BERKELEY –Now back in the cozy confines of the Cal Women’s Tennis Office, Golden Bear head coach Amanda Augustus is still basking in the glow of the U.S. team’s victory at the recent Master’U BNP Paribas international collegiate team competition in Aix-en-Provence, France. Augustus coached for the United States for the second consecutive year, with the Americans winning the tournament both times. This time around, they defeated Russia, 7-0, in the final.
The U.S. opened with a 6-1 victory over Ireland in a Nov. 29 quarterfinal and topped host France, 6-1, in a Nov. 30 semifinal. The dominant Americans then blanked Russia on Dec. 1.
“It’s the highest honor to be asked to represent your country,” Augustus said. “It was great to go back to France this year, and it was really exciting to repeat as champions. We had some hard-fought matches along the way, which the scores don’t indicate. Our match with the host, France, in the semifinals had quite a crowd. It was quite an experience.”
The 2013 incarnation of the tournament featured co-ed teams from eight countries. The U.S. squad included some of the top collegians in the nation in women’s players Sabrina Santamaria, the USC Trojan who is ranked No. 1 in the ITA preseason singles poll, Robin Anderson (UCLA, ranked No. 2) and Lauren Herring (Georgia, ranked No. 3) and men’s players Peter Kobelt (Ohio State, ranked third), Marcos Giron (UCLA, ranked sixth) and Mitchell Frank (Virginia, ranked 15th). Boise State men’s coach Greg Patton joined Augustus on the coaching staff. Team matches included four singles matches (two women’s and two men’s), two doubles matches (one women’s and one men’s) and one mixed-doubles match.
“The French hospitality was amazing throughout the week,” Augustus added.” It was just exciting to see this team of the top American collegiate players come together and support each other. To come away with a gold medal was very exciting, and it bodes well for those players’ seasons. I told them that I will be their biggest cheerleader, except when we’re competing against them.”
The U.S. contingent, which was in France for Thanksgiving, did what it could to celebrate.
“We said, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ to just about everyone there, and they had a good laugh,” Augustus said. “They had an opening-night parade through the town, with a jazz band. We went through the Old City of Aix-en-Provence, and they have a draw ceremony on opening night, which is very exciting. We finished that off by actually having Chinese food on Thanksgiving. We didn’t get any turkey on Thanksgiving, except for at breakfast at the hotel. But it was a very fun day.”