TEMPE, Ariz. – One thing was certain entering Sunday at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational – a California freshman was going to win the main draw singles title. The Golden Bears’ Denise Starr wound up prevailing over teammate Maegan Manasse, 6-1, 6-2, as the Sun Devils’ tournament – and the fall season – came to a close at the Whiteman Tennis Center.
“It was fun in a way because I got to play my teammate and hadn’t even really played her in practice at all,” Starr said. “It was good mental practice, too, to understand what it’s like to play my teammate, try to win the match and not let my emotions get away from me.”
In the third-place singles match, Cal’s 23rd-ranked sophomore Klara Fabikova fell to Arizona State’s Stephanie Vlad, 6-1, 6-3.
Cal won twice and lost once in round-robin doubles. Starr paired with senior Kelly Chui to post an 8-2 win over Kansas State’s Amina St. Hill and Livia Cirnu, while Manasse and senior Anett Schutting teamed up to dominate Fresno State’s Aishwarya Agrawal and Tanya Murtagh, 8-1. Fabikova and senior Alice Duranteau fell in a close match to ASU’s Leighann Sahagun/Kassidy Jump, 8-7(4).
In an added singles match, Schutting – ranked fifth nationally – fell to Kansas State’s 12th-ranked Petra Niedermayerova, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Cal head coach Amanda Augustus lauded the play of her freshmen.
“It was a long build up this season while we were waiting to get them into their first tournament,” Augustus said. “They haven’t had a lot of match play. At regionals, both were a little nervous, but they settled in nicely at this tournament. Both played really well, with Maegan getting that top-15 win over Niedermayerova and Denise winning against Anett in the quarterfinals. It shows that they’re really ready for this stage, and hopefully it sends some nerves to people around the country.”
The seventh-year coach was pleased with the different doubles combinations she used in Tempe.
“It was really exciting to see Cessi and Alice come back to win [8-7(5)] yesterday after they were down 7-2,” Augustus said. “Kelly and Denise and also Anett and Maegan went undefeated on the weekend. I was pleased with the doubles combinations, and I was happy with the team as a whole. It was warm in Tempe, and they adjusted to the conditions well. Everyone had good amount of match play. They looked about like I’d want them to look at the end of the fall. We’re gelling well as a team and playing hard. I thought they really represented Cal well.”
The Bears returns to action and to Berkeley when they host the Cal Nike Invitational from Jan. 17-19, 2014.
ASU Thunderbird Invitational
Nov. 10 in Tempe, Ariz.
Whiteman Tennis Center
Niedermayerova/Juhasz (KSU) def. Smith/O’Sullivan (ASU) 8-2
Krawczyk/Panoho (ASU) def. Ucros/Zhu (Mich) 8-6
Sahagun/Jump (ASU) def. Fabikova/Duranteau (Cal) 8-7 (4)
Starr/Chui (Cal) def. St. Hill/Cirnu (KSU) 8-2
Schutting/Manasse (Cal) def. Agrawal/Murtagh (FS) 8-1
Wierda/Dodge (Mich) def. Panatte/Bago (KSU) 8-5
Main Draw Final
Starr (Cal) def. Manasse (Cal) 6-1, 6-2
Third and Fourth Final
Vlad (ASU) def. Fabikova (Cal) 6-1, 6-3
Sahagun (ASU) def. Dodge (Mich) 6-3, 6-2
O’Sullivan (ASU) def. Ocros (Mich) 6-4, 5-7, [10-7]
Zhu (Mich) def. Krawczyk (ASU) 1-6, 6-1, 6-4
Juhasz (KSU) def. Ramynse (Mich) 6-4, 6-4
St. Hill (KSU) def. Wierda (Mich) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Nierdermayerova (KSU) def. Schutting (Cal) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
Panaite (KSU) def. Murtagh (FS) 6-0, 6-1
Jump (ASU) def. Cirnu (KSU) 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
Bago (KSU) def. J. Smith (ASU) 6-3, 6-4