Cal Returns To NCAA Tournament
BERKELEY – Eleventh-seeded California, the 2022 Pac-12 regular-season champion, earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Championship and will host Northern Arizona, Loyola Marymount and Texas Tech in the first round at the Hellman Tennis Complex on Friday, May 6. LMU plays Texas Tech at 10 a.m. and Cal plays NAU at 1 p.m. on Friday. The first-round winners advance to the second-round match on Saturday, May 7, with that victor advancing to the NCAA round of 16 at a campus site TBA.
"We're happy we're going to be starting the tournament here at Hellman, and we're looking forward to hosting Northern Arizona, Texas Tech and Loyola Marymount this week," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "We've had a good season thus far, and we're looking forward to continuing to compete."
Cal has a 16-7 record heading into the match with the Lumberjacks (12-7), who earned an automatic spot in the postseason by winning the Big Sky Conference championship. LMU (18-3) and Texas Tech (14-10) are at-large entrants in the postseason.
The ticket prices for Friday's and Saturday's matches are as follows: Adult - $10, Youth/Senior - $5 and Student - $3. Fans can follow the action and scores by downloading the TennisONE app to view the live stream and can follow updates of Cal matches on Twitter at @CalWomensTennis.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host the remainder of the NCAA team tournament from May 20-22 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. After the team tournament ends, the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments will likewise take place at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex and conclude on May 28.
The Golden Bears enter the postseason having won five of their last six and 10 of their last 12 matches. They posted an 8-1 Pac-12 record to claim the conference's regular-season title and the top seed in the Pac-12 Championship. After defeating ninth-seeded Utah, 4-0, in the April 21 quarterfinals, Cal fell to fifth-seeded Arizona State, 4-3, in the April 21 semifinals.
Cal consists of a mix of talented veterans and young Bears, including junior Haley Giavara and freshmen Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm, all three of whom earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this spring. Giavara (14-14 record) is a former singles All-American who's currently ranked 63rd in singles, and she and Valentina Ivanov (16-7) are ranked 31st in doubles. Julia Rosenqvist (24-8), a senior, enters NCAAs having won 10 consecutive singles matches, including the victory over Stanford on April 16 that clinched the regular-season Pac-12 title for the Bears.
Alsola and Wiersholm have bolstered an already deep lineup with their play in their freshman seasons. Ranked 75th in singles, Alsola (31-9) leads the Bears in singles wins, while Wiersholm (21-3) has sparkled in what is just her first semester of college tennis. Alsola and Wiersholm (9-3) are also ranked 61st as a doubles duo.
Last season, Cal captured the Pac-12 tournament championship and later earned the 16th seed in the NCAA tournament. As the hosts of the first and second rounds in Berkeley, the Bears beat San Jose State, 4-0, in the first round and bested Kentucky, 4-2, in the second round to advance to the remainder of the NCAA Championships in Orlando. Cal lost to top-seeded North Carolina, 4-0, in the round of 16.
A Cal alumna in her 15th season at the helm of the program, Amanda Augustus has led the Bears to their best results in the postseason – runner-up finishes in her first two seasons as head coach in 2008 and 2009. Augustus has a 266-90 overall coaching record (.747 winning percentage). A two-time NCAA doubles champion as a Cal player in 1998 and 1999, Augustus and Amy Jensen, her national championship partner, were named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Century in 2016. Augustus has mentored numerous Cal All-Americans and individual national champions, including 2009 NCAA doubles champs Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova and then Juricova again in 2011, when the latter captured the NCAA singles title.
For more coverage of the Cal women's team, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalWomensTennis), Instagram (@CalWomensTennis) and Facebook (@CalWomensTennis).