No. 5 Texas women’s tennis finds redemption in Berkley, takes down No. 6 Cal 4-3

Ana Sofia Meyer, Sports Reporter

After two back-to-back losses, No. 5 Texas broke its streak against No. 6 Cal at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley, California with a 4-3 win. With the second meeting of the Longhorns and the Bears for this Spring season, both teams went into the matches knowing exactly what to expect. 

In the doubles match, the Longhorns were first on the board after clinching the doubles point with the tandem of sophomore Charlotte Chavatipon and freshman Sabina Zeynalova defeating junior Erin Richardson and senior Julia Rosenqvist 6-4. The other doubles matchup also ended in victory with sophomore Peyton Stearns and sophomore Kylie Collins defeating Cal’s Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov 6-3.

During their previous meeting on Feb. 13, Texas defeated Cal 4-2 in the consolation match of the ITA National Indoor Championships. Despite the team challenge rematch, most of the singles matchups changed, with the only true rematch occurring between No. 4 Stearns and Giavara. Stearns defeated Giavara with a decisive 6-4, 6-3 victory, improving her singles record to 12-1 for the year. 

Zeynalova took on Inanov in their singles matchup, defeating the experienced Australian junior in a resolute match with a 6-3, 6-3 final. Zeynalova continues to show her worth to the Longhorns this season with a stellar 8-0 singles record, a constant in head coach Howard Joffe’s 2022 lineup. 

Another of Texas’ talented freshmen, Vivian Ovrootsky, also defeated her opponent in singles competition, Cal’s Hannah Viller Moeller. The first set was close, ending with Ovrootsky on top 7-6 despite fierce opposition from Viller Moeller. Ovrootsky ended the match with a more decisive second set, taking it 6-3.

Texas freshman Bella Zamarripa performed well this weekend, yet fell short against the senior Julia Rosenqvist in a 5-7, 1-6 loss. Despite her loss, Zamarripa kept every game close, never allowing Rosenqvist an easy point. 

After her stellar doubles performance, Charlotte Chavatipon looked to follow with a victory in singles, but was unable to best freshman Katja Wiersholm. The match started with a one-sided first set and was followed by a close set that ended with a victory for Cal.

The final match of the day was left to sophomore Kylie Collins and Cal freshman Jessica Alsola. Alsola took the first set 6-4, but lost the second set 2-6. In the third, Alsola went up 6-0 to win the remaining singles match.

After the success in Berkeley, the Longhorns hope to keep momentum next Sunday, Mar. 6, when they take on the University of Central Florida in Lake Nona.