May 15, 2010

Courtesy of The University of California

BERKELEY, Calif. - California women's tennis freshman Tayler Davis completed her three-set victory over USC's Cristala Andrews at the sixth singles court to send the No. 12-ranked Golden Bears (20-5, 5-2 Pac-10) to the NCAA round of 16 for the fourth consecutive year. Cal defeated No. 20 USC (14-10, 5-3 Pac-10) by a 4-1 count in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the Hellman Tennis Complex on Saturday, May 15, to post its fourth straight 20-win season. The Bears now own a 57-24 (.626) record in their 29 NCAA appearances.

As the 12th-seeded team, the Bears will face sixth-ranked and fifth-seeded Big East Champion Notre Dame (24-3) in the next round. Cal and the Fighting Irish met in the national semifinal match on May 18, 2009, as the Bears took a 4-2 victory to advance to their second consecutive national championship title match. Previously, Notre Dame won the only other meeting between the two teams in 1996. The Bears and the Irish play at noon PT on Thursday, May 20, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of championship host University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

For the first time this season, Cal was able to overcome losing the doubles point to win its match. The Bears' No. 89-ranked team of junior Marina Cossou and senior Kasia Siwosz stayed close to USC's Valeria Pulido and Alison Ramos but the Trojans pulled off an 8-6 win to gain the upperhand. Then Cal's ninth-ranked duo of junior Mari Andersson and sophomore Jana Juricova duplicated that 8-6 score at the top court to upend the No. 64-ranked team of Danielle Lao and Maria Sanchez. However, the Women of Troy held the advantage on the third and decisive court as Cal's freshman tandem of Davis and Annie Goransson fell, 8-4, to Sarah Fansler and Lyndsay Kinstler.

Down a point heading into singles, the Bears made a ferocious push to get first-set wins on all but one court. No. 18-ranked Cossou pulled Cal into a one-all tie as she completed a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 31 Ramos at the second singles court. With the win, Cossou became the third Bear to reach 30 singles victories this season. Cal continued to surge as No. 2-ranked Juricova flexed her dominance with a 13th straight singles win; her seventh over a ranked opponent and her third this season over the equally impressive No. 3-ranked Sanchez. Juricova's 6-2, 6-2 victory set the Bears up with a 2-1 lead in the match with the lower four courts still to be decided.

No. 35-ranked Andersson gave the Bears some much-needed breathing room when she put Cal up, 3-1, on her 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 37 Lao at the third singles court. At the fourth court, Siwosz found herself down, 3-2, in the third set to No. 112 Pulido and Goransson was facing a near split against Fansler at court five. But Davis came through with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 win over Andrews at the sixth court to seal the victory for Cal and suspend all unfinished matches.