TEMPE, Ariz. – The future of California women’s tennis came was on full display on Saturday, when Golden Bear freshmen Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr claimed spots in the singles final at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational at the Whiteman Tennis Center.
Each Bear upset a higher-seeded teammate en route to Sunday’s championship, as Starr toppled top-seeded senior Anett Schutting – who’s ranked fifth nationally – in the quarterfinals,7-5, 6-3, and Manasse defeated third-seeded Cal sophomore Klara Fabikova – who’s ranked 23rd nationally – 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals. Starr later defeated Arizona State’s Stephanie Vlad, 6-3, 6-3, in the semis.
Manasse upset two seeded players on Saturday, as she beat second-seeded and 12th-ranked Petra Niedermayerova of Kansas State, 6-3, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.
It was a difficult day for seeded players, as Cal sophomore Lynn Chi – the fourth seed who’s ranked 44th nationally – retired when trailing Vlad, 2-1, in the quarters. Fabikova picked up the seeded players’ lone win of the day when she beat the Sun Devils’ Leighann Sahagun, 6-4, 6-3, in the quarters.
The Bears earned another spot in a singles final – this time in the Sparky Draw consolation bracket – when senior Alice Duranteau had a walkover over BYU’s Toby Miclat in the semis. Duranteau beat Kansas State’s Livia Cirnu, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, in the quarters. Miclat reached the semis after playing Cecilia Estlander in the quartrers; the Cal junior retired when trailing, 6-2, 3-1.
In the doubles round robin, Cal again won three of four matches. The pair of Starr and senior Kelly Chui beat ASU’s Vlad and Gussie O’Sullivan, 8-4; Schutting/Manasse defeated BYU’s Mayci Jones/Meghan Sheehan-Dizon, 8-3; and the team of Duranteau and Estlander edged the tandem of BYU’s Morgan Anderson and Michigan’s Annie Wierda, 8-7. Fabikova and Chi fell to ASU’s Desirae Krawczyk and Ebony Panoho, 8-2.