BERKELEY - Senior Anett Schutting clinched the overall victory and both Schutting and senior Kelly Chui won doubles matches in 10th-ranked California's 7-0 domination of Sacramento State on Thursday - Senior Day - at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The match was the last regular-season home contest for the Bears this year and the last regular-season home match period for Schutting, Chui and fellow senior Alice Duranteau. The victory also ran Cal's dual-match win streak to 11.
Cal improved its record to 17-4 after winning the nonconference match, while the Hornets fell to 9-16.
Before the match, Cal honored their three Bears with flowers, with hugs and with a rundown of their career highlights.
Soon after, two of the three seniors – with Duranteau sidelined by a minor ailment – helped Cal captured the doubles point. First the team of Chui and sophomore Klara Fabikova beat the Hornet team of Emily McColl and Andie Mouzes, 8-2, on court three, and then the freshman pair of Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr – ranked 35th – clinched doubles with an 8-2 win over Daria Savchenko/Deimante Bulatovaite on court two. The tandem of Schutting and sophomore Lynn Chi – ranked 70th – wrapped up doubles with an 8-3 win on court one over the Sac State team of Olivia Boija/Sophie Lohscheidt.
Cal’s depth was on full display, as the youngsters shone alongside their veterans, including in singles, which featured four of six Bears in their first or second seasons. Manasse, ranked 67th in singles in her first year as a Bear, posted the first singles victory, 6-0, 6-0, over Andie Mouzes. Fabikova, in her second year, followed with a 6-1, 6-1 win over McColl to give Cal a 3-0 lead. Schutting slammed the door on the Hornets with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Boija on court three that gave Cal the win at 4-0.
“The big difference between this year’s group and last year’s group is we’re a lot deeper and we’re a lot healthier,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “Everyone knows it’s a real team effort this year, and they’ve bought into that.”
The teams played out the rest of the matches, and Chi, ranked 28th, finished next with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bulatovaite on court four. Starr, ranked 32nd, topped Savchenko, 6-1, 7-5, on court one to make the overall score 6-0. On court two, Zsofi Susanyi – the top-ranked Bear at No. 21 – overcame a big first-set setback to beat Lohscheidt. Susanyi, a junior, fell behind 5-1 in the first set before winning the next nine games to take a 7-5, 3-0 lead. She eventually prevailed, 7-5, 6-2, to complete Cal’s 7-0 rout.
“It was strange but nice to honor our seniors today,” Augustus said. “I can’t believe they’re already in their last regular-season home match. I think it was fitting that Anett clinched the match today. That was pretty special. This is always a good match for us. Sacramento State always competes quite well, especially in singles. We’ve been pretty focused and not looking ahead, but preparing for Saturday’s match. It was good to see the girls get the kinks out. It was a good test for us.”
The Bears have a lot on the line when they close out the regular season at Stanford (16-1, 8-1 in the Pac-12) in the Big Slam on Saturday at noon. A Cal win over the Cardinal hands the conference-leading Bears (9-0 Pac-12) the Pac-12 championship and the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
No. 10 Cal (17-4) defeated Sacramento State (9-16) – 7-0