Cal’s pair of senior Alice Duranteau and sophomore Lynn Chi – playing for just the second time together this season – forced a tiebreaker against USC’s eighth-ranked Brynn Boren/Zoe Katz on court three. But the Bears wound up losing, 9-8(2), and the Trojans won the doubles point.
“We played a lot better in doubles and were a lot more competitive today than yesterday,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “We won a great close match on two. That’s a great win for Denise and Kelly. That was really exciting. They played some good matches at the ITA indoor championships and didn’t quite get the wins, but in our first match in the regular format it was good to see a well-contested doubles match. Even though we didn’t win on three, we played really good tennis. We’re slowly getting there.”
The Bears fell behind 3-0 when Starr, ranked 15th in singles, lost to the 50th-ranked Scandalis, 6-1, 6-1, on court three and then the 37th-ranked Schutting lost, 6-2, 6-1, to the 26th-ranked Santamaria on court one. USC clinched the overall victory at 4-0 when Katz beat Cal’s 84th-ranked sophomore Klara Fabikova, 6-0, 6-4, on court five.
Chi, ranked 66th, dropped a 6-3, 7-5 match to the 99th-ranked Olmos on court four, before Susanyi, ranked 16th, topped the 118th-ranked Boren, 6-3, 6-2, to make the score 5-1.
“Zsofi played really well today,” Augustus said. “It’s one of the best matches she’s played in quite a while. She’s working really hard to be healthy, and she’s playing better. She was able to use all parts of the court and really forced Brynn Boren out of her game today. Zsofi played a really good, complete match today. I’m really pleased with what she was able to do today.”
The competition concluded when the 59th-ranked Manasse lost, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0(6), to the 123rd-ranked Gabriella DeSimone.
“You’ve got to give USC a lot of credit,” Augustus said. “They didn’t have a great indoors, but clearly they went home and practiced really hard. They played a couple matches [7-0 wins over UC Irvine and San Diego State] before they played us, and they came out really ready to play. They played lots of long points against us. They’re a good team. All three of their doubles teams are ranked in the top 30. They’re going to be up there as one of the Pac-12 contenders this season with UCLA, Stanford and us as well.
“We were hoping to get a win out of this weekend, but we’d rather learn these lessons now and keep getting better. But we were really close in two of the last three matches we played.”
Cal will look to snap a three-match skid when it starts a four-match home stand against Stanford in the Big Slam on March 1 in Berkeley.
Feb. 22, 2014
(1) #26 Christian/Santamaria (USC) def. Manasse/Schutting (Cal) – 8-2
(2) Chui/Starr (Cal) def. #4 Olmos/Scandalis (USC) - 8-6
(3) #8 Boren/Katz (USC) def. Chi/Duranteau (Cal) – 9-8 (2)
(1) #26 Sabrina Santamaria (USC) def. #37 Anett Schutting (Cal) - 6-2, 6-1
(2) #16 Zsofi Susanyi (Cal) def. #118 Brynn Boren (USC) - 6-3, 6-2
(3) #50 Zoë Scandalis (USC) def. #15 Denise Starr (Cal) - 6-1, 6-1
(4) #99 Giuliana Olmos (USC) def. #66 Lynn Chi (Cal) - 6-3, 7-5
(5) Zoë Katz (USC) def. #84 Klara Fabikova (Cal) - 6-0, 6-4*
(6) #123 Gabriella DeSimone (USC) def. #59 Maegan Manasse (Cal) - 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (6)