No. 11 Cal Advances To NCAA Round Of 16
BERKELEY – In what may have been her swan song at the Hellman Tennis Complex on Saturday, California women's tennis senior Julia Rosenqvist clinched the 11th-seeded/ranked Golden Bears' 4-0 victory over No. 34 Texas Tech in the NCAA Championship round of 32. With the victory, Cal advances to the NCAA round of 16 to play at sixth-seeded N.C. State on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cal heads into its next match after blanking both Northern Arizona, 4-0, in Friday's first round at Hellman and the Lady Raiders on Saturday.
"It's amazing," Rosenqvist said. "We all worked so hard, and to do it 4-0 both days is crazy fun. It also shows the work we put in the last week to do that. We're just ready to go again."
"This is part of our program's annual goals," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said of advancing. "It's a little bit different this year with the super regional, but we'll figure it out. Reaching the sweet 16 is a big accomplishment. Hopefully we can keep it going.
"Today was a really big team effort. We didn't lose a set, but everyone had to fight. And we love playing at Hellman, in front of our fans, and our men's team was out supporting us, which was great."
Cal improved its record to 18-7, while the Lady Raiders ended its team tournament campaign with a 15-11 record.
The Bears' next opponent is the winner of Sunday's round of 32 match between sixth-seeded N.C. State and Tennessee in Raleigh, North Carolina. If the Wolfpack wins, then Cal would travel to Raleigh for the round of 16. If the 22nd-ranked Volunteers win, then Cal would host Tennessee in the third round.
The Bears had a battle on their hands early on against Texas Tech, as all three doubles matches were competitive affairs. The 90th-ranked Cal duo of Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm grabbed the first win, 6-4, over Texas Tech's Margarita Skriabina and Cristina Tiglea, 6-4, on court two. The other two matches went to tiebreaks, including on court one, where the Bears trailed 5-3 at one point, and on court three, where the Bears had a 5-3 lead. Rosenqvist and Erin Richardson wound up losing on court three to Olivia Peet and Metka Komac, 7-6(5). But Cal's 38th-ranked Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov rallied to win on one, 7-6(5), and give the Bears the point.
Cal won all six first sets in singles. Giavara, ranked 63rd, made quick work of the 21st-ranked Skriabina, 6-2, 6-0, on court one. Alsola, ranked 71st, followed with a 6-2, 6-0 victory of her own over Peet on court two. Rosenqvist then prevailed on court three to end the match and send the Bears to the next round.
Rosenqvist defeated Texas Tech's Avelina Sayfetdinova, 6-2, 6-4, Saturday, and has now clinched three-consecutive Cal home victories – vs. Stanford in the April 16 regular-season finale, which Cal won, 5-2, to capture the Pac-12 regular-season title; Friday's shut out of Northern Arizona; and Saturday's win.
"My first three years it never was me (clinching), because I either played too fast or played long matches," Rosenqvist said. "It's all kind of a coincidence. For me being a senior, I've been in those situations before, so I know what to expect of my emotions. You can be a little nervous, because people are like, 'She's got to get this win now.' Honestly, it's more like enjoying that same situation. You work so hard to get into that situation, and it makes you want to do it again."
With the Bears perhaps playing in North Carolina next week, Saturday's match may have been Rosenqvist's last in Berkeley. She was introspective about that possibility.
"I just try to not take anything for granted and leave it all out there any chance that I get," she said. "I also allowed myself to smile today. It's so easy to be so focused, and you've got to be so serious. But the other girls were cheering me along and telling me, 'You've got to smile. You've got to enjoy the moment.' I really tried to do that today."
NCAA Championship – Round of 32
 No. 11 California (18-7) defeated No. 34 Texas Tech (15-11), 4-0
May 7, 2022, in Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex
1. No. 38 Haley Giavara/Valentina Ivanov (Cal) def. Avelina Sayfetdinova/Kailey Evans (Texas Tech), 7-6(4)*
2. No. 90 Jessica Alsola/Katja Wiersholm (Cal) def. Margarita Skriabina/Cristina Tiglea (Texas Tech), 6-4
3. Olivia Peet/Metka Komac (Texas Tech) def. Erin Richardson/Julia Rosenqvist (Cal), 7-6(5)
Order of Finish – 2, 3, 1*
*Clinched the doubles point
1. No. 63 Haley Giavara (Cal) def. No. 21 Margarita Skriabina (Texas Tech), 6-2, 6-0
2. No. 71 Jessica Alsola (Cal) def. Olivia Peet (Texas Tech), 6-2, 6-0
3. Julia Rosenqvist (Cal) def. No. 86 Avelina Sayfetdinova (Texas Tech), 6-2, 6-4^
4. Katja Wiersholm (Cal) vs. Metka Komac (Texas Tech), 6-3, 2-5 (Abandoned)
5. Hannah Viller Moeller (Cal) vs. Kailey Evans (Texas Tech), 7-5, 2-1 (Abandoned)
6. Erin Richardson (Cal) vs. Cristina Tiglea (Texas Tech), 7-5, 1-5 (Abandoned)
Order of Finish – 1, 2, 3^
^Clinched the overall match