked Giavara, who beat the 19th-ranked Connie Ma, 6-1, 6-0, and Richardson, who knocked off Choy, 6-4, 6-2, and a loss by Cal freshman Jessica Alsola, Cal built a 3-1 lead over the Cardinal. Rosenqvist then defeated Houghton, 7-6(8), 6-3, to clinch the win, with Cal leading 4-1. The teams split the last two matches to make the final score 5-2.
Valentina Ivanov Returns From International Duty
Cal junior Valentina Ivanov – who missed the Bears' last three matches to play for New Zealand in Billie Jean King Cup qualifying – has returned from the Asia Oceania Group 1 tournament in Antalya, Turkey. The Kiwis ended their stay on a high note, beating Indonesia, 2-1, on April 16 on the clay courts of the MTA Tennis Academy. But with a 1-4 record in Turkey, New Zealand did not advance to the finals of the Billie Jean King Cup.
In her last Cal match before joining New Zealand, Ivanov clinched the Bears' 7-0 rout of Arizona on April 2 with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Midori Castillo-Meza in Tucson, Arizona.
Last Time At Pac-12s: Cal Ousts UCLA For First Tourney Title
Cal captured its first Pac-12 tournament championship on April 26, 2021, when Julia Rosenqvist clinched a 4-2 victory over top-seeded UCLA at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Rosenqvist defeated Elysia Bolton, 6-7(0), 7-5, 6-1, at court-three singles to secure the win.
The third-seeded Bears – who took home the 2014 conference title and the 1987 Pac-10 South crown prior to the inception of the Pac-12 team tournament – also earned the Pac-12's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Along with Rosenqvist's victory, Cal got singles wins from the 62nd-ranked Haley Giavara, who rallied from a 3-0 first-set deficit to beat eighth-ranked Abbey Forbes, 6-4, 6-2; Anna Bright, who defeated Annette Goulak, 6-0, 6-3; and Hannah Viller Moeller, who bested Sasha Vagramov, 6-2, 6-3.
Poll Position
In this week's national rankings, Cal is No. 8 in the ITA poll, No. 7 in the Cracked Rackets poll and No. 9 in the Tennis Channel/USTA Top 25. In ITA singles, Cal junior Haley Giavara (13-13) is ranked 62nd this week, while freshman Jessica Alsola (30-8 record) is ranked 64th. The ITA doubles poll ranks Giavara and Cal junior Valentina Ivanov (15-6) 39th, Alsola and junior Erin Richardson (10-4) 50th, and Alsola and freshman Katja Wiersholm (8-2) 68th.
Scouting Ca

  • Cal defeated Utah 7-0 on March 18 in Berkeley
  • Katja Wiersholm clinched the win over Utah when she defeated Lindsay Hung, 6-0, 6-1
  • Wiersholm also partnered with Jessica Alsola to clinch the doubles point vs. Utah with a 6-0 win over Emily Dush and Anastasia Goncharova
  • The Bears are riding a four-match winning streak and have won nine of their last 10 matches
  • Cal has won the doubles point in 14 of its 21 dual matches
  • 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 the win against Utah and the March 6 win over 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
  • Haley Giavara was a singles All-American and the ITA Northwest Regional Rookie of the Year as a freshman
  • 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 Utah

  • Against Arizona on Wednesday at the Pac-12 Championship, Anastasia Goncharova beat Lexi Ryngler, 6-4, 6-1, to clinch Utah's win
  • Utah snapped a seven-match losing streak – started by a 7-0 loss at Cal on March 18 – when it beat Colorado, 4-1, in its April 16 regular-season finale
  • Linda Huang is ranked 119th in singles
  • Ric Mortera is in his third season as Utah'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.
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