BERKELEY - The 10th-ranked California women's tennis team (17-5, 8-1 Pac-12) can sew up a piece of the first-ever Pac-12 championship with a win over fifth-ranked Stanford (16-1, 7-1) on Saturday, April 21. The Golden Bears will face the rival Cardinal in a noon PT match on the courts of the Taube Family Tennis Stadium in Stanford, Calif.
No. 10 California (17-5, 8-1 Pac-12) at No. 5 Stanford (16-1, 7-1 Pac-12)
Taube Family Tennis Stadium | Stanford, Calif.
Saturday, April 21 - Noon PT
Live coverage: www.StreamingTennis.com/Cardinal
Cal last finished atop the conference standings in the inaugural Pac-10 season; 1987. That year, the Bears went 8-2 to win the Pac-10's south division. Washington won the north. The team went on to finish the year with a 25-4 record and received the No. 4 ranking in the final poll. Prior to that year, Cal won six consecutive NorPac titles under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach Jan Brogan.
The Bears are coming off an impressive 7-0 victory over Fresno State. It was the team's first match since a narrow 4-3 loss to a fourth-ranked USC squad snapped a 10-match winning streak. With each of the top four teams in the Pac-12 sporting at least one loss on their league records, a Cal win against the Cardinal will guarantee a split of the league title with the winner of the USC-UCLA dual set for 3 p.m. PT on Friday, April 20.
It won't be an easy task, however. The Bears have beaten the Cardinal just twice in the last 10 meetings; once in 2008 and once in 2009. Both wins were home matches. Stanford had its 157-match regular-season home winning streak snapped by top-ranked UCLA, last weekend; its only loss of the year. Last time Cal and Stanford met, the Cardinal won, 5-2, in Berkeley, against a lineup that was without senior Jana Juricova.
At No. 6, Juricova is the highest-ranked Bear. The defending NCAA singles champ has logged a 24-4 record, this season, with an 8-1 mark in duals. On court two, 11th-ranked freshman Zsofi Susanyi is the team leader for singles wins with a 32-5 record (16-3 in duals). Juricova and Susanyi combine to form the 15th-ranked doubles team in the nation. The duo has won 12 straight matches and is 16-1 in all outings, this season.
Junior Annie Goransson received her second-career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor, last week, and is second on the team with 31 wins. Her 31-6 singles record (18-2 in duals, and 8-0 in Pac-12 matches) has her ranked No. 79 in the country with a 12-match singles winning streak. Sophomore Anett Schutting is the next closest Bear to 30 wins with a 29-8 mark. She is 17-5 in duals and is ranked No. 93. Goransson and Schutting are a dangerous combination as the nation's fifth-ranked doubles team. They are 26-4 on the season with a 17-3 mark in duals (8-0 in Pac-12 matches), and are currently on an 11-match winning streak.
The last but not the least of Cal's five ranked singles players is junior Tayler Davis who holds the No. 57 spot. She is the team's captain and is 24-10 in singles matches, this season. Five of her wins have provided the Bears with the clinching point for the dual victory.
The Cardinal has four ranked singles players in its lineup topped by fourth-ranked sophomore Nicole Gibbs who has amassed a 24-5 record with a 15-2 mark at the top singles court. She is followed directly by fifth-ranked junior Mallory Burdette who leads all Stanford players with a 30-4 overall record. She is on a 16-match singles winning streak that has produced a 16-0 mark in duals.
Last year's NCAA singles runner-up junior Stacey Tan is ranked No. 54, and freshman Ellen Tsay is ranked No. 61 to round out the Cardinal quartet. Tsay is 21-5 overall with a 15-2 mark in duals; 12-1 at No. 4 singles. In doubles, Burdette and Gibbs team up to form the second-ranked duo in the nation. They are 23-3 in matches together with a 14-1 mark at the top doubles court. Tan and Tsay form the 29th-ranked pair in the country. They are undefeated in 20 matches and are 15-0 at No. 2 doubles.