BOULDER — Sara Nayar gave the Colorado women's tennis team a solid individual result on Friday, but the Buffs fell short as a team in a 5-2 loss to No. 17 Cal at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center.
Nayar marked her second top-40 upset in the No. 1 singles match by defeating Julia Rosenquist in three sets. Nayar faced three match points, but in the end won the three-set battle in a tiebreaker seven points to four. It also tied up the match and gave Colorado (10-11, 3-5 Pac-12) a chance against Cal (11-6, 5-3 Pac-12).
Nayar opened the match with a 7-5 victory, and had two opportunities to take the match in two sets when she got a 5-4 lead. Nayar led 40-30 but double faulted to bring the game to deuce. A battle at the net went Rosenquist's way and so did the rest of the set as she won 7-5. In the ensuing set Nayar faced an opposite situation where she faced match point at 5-4, but her strong serving tied up the match at 5-5. She faced a second match point at 6-5 but won the deuce point and sent things to a tiebreaker.
"Everyone was cheering me on start to finish and I think that really pushed me through," said Nayar. "Before the matches I thought to myself I am going to give it my all, I'm not going to give away a single cheap point and am going to fight start to finish."
The other huge match for Colorado came from Annabelle Andrinopoulos in the No. 3 singles match. The senior took a 6-2 opening set victory against Katerina Stloukalova, but the second set was a blowout with Stloukalova taking it 6-1. Andrinopoulos persevered through the second set that wasn't going her way and jumped out to a 5-4 lead in the third. She was able to seal the first point for CU with a 6-4 third set victory.
That wasn't the only upset for Andrinopoulos and CU as the senior and Monica Malinen took down the 27th-ranked doubles team in Anna Bright and Jasie dunk. The two made quick work of the Cal tandem, winning 6-2 to take the first doubles match. Nayar and Megan Forster were on the opposite side of the score and fell 6-2 in the No. 2 doubles match, leaving things up to the No. 3 match.
Tallulah Farrow and Ky Ecton faced Stoukalova and No. 42 singles player Olivia Hauger and matched things 6-6 after trailing in the set. The doubles point came down to a tiebreaker with Cal taking the first point.
CU lost the other three singles matches in consecutive sets.
Colorado takes on No.3 Stanford Sunday morning for senior day. If the match is indoors at the RMTC it will begin at 10 a.m., but if the match is outdoors it will begin at 11 a.m.
No. 17 Cal 5, Colorado 2
Singles — 1. Sara Nayar (CU) def. #33 Julia Rosenquist (CAL) 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4);
2. #42 Olivia Hauger (CAL) def. Monica Malinen (CU) 6-3, 6-2; 3. Annabelle Andrinopoulos (CU) def. Katerina Stloukalova (CAL) 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; 4. #119 Anna Bright (CAL) def. Megan Forster (CU) 6-2, 6-3; 5. Maria Smith (CAL) def. Tallulah Farrow (CU) 6-4, 6-1; 6. Hara Mraz (CAL) def. Ky Ecton (CU) 7-5, 7-6(3); Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 4, 5*, 6.
Doubles — 1. #50 Malinen/Andrinopoulos (CU) def. #27 Bright/Dunk (CAL) 6-2; 2. Rosenquist/Nelson (CAL) def. Nayar/Forster (CU) 6-2; 3. Hauger/Stloukalova (CAL) def. Ecton/Farrow (CU) 7-6(4); Order of finish: 1, 2, 3*.