Cal’s season came to a sudden but not unexpected end on Sunday when it lost to undefeated, No. 1-ranked North Carolina 4-0 in the round of 16 of the NCAA women’s tennis championships in Orlando, Fla.
Only one of the three Pac-12 teams that reached the third round in Orlando won their matches on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals. Fourth-seeded UCLA ousted Georgia Tech 4-0, but USC lost to No. 6 North Carolina State 4-1. Cal had defeated UCLA in the Pac-12 tournament and beat USC in their only meeting this season.
But Cal was overwhelmed by North Carolina.
The 13th-ranked and 16th-seeded Golden Bears ended their season with a 19-7 record. They had pulled off some upsets late in the season and won first- and second-round postseason matches on their home courts in Berkeley to be one of the 16 teams to advance to Orlando.
But the Tar Heels, who have not lost a team match since the 2019 NCAA semifinals and improved this year’s record to 29-0, were too much for Cal.
"We played a very experienced team today, and we battled them very hard," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said Sunday "The experience, top to bottom, of the six people who played today showed. I'm proud of the effort we put forth, how we competed and how we represented Cal, and I'm proud of the season that his team has had."
UNC took a 1-0 lead when it took the doubles point with two convincing wins. No. 34-ranked Alle Sanford and Reilly Tran of North Carolina beat Jada Bui and Erin Richardson 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, and second-ranked Sara Daavettila and Cameron Morra of North Carolina clinched the point with a 6-2 victory over Haley Giavara and Valentina Ivanov at No. 1 doubles.
Daavettila defeated Giavara 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 singles, and No. 36-ranked Fiona Crawley defeated Cal’s Hannah Viller Moeller 6-2, 6-3 to make it 3-0, before No. 97 Elizabeth Scotty got the fourth and deciding team point with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Bui at No. 4.
"This is a young group, and they've gotten better each week," Augustus said. "They've improved so much, and we'll basically have the same team back next year. We're looking forward to – fingers crossed – a full, proper season next year and getting them into fall tournament play and continuing to build this group. This group's won a Pac-12 championship, and there's more to come."
NCAA Championship Round of 16
 No. 1 North Carolina (29-0) defeated  No. 13 California (19-7), 4-0 May 16, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. USTA National Campus
1. No. 2 Sara Daavettila/Cameron Morra (UNC) def. Haley Giavara/Valentina Ivanov (Cal) 6-2.
2. Anna Bright/Hannah Viller Moeller vs.No. 4 Makenna Jones/Elizabeth Scotty (UNC), 2-5 Unfinished.
3. No. 34 Alle Sanford/Reilly Tran (UNC) def. Jada Bui/Erin Richardson (Cal), 6-2
Order of Finish – 3, 1*
*Clinched the doubles point
1. No. 2 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def No. 31 Haley Giavara (Cal), 6-4, 6-3.
2. Julia Rosenqvist (Cal) vs. No. 41 Alexa Graham (UNC), 2-6, 6-6 Unfinished.
3. Valentina Ivanov (Cal) vs. No. 27 Cameron Morra (UNC), 6-2, 3-6, 0-1 Unfinished.
4. No. 97 Elizabeth Scotty (UNC) def Jada Bui (Cal), 6-2, 7-5^.
5. No. 36 Fiona Crawley (UNC) def. Hannah Viller Moeller (Cal), 6-2, 6-3.
6. Anna Bright (Cal) vs. No. 117 Reilly Tran (UNC), 2-6, 5-6 Unfinished.
Order of Finish – 1, 5, 4^
^Clinched the overall win
Cover photo of Haley Giavara courtesy of NCAA/USTA
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
Find Cal Sports Report on Facebook by searching: @si.calsportsreport or going to https://www.facebook.com/si.calsportsreport