daily californian logo


Apply to The Daily Californian!

Cal battles rain to take on San Diego State

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.


Head sports editor

FEBRUARY 24, 2023

The collegiate tennis circuit is home to some of the best tennis players in the country. Fiona Crawley, the nation’s No. 1 and the one to beat out of UNC, has a jaw-dropping 77-8 career record. The No. 2, Duke’s Chloe Beck, already has a junior Roland Garros doubles championship under her belt, along with two other junior Slam semifinals.

And yet, it seems as though Cal women’s tennis’ biggest opponent this season has been … the rain.

The team got rained out of its annual Cal Winter Invitational to start the season, missing out on valuable playing time ahead of dual matches that began later that month. After a matchup against top-10 Pepperdine was canceled — due to illness on the Waves’ roster — Cal was forced to cancel its matches against UCLA and the rescheduled Pepperdine clash due to Bay Area rain.

And again, slated to play San Diego State on Friday, a big question mark hovers over the Bears’ Hellman Tennis Complex with more rain predicted to end the week.

“We’re just doing the best we can to get caught up in matches around the rain,” said Cal women’s tennis head coach Amanda Augustus. “Hopefully sometime this spring it’ll stop raining, but we just have to be adaptable and flexible. We’ve had wind too, that’s been fun. We’re ready for all kinds of conditions, basically.”

Despite having to duel it out in what seems to be a losing battle against the rain, Cal has already seen its fair share of strong opponents, even by the end of February.

Facing No. 10 NC State and No. 16 Miami earlier this month, the Bears — No. 20 at the time — suffered what can only be described as walloping. With a 0-4 loss to the former and a 2-5 loss to the latter, the Bears struggled to close out on important points against the nation’s best.

Given these losses, and lacking a chance at redemption against top schools like UCLA and Pepperdine due to the cancellations, Cal now sits at No. 66 in the standings after kicking off the month in the nation’s top 20.

But rankings don’t mean everything. The Bears started the season with one of the toughest schedules in the country and have shown good results despite lacking wins across the board. To make matters worse, though, the Aztecs are coming into the meet with some success of their own, including a 4-2 record with multiple ranked wins.

After tough luck on the road, coach Augustus emphasized ironing out the Bears’ doubles game. Although a win in doubles is worth just one point, it provides important momentum because it gives the leader a 1-0 lead going into singles.

This match, and the match against Michigan next week, will be the Bears’ two final stints before conference play starts late next week. And here, there’s a lot on the line — last year, Cal was the regular-season Pac-12 champion.

What Augustus hopes to gain in these two matches ahead of that?

“Match play, period. We need as many matches as we can … we’re just trying to compete,” Augustus said.

Right now, it’s not as important for the Bears to play for the win. A win would be nice for the team, and bring confidence, but getting as much time out on the court is crucial, whether that brings wins or losses.

But to beat out the actual top opponents in the nation, it’s important for the Bears to first beat the rain.

Contact Maria Kholodova at  or on Twitter


FEBRUARY 24, 2023