May 15, 2011
BERKELEY - In one of the longest and closest dual matches of the spring, No. 55-ranked California women's tennis sophomore Tayler Davis wouldn't go quietly as she came from down, 5-1, to win her third set, 7-5, to push the Golden Bears into the next round of the NCAA championships. She had dropped her first set, 6-4, to USC's Cristala Andrews, but Davis' resilience brought her a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory on court six as she clinched Cal's fifth consecutive trip to the round of 16.
Thanks in part to Davis, the ninth-seeded Bears (18-6) posted a 4-1 victory over No. 18 USC (15-8) in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the Hellman Tennis Complex on Sun., May 15. Cal will face eighth-seeded Georgia (18-4) of the SEC in the round of 16 on Fri., May 20, at 6 p.m. PT at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
Though doubles matches were close to begin, the Bears pulled away on courts two and three down the stretch. At court three, Davis and freshman Alice Duranteau knocked off USC's 77th-ranked team of Andrews and Alison Ramos, 8-3, to start things off. Moments later, Cal's No. 30-ranked duo of sophomore Annie Goransson and freshman Anett Schutting came through with an 8-4 win over Lyndsay Kinstler and Valeria Pulido at court two to secure the first point of the day.
Although a tight battle ensued at the top court, USC's fourth-ranked team of Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez grabbed the upper hand and led, 7-4, against the Cal serve. But the Bears' top-ranked tandem of senior Mari Andersson and junior Jana Juricova had their match suspended after the first point was clinched.
The Trojans won the first set in four singles matches, but five out of six matches were forced into third sets as the Bears fought back. In the only match that required two sets to completion, No. 84-ranked Goransson closed out Pulido, 6-0, 6-2, at court five to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Both teams went back and forth, but Cal tacked up a third point two and a half hours later when senior Marina Cossou brushed off her first-set loss and emerged with a victory against Ramos at court four, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
At court three, No. 104 Schutting and No. 103 Christian were locked in a punch-for-punch third set. Schutting edged Christian for the first set, 7-5, but fell, 6-2, in the second before play was suspended with Christian up, 4-3, in the third. In the main event at the top court, No. 2-ranked Sanchez squeaked by with a 7-3 win in the first-set tiebreaker, but top-ranked Juricova came through with a 6-4 win in the second, and held a 3-2 lead in the third when play was stopped.
Three hours into singles matches, USC posted its first and only point of the day as No. 24 Danielle Lao knocked off No. 23 Andersson at court two. Lao cruised to a 6-2 win in the first set, but had the script flipped on her when Andersson walked away with a 6-3 win in the second. Andersson came back from a 5-3 deficit to force a third-set tiebreaker, but Lao stood fast to get the 7-3 win, and put the Trojans on the board.
Down at court six, Davis had fallen to Andrews, 6-4, in the opening set, but worked her way to a 6-3 win in the second set. It appeared that Andrews had figured Davis out in the third as she went in front, 5-1, but Davis weathered the storm to come all the way back and beat Andrews, 7-5, in the third to secure her 33rd singles win of the year and clinch the dual victory for the Bears for the second day in a row.
No. 9 California 4, No. 18 USC 1
Head coach Amanda Augustus
On the importance of winning the doubles point against USC:
On both of Cal's tennis teams advancing to the round of 16:
Senior Marina Cossou
On teammate Tayler Davis' come-from-behind win to clinch the dual: