Four Bears Head To Fall Nationals
BERKELEY – The California women's tennis team is splitting its squad between the ITA National Fall Championships and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational this week, with Jessica Alsola, Katja Wiersholm, Erin Richardson and Makenna Thiel heading to fall nationals in San Diego, and Valentina Ivanov, Hannah Viller Moeller and Cami Brown traveling to the tournament in Tempe, Arizona, as Cal closes out the first half of the regular season.
The annual ITA tournament takes place at the Barnes Center in San Diego, where, in Wednesday's doubles first round, Alsola and Wiersholm will play Texas Tech's Metka Komac and Cristina Tiglea at 2:30 p.m., while Richardson and Thiel will face UCLA's fourth-seeded Kimmi Hance and Elise Wagle at 5:30 p.m.
Draws are available here, and live scores are available here. Please visit the tournament page for more information about fall nationals.
Cracked Racquets will cover each day of nationals on its YouTube Channel; here is the live stream link for each day:
Wednesday – https://youtu.be/F9AHcMNvOZQ
Thursday – https://youtu.be/OjicaC963f8
Friday – https://youtu.be/CInM8TjRJvs
Saturday – https://youtu.be/WPbJXcpsLw4
Sunday – https://youtu.be/Vn3tS2fQyjs
The ASU Thunderbird Invitational runs Friday through Sunday at the Whiteman Tennis Center. Click here for live scores from Tempe. For more information about the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, please visit the tournament page.
Fans can also follow updates of Cal matches at @CalWomensTennis.
Last Year At ITA Fall Nationals & The ASU Invite
Jessica Alsola and Erin Richardson competed in the 2021 National Fall Championships in their first national tournament as a doubles team, with the Bears reaching the round of 16 in San Diego.
Cal sent Valentina Ivanov, Hannah Viller Moeller and Makenna Thiel to the 2021 ASU Thunderbird Invitational, with Ivanov notching a big singles victory over San Diego's 30th-ranked Solymar Colling, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6.
Women's Tennis Earn Newmark Award
Women's tennis program was one of five Cal programs honored with the Newmark Award, an annual honor given to the teams on campus with the top cumulative grade-point average over the previous year, Cal Athletics announced on Oct. 18.
Head coach Amanda Augustus' Bears claimed the Women's Small Team Award for the third straight year with a 3.589 GPA. Women's tennis also posted the top overall Cal team GPA for 2021-22.
The other winning teams were men's rowing (Men's Large Team Award), field hockey (Women's Large Team Award), men's gymnastics (Men's Small Team Award) and field hockey (Most Improved).
Each winning team will be awarded approximately $7,000 to go to its operating budget.
The Newmark Awards were established in 2007 by Pat and Kent Newmark in an effort to recognize team academic success at Cal. Kent Newmark competed on the tennis and track & field teams at Cal before graduating in 1960.
The Bears earned five rankings in the ITA's preseason polls. Senior Haley Giavara is ranked 25th in singles, Jessica Alsola is ranked 50th and Katja Wiersholm is 97th. In doubles, the pair of Giavara and senior Erin Richardson is ranked 42nd and the duo of senior Valentina Ivanov and junior Hannah Viller Moeller is 57th.
Scouting the Bears
- Jessica Alsola has had a strong start to her second season as a Bear
- Most recently Alsola paired with Katja Wiersholm to capture the doubles title at the ITA Northwest Regional Championships at Stanford, where Erin Richardson and Makenna Thiel reached the doubles semifinals
- In singles at regionals, Alsola, Wiersholm and Hannah Viller Moeller reached the quarterfinals
- Alsola won the consolation singles crown at the ITA All-American Championships, defeating San Diego's 34th-ranked Solymar Colling, 6-2, 6-3 in the final
- Alsola and Wiersholm reached the consolation doubles semis at the All-American, in which Alsola played eight matches in five days
- In the season-opening Cal Fall Invitational, Alsola and Valentina Ivanov beat top-flight champion Connie Ma and Alexandra Yepifanova, 8-3, in an extra doubles match on the last day of the tournament
- Ivanov and Alsola reached the top-flight doubles semifinals and Ivanov played in the top-flight singles quarterfinals at the Cal Fall Invite
- In the final ITA polls of the 2021-22 season, Haley Giavara was ranked 36th and Alsola was 70th in singles, while in doubles Giavara and Valentina Ivanov were 40th and Alsola and Katja Wiersholm were 74th
- Five Bears returning for the 2022-23 season earned 2022 All-Pac-12 honors, led by second-team selections Giavara and Alsola, and including honorable mentions Wiersholm, Erin Richardson and Hannah Viller Moeller
- A two-time singles All-American – who earned her second honor last season - Giavara posted records of 15-14 in singles and 21-9 in doubles last spring
- Alsola compiled the best singles record (32-9) for the Bears and was also 23-9 in doubles last year
- Over the summer, Alsola won a doubles title and was the singles runner-up in a 15K Frederiksberg tournament in Denmark
- Wiersholm – who was 21-3 in singles and 17-5 in doubles as a freshman – won her first 17 singles matches before losing in Cal's 4-3 win over No. 5 Pepperdine in Berkeley
- Wiersholm reached the doubles semifinals and the singles round of 16 of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 18 National Championships in August
- Viller Moeller, a junior, was 27-13 in singles and 11-7 in doubles as a sophomore
- Over the summer, Viller Moeller repeated as the Danish singles and mixed doubles champion
- Also over the summer, Ivanov, now a senior, won a 15K Monastir doubles title in Tunisia
- As a junior, Ivanov was 14-13 in singles and 19-10 in doubles
- Former two-time NCAA doubles champion Amanda Augustus – the 2021 Pac-12 Coach of the Year and five-time ITA Northwest Region Coach of the Year (including in 2021-22) – is in her 16th year as head coach at her alma mater
- Associate head coach Zack Warren – the 2022 ITA Northwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year, who has collected four regional awards overall – is in his ninth year on the staff
Cal competes in the Hawaii Invitational from Jan. 6-8, 2023, in Honolulu.
For further coverage of the Bears, follow them on Twitter (@CalWomensTennis), Instagram (@CalWomensTennis) and Facebook (@CalWomensTennis).