University of California wait to play the ITA National Championships

The Bears will compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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University of California wait to play the ITA National Championships
© University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley women's tennis team qualified for the ITA National Indoor Championships in Seattle by beating No. 16 Oklahoma in the ITA Kickoff Weekend final on Sunday. With Sunday's win, Cal improved its record to 2-0, with both wins coming from Norman. OU is 3-3.

The Bears will compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 9-12 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle. They captured the 2016 national indoor title to celebrate the program's first national team championship.

Cal coach Amanda Augustus said after the win: "This is a goal of ours and we have worked hard to achieve it. We competed very hard in both doubles and singles, which was great. The team is really excited to go to indoor nationals , and we also get to go to Katja Wiersholm's hometown of Seattle, which is an added bonus.

In the individual tournaments we played earlier this month, we had the chance to evaluate a few different options, and the good thing for us is that we have a lot of really good options in doubles. I'm happy that we won the two doubles. points in both of these matches, our first doubles matches of the season, in Norman.

The win really started with the doubles point - we knew it would be important today. It was crucial to give us momentum in singles. Credit to OU. The Sooners competed hard on every court in singles and we are strong at every position. In the end, Lan did a fantastic job in getting the win. She did a fantastic job of closing out that game."

Lan Mi, a junior in her first year with Cal, defeated the Sooners' Emma Staker, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, hitting six singles to punch Cal's ticket to Washington.

Sunday's final was a battle from the start, with the teams splitting the first two doubles matches. Cal's 14th-ranked Hannah Viller Moeller and Mao Mushika faced OU's runners-up Dana Guzman and Alina Shcherbinina on the first court and lost to the Sooners, 6-1. The Bears rebounded when the new duo of Wiersholm and Berta Passola Folch beat Romana Cisovska and Roisin Gilheany, 6-2, on court three. Jessica Alsola and Valentina Ivanov captured double points on court two, as the Bears outlasted Julia Garcia Ruiz and Chloe Noel, 6-2.

In singles, in the next four completed matches, the teams alternated victories, with Mushika beating Chloe Noel, 6-2, 6-0, on court five and 36th-ranked Wiersholm outlasting 16th-ranked Florencia Urrutia , on field four. Wiersholm won the first set, 6-4, and Urrutia led the second set, 3-1, when the Sooner had to retire with an injury.

The final two matches of the day went to three sets apiece, with 17th-ranked Alsola facing 72nd-ranked Shcherbinina on the first court and Mi facing Staker. Cal needed to win one to advance, while the Sooners needed to win both. Anchella fell, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, briefly tying the match before Mi completed Cal's victory. A transfer from Cornell, Mi has won 16 consecutive singles matches and has a record of 22-2.

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