Cal’s Jessica Alsola (right) won in singles against Michigan and with Katja Wiersholm (left) beat the nation’s second-ranked doubles team.
BERKELEY – Trailing 3-0, the 55th-ranked California women’s tennis team rallied to get within one of No. 5 Michigan on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex before falling 4-3 in a thrilling nonconference match.
“We were a couple of points away,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “That was a very high-quality dual match between two top teams. I’m proud of our effort today.”
The Golden Bears’ record now stands at 3-4. The Wolverines improved to 8-1.
Michigan went ahead early in doubles, with Julia Fliegner and Lily Jones defeating Haley Giavara and Erin Richardson, 6-1, on court two. Cal’s 16th-ranked Jessica Alsola and Katja Wiersholm followed with a huge win over the Wolverines’ second-ranked Jaedan Brown and Kari Miller, 6-3, on court one.
“We really picked ourselves up from the start, trusted our shots and played really aggressive, and I think it worked out in our favor,” Alsola said.
That left court three to decide the doubles point, and Cal’s Makenna Thiel and Hannah Viller Moeller put up a good battle with Michigan’s Andrea Cerdan and Gala Mesochoritou. The Bears got close to wrapping up the doubles point when they converted a break point to take a 5-4 lead, but the Wolverines broke back to tie at 5-5. The match was eventually tied again at 6-6 before the Bears fell in the ensuing tiebreaker, 9-7 and lost the match, 7-6(7). Michigan led 1-0.
“We had an awesome win on court one,” Augustus said. “We competed really well on courts one and three. It was right there; then it would’ve been 4-3 us. I was very pleased with what I saw today.”
In singles, Cal lost on courts one and three, and the Wolverines took a 3-0 lead.
The Bears began their rally on court five, with freshman Berta Passola Folch upending the 113th-ranked Mesochoritou, 6-4, 7-5. Viller Moeller then beat another nationally ranked Wolverine in the 55th-ranked Jones, 7-5, 7-5, on court four, and Cal trailed 3-2. The Bears needed to win the remaining matches on courts two and six, which both went to third sets.
On six, Thiel won the first set over Cerdan, 6-3, and then was tied at 5-5 in the second. The Wolverine edged the Bear, 7-5,…
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