#12 Cal 6, #25 Washington 1

SEATTLE - Annie Goransson beat Joyce Ardies 7-6(2), 6-1 to clinch the match as the 12th ranked California Golden Bears spoiled the 25th ranked Huskies' home finale with a 6-1 victory in Pac-10 women's tennis at Quillian Stadium on a sunny but breezy Saturday afternoon.

With the win the Bears improved to 4-1 in conference play and 16-4 overall while the Huskies dropped to 2-5 and 10-6.

Ardies was one of three Husky seniors, along with Aleksandra Malovic and Lauren Summers, making her final home appearance. Her match at fifth singles began on a promising note when she broke Goransson's serve in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead and consolidated the break with a hold in the fourth game for 3-1. The two players traded service holds through the seventh game with Ardies leading 4-3.

In the eighth game Goransson had a break point for 4 all but a forehand passing shot by Ardies brought the game back to deuce. An unforced error on a forehand volley gave Ardies a game point and she cashed it in with a swinging backhand volley winner for 5-3. After a service hold made it 5-4 Ardies, Goransson finally broke serve to tie the first set at 5. At 30 all Goransson won the next two points with a backhand crosscourt approach winner and a forehand crosscourt winner into the deuce court.

Ardies came right back with a service break in the 11th game to go up 6-5 and led 30-0 on her own serve in the 12th game to win the first set, but four straight unforced errors gave Goransson the break back for 6 all and the set went to a tiebreak. Goransson dominated the tiebreak, winning seven of nine points, with five of the seven coming on winners. Then in the second set it was all Goransson as she led 4-0 before Ardies put a game on the board for 4-1. In the sixth game Ardies had two break chances for 4-2 but Goransson saved one with a forehand swinging volley winner and the other on an Ardies unforced error.

Ardies did not fare much better in doubles, although she and partner Denise Dy, the 14th ranked pair in the nation, nearly made an improbable comeback after trailing 5-0 against Cal's seventh ranked duo of Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova in the featured match. A key point came in the sixth game when Cal led 40-15 and only needed one more point for a 6-0 lead on Juricova's serve. A terrific stab forehand half volley winner by Ardies and a Dy backhand volley winner evened the game at deuce, and after that the two pairs battled through six more deuces and 14 points before an Ardies forehand volley winner got the Huskies on the board at 1-5.

Cal came right back to break Ardies for 6-1, but Ardies and Dy rallied to win four straight games and make it 6-5. After both sides traded service holds to make it 7-6 Bears, the Huskies had one last chance to tie the match and send a partisan crowd into a frenzy, but two winners each by Juricova and

Andersson gave the Bears an 8-6 win and a sweep of the doubles.

Earlier, at second doubles, Marina Cossou and Kasia Siwosz blanked Venise Chan and Lina Xu 8-0 and then Goransson and Tayler Davis beat Malovic and Samantha Smith 8-3 at the third position to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.

Singles play did not go much better for the Huskies, as they won only one of six matches. At the third position, Andersson beat Smith 6-3,6-1 in straight sets to put Cal up 2-0. Malovic salvaged the only point for the Huskies on a disappointing day and made it 2-1 Cal with a 6-3,6-0 win over Davis at the sixth spot, but after that it was all Bears, although three of the four remaining matches got decided in third sets. At the fourth spot, Siwosz beat Xu 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to put Cal up 3-1 and within one point of the team victory.

Following Goransson's victory the focus fell on the singles at the top two positions. At No. 1, Juricova, the third ranked player in the country, dropped the first set against 17th-ranked Chan 4-6, but came back to win the next two 6-1,6-4. Then at No. 2, Cossou, ranked No. 15, closed out the match by upsetting No. 4 Dy 3-6,6-4,7-5.

The Huskies complete the regular season on Saturday April 17 with a match in Pullman against Washington State at 11 a.m. Then they compete in the Pac-10 championships in Ojai, California before finding out their destination for the NCAA tournament.

Dawgman.com Top Stories