BERKELEY – Eighth-ranked California needed roughly two hours to defeat 43rd-ranked Washington, 4-0, in the finale of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Saturday and advance to the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships. Freshman and 31st-ranked Maegan Manasse clinched the team victory with a 6-0, 6-2 singles win over the Huskies’ Natalie Coronel on court six at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
“Even starting with the doubles, the matches were very competitive today, which allowed our players to work on their games and get better,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “I was really pleased on what we were able to do today and also excited that we’re advancing to the big national event in Virginia.”
Earlier in the day, No. 66 Santa Clara (1-1) beat No. 50 UNLV (0-2), 4-0, in a consolation match at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Cal.
Against Washington, the Bears quickly captured the doubles point. The pair of sophomores Lynn Chi and Klara Fabikova topped Washington’s Andjela Nemcevic/Julija Lukac on court three and the 48th-ranked team of Denise Starr and Zsofi Susanyi defeated Natalie Coronel/Grace Ysidora on court two by identical 6-3 scores.
Cal’s depth and talented young players were on full display in singles. Starr, ranked No. 15 in singles, raced out to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ysidora on court two to give Cal a 2-0 lead in the overall match. Fabikova, a second-year Bear, followed with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Riko Shimizu on court five, before Manasse – ranked 31st – wrapped up the match with her win on court six.
“Denise played much better today than she did yesterday, though she did fine yesterday, too,” Augustus said. “Maegan was also very focused today. They’re both contributing even though they’re freshmen. That just shows what kind of versatility that this team has.”
The teams played in an experimental format in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, including playing all sets in singles and doubles to six games, with regular scoring and tiebreakers at 6-all. However, when a singles match splits sets, a match tiebreaker is played in lieu of a third set. All the matches are played under the "clinch-clinch" format and with no warm-up against opponents.
Cal’s 4-0 win over Santa Clara on the first day of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend took just over two hours to complete, though the UW/UNLV match on Friday lasted about four and a half hours.
“After the second day of it, what I like about is we’re playing regular scoring in singles, and so the girls get two good sets of singles in,” Augustus said of the experimental format. “I think the doubles are a little on the short side. I’m a big proponent of doubles, and I like the pro-set format.”
Before the Bears wing their way to the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships – which run from Feb. 7-10 in Charlottesville, Va. – they play host to San Francisco on Friday, Jan. 31, at 1:30 p.m. at the Channing Tennis Courts.