CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Another match at the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships came down to the wire with California’s Maegan Manasse in the spotlight. In a Sunday semifinal between two top-10 powerhouses, the freshman battled Duke’s Marianne Jodoin in a match tiebreaker on court six. Down one match point at 9-8, Manasse fought back for a 9-9 tie, but ultimately the Blue Devil prevailed, and Manasse fell, 1-6, 6-3, 1-0(9). Cal – suffering its first setback of the season – lost, 4-2.
The eight-ranked and sixth-seeded Bears’ record stands at 5-1. Tenth-ranked and seventh-seeded Duke (7-0) advances to Monday’s ITA indoor final at the Boar’s Head Tennis Club.
“I’m just really excited and very proud of them,” Cal head Amanda Augustus said. “It was a great effort from everyone and a great week. We have so much promise with this group this season. Everyone’s really committed and working really hard. To get to the semifinals and be a point away from the final, which we haven’t been to in a while, that’s just exciting. We played really good tennis, and although we lost today we competed for every point of that match in singles and doubles.”
Cal dropped the doubles point to Duke. First, the Blue Devils’ Ester Goldfeld and Alyssa Smith topped freshman Denise Starr and senior Kelly Chui, 6-3, on court two. But the Bears’ duo of senior Alice Duranteau and sophomore Lynn Chi captured the court-three match against Jodoin/Annie Mulholland, 7-5, putting the focus on court one. There, Cal’s top team of Manasse and senior Anett Schutting forced a tiebreaker against Beatrice Capra/Hanna Mar, but the Bears wound up dropping the match, 7-6(4).
“I thought our doubles were a lot better today,” Augustus added. “We’re definitely going to revisit doubles when we get home and think about what we’re going to do going forward. But we coaches were impressed. Alice, one of our captains, stepped in to get a win in doubles. I don’t even know the last time she played with Lynn. We decided to give it a different look at three doubles, and they were successful, which was great. It was also a great match at court one today.”
In singles, 15th-ranked freshman Denise Starr – playing for the first time as a collegian on court one – faced the nation’s third-ranked player in Capra. The Blue Devil won, 6-2, 6-2, and Cal trailed, 2-0.
Four of the six singles contests went to match tiebreakers, including on court five, where Fabikova beat Rachel Kahan, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0(3), to give Cal its first point. Junior and 16th-ranked Zsofi Susanyi then knotted the overall match at 2-2 when she defeated Smith in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, on court four.
Chi – ranked 95th – lost to the 49th-ranked Mar on court three, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0(4), and the Bears fell behind, 3-2. Both the remaining matches – the 31st-ranked Manasse vs. Jodoin on six and then the 26th-ranked Schutting vs. the 45th-ranked Goldfeld on court one – went to tiebreaks. After winning her first set, 6-3, and losing the second, 3-6, Schutting trailed 4-3 in the tiebreak, when court six decided the match.
Cal returns to the courts when it plays UCLA on Feb. 21 and USC on Feb. 22 in Los Angeles.
No. 10 Duke (7-0) def. No. 8 Cal (5-1) – 4-2
ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships Semifinal