And there it is, Cal Women's Tennis completed a perfect 10-0 run through the Pac-12 conference (no team for Oregon State) and win the Pac-12 title for the 1st time in program history. The icing on cake is that the Golden Bears got to achieve this feat by winning the Big Slam 6-1 over rival Stanfurd, who came into this meet ranked higher than the Bears across the board.
From the official recap (CalBears.com):
The last time Cal won at Stanford was in 1999, when head coach Amanda Augustus was a senior star and clinched that victory in doubles (doubles was played last back then) and when volunteer assistant coach Jan Brogan was the Bears' head coach.
This marks the Bears’ second Pac-10/12 conference title in a fashion, as they won the Pac-10 South division title in 1987, when Washington won the Pac-10 North division and no single champion was crowned. The 2014 title is also Cal’s first outright conference championship since it won seven NorPac titles under Brogan.
Despite being the underdogs according to the rankings, the Bears got off to a good start by taking the doubles point.
After the Bears won in No.3 doubles with Fabikova and Chui finishing off Doyle and Hardebeck 8-3, the tandem of Schutting and Chi snapped the long winning streak of Furd's Ahn/Zhao by beating them 8-6 in No.1 doubles.
Despite losing 4 of the 6 first sets, the Bears got wins by Fabikova in court 5 (6-3, 6-1 over Tsay) to get the 2nd point. Schutting also finished off Hardebeck in two sets, although it took an exciting game to force that 2nd set tiebreaker. Bears did lose No.1 singles with Starr falling to Ahn 3-6, 2-6.
The clincher was freshman Manasse's 3 set win over Furd's Doyle, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2. Chi finishes off Furd's Davidson 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 just seconds later. Susanyi finished the day off with a 3 set win 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 over Furd's Hardebeck before the Bears got to celebrate down at the Farm.
You can check out my live-commenting of all the Cal actions this afternoon below.
No. 10 California 6, No. 5 Stanford 1
1) No. 70 Chi/Schutting (CAL) d. No. 9 Ahn/Zhao (STAN) 8-6
2) No. 37 Davidson/Tsay (STAN) vs. No. 35 Manasse/Starr (CAL) abandoned
3) Kelly Chui/Fabikova (CAL) d. Doyle/Hardebeck (STAN) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1
1) No. 4 Kristie Ahn (STAN) d. No. 32 Denise Starr (CAL) 6-3, 6-2
2) No. 21 Zsofi Susanyi (CAL) d. No. 44 Krista Hardebeck (STAN) 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4
3) No. 23 Anett Schutting (CAL) d. No. 19 Carol Zhao (STAN) 6-3, 7-6 (2)
4) No. 28 Lynn Chi (CAL) d. No. 34 Taylor Davidson (STAN) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
5) Klara Fabikova (CAL) d. No. 41 Ellen Tsay (STAN) 6-3, 6-1
6) No. 67 Maegen Manasse (CAL) d. No. 39 Caroline Doyle (STAN) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish 1, 5, 3, 6, 4, 2
Coming up next, the Bears will participate as individuals in the Pac-12 Championships. Then, it will be the NCAA tournament (where the Bears got the automatic bid) after that. Expect the Bears to host the first two rounds (so Cal fans still get more opportunities to see this team in person).
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
Cal Women's Tennis (17-4, 9-0) at Stanfurd Cardinal (16-1, 8-1)
When: 12 PM
Online stream: live stream
Despite being perfect last week, the Bears saw their ranking slips from 6th to 10th. Nevertheless, the Bears have won 3 more meets: 4-1 at Washington, 4-0 at Oregon, and then 7-0 at home yesterday against Sacramento State (a non-conference meet to celebrate the Seniors).
PAC-12 WOMEN'S TENNIS STANDINGS
Stakes are high for the Bears' last regular season meet on Saturday at noon with live stream. Bears will go for the program's first Pac-12 title and the NCAA automatic bid (okay, the Bears are a lock for the NCAA tournament regardless but this would be nice) when they visit Bay Area rival Stanfurd (16-1, 8-1) who also have an outside shot at the Pac-12 title (they would need UCLA to lose though).
This would actually be the second meeting between Cal and 'Furd this season. 'Furd won the non-conference matchup (in Berkeley) back in early March by a score of 5-2. There is no doubt that the Golden Bears would love to get revenge for that result as well as clinching the Pac-12 title down at the Farm.
Likely Cal Lineup:
1: No. 32 Denise Starr
2: No. 21 Zsofi Susanyi
3: No. 23 Anett Schutting
4: No. 28 Lynn Chi
6: No. 67 Maegan Manasse
Of course, No.5 'Furd boasts impressive rankings. Every member of Stanford’s singles lineup is ranked in the top-45: Krisitie Ahn (4), Carol Zhao (19), Taylor Davidson(34), Caroline Doyle (39), Ellen Tsay (41) and Krista Hardebeck (44). Two of the ranked 'Furd doubles are Ahn/Zhao at No. 9 and Davidson/Tsay at No. 37.
You can throw all those rankings out when it comes to a rivalry match, however.
Cal Softball (22-19, 4-8) at No.1 Oregon (39-5, 13-1)
When: 12 PM PT
Online: Pac-12 Digital
Bears are coming off two mercy rule losses to No.1 Ducks: 9-1 in 5 innings and then 15-3 also in 5 innings. Every win is precious now as the Bears try to stay postseason eligible. Can the Golden Bears find some magic and get a huge upset win on getaway day?
Cal lineup vs. Oregon: SS Cheyenne Cordes, 2B Kylie Reed, 3B Danielle Henderson, 1B Breana Kostreba, LF Vanessa Alvarez...— Cal Softball (@CalSoftball) April 19, 2014
Cal lineup cont: DP Victoria Jones, C Alleah Laxamana, CF Jasmin Mejia, RF Ashley Decker & P Stephanie Trzcinski— Cal Softball (@CalSoftball) April 19, 2014
Oregon lineup: 3B Ceo, DP Gillespie, LF Takeda, 1B Cuico, C Lindvall, RF Peterson, CF Costa, 2B Shaver, SS Udria & P Hawkins.— Cal Softball (@CalSoftball) April 19, 2014
Cal Baseball (15-19, 4-10) vs. Washington (27-7-1, 14-3)
When: 1 PM PT
Game update: Twitter (@Cal_Baseball)
Like Cal Softball, Cal Baseball are also taking on the current leader of the Pac-12 conference. Baseball suffered their losses in more heartbreaking fashion, however, as they were edged 4-3 on Thursday and then 6-2 on Friday to the 6th ranked Huskies. Despite the great UW offensive numbers prior to the series, the Bears were right there with them until late in both games.
For the Bears to make it back to postseason, they would need some upset wins to become postseason eligible. Even with the two losses in last two days, the Bears are still 6-10 against ranked teams on the season.
Sophomore righty Ryan Mason is scheduled to be the starter for the Bears today.