Bears win! No.1 Cal Women's Tennis stays undefeated on the year (17-0) to beat rival Stanford Cardinal in this non-conference match, in front of a packed house in Berkeley.
Stanford came out and quickly won the doubles point in fairly dominant fashion. This was the first point conceded by the Bears in almost a month.
Instead of pressing, the Bears came out swinging, being aggressive and effective in singles play. Bears won 4 of the 6 1st set and ends up winning all of those matches in two sets. In the two matches where the Bears dropped the 1st set, they have rallied to force a 3rd set.
The first to finish was court 3 with senior Lynn Chi against Stanford's Doyle. Chi won easily 6-1, 6-3 for the Bears' first point. In the process, Doyle's record against Cal drops to 7-2 (just goes to show how good Stanford have been against the Bears traditionally).
Bears then went ahead with a win in court 6 as freshman Karla Popovic won 6-3, 6-1. Popovic has a perfect record on the year as the Bears' No.6 player.
The bulk of the Pac-12 Networks coverage was rightfully on courts 1 and 2.
In court 2, Klara Fabikova had a easy 6-2 first set win over Stanford's Davidson. Set 2 started much more tightly but with both players trading double faults on deciding points on back-to--back games, Klara powered her way to a 6-2, 6-3 win.
In court 1, Cal No.1 Maegan Manasse has never beaten Stanford's Carol Zhao, who was only ranked 59th in college because she took time off to play in the WTA tour (Zhao is ranked in the 200's there). Playing with plenty of confidence Manasse jumped out to a 4-0 lead only to see Zhao come back to tie things up at 4-4. After several tight points, Manasse eventually broke and won 7-5. In set 2, Manasse had an early break to go up 5-3. While she couldn't serve out the win, Maegan managed a break to win set 2 by a 6-4 score to clinch this Big Slam win for the Bears.
Here is meet clinching match point:
Pac-12 play resumes for the Bears next weekend at the Washington schools before the regular season ends at the other Big Slam down at the Farm (that one will count for the Pac-12 standings where the Bears are currently in a tie for first with USC - the Cal, USC match scheduled earlier this year was rained out).
Similar to Cal Women's Gymnastics, this has been a record breaking season for Cal Women's Tennis. It has been a lot of fun to follow.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
No.1 California Golden Bears (16-0) vs. No.18 Stanford Cardinal (9-4)
When: 11 AM PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
The best team on the Cal campus right now, the top ranked and undefeated Cal Women's Tennis squad doesn't get enough love here on CGB. This is our first dedicated post for Cal Women's Tennis this school year (when they won the ITA Indoors National Title, tennis was only used as the lead in an otherwise longer weekly roundup post). After opening the dual meet season with the huge ITA Indoors National Championship (1st team national championship in program history), the Bears have just gotten better and better. In recent conference play, the Bears are not merely winning, they are dominating.
The latest victim for the Bears were the Oregon Ducks on Friday. Bears won 7-0.
The only players to drop sets were the two seniors...probably to prolong their Cal home career? Bears have won 7-0 in their last three meets and will obviously love to continue that streak going into the Big Slam today.
Of course, Stanford is always a very good program and nothing will be easy. Bears and the Cardinal met 3 times last year with the Golden Bears winning both Big Slams in the regular season only to fall to the underdog Stanford in the NCAA Sweet 16.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
The typical Cal lineup:
1. No. 6 Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr
2. Klara Fabikova/Olivia Hauger
3. Lynn Chi/Maria Smith
1. No. 7 Maegan Manasse
2. No. 11 Klara Fabikova
3. No.64 Lynn Chi
4. No. 93 Denise Starr
5. No. 68 Olivia Hauger
6. Karla Popovic
Manasse and Fabikova have each won the Pac-12 Player of the Week honor twice this year. Starr has one Pac-12 Player of the Week award to her credit.
The typical Stanford lineup:
1. No. 4 Davidson/Doyle
3. No. 47 Hardebeck/Lampl
1. No. 59 Carol Zhao
2. No. 23 Taylor Davidson
3. No. 57 Caroline Doyle
4. No. 118 Krista Hardebeck
5. Caroline Lampl
6. Kimberly Yee