OJAI, Calif. – California continued its strong play by placing one doubles team and four singles players in Saturday’s semifinals at the Pac-12 Championships. The Golden Bears won their Friday quarterfinals at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, where the first two days of Pac-12s took place. The weekend semifinals and finals are set for Libbey Park in Ojai.
In the doubles main draw, the 42nd-ranked and fourth-seeded doubles pair of senior Anett Schutting and sophomore Lynn Chi beat Arizona’s Lauren Marker/Kim Stubbe, 8-3, in Friday’s quarterfinal, after the Cal duo beat Oregon’s Lana Buttner/Nicole Long, 8-4, in the round of 16. The Bears’ wins set up a semifinal rematch with Stanford’s top-seeded and ninth-ranked tandem of Kristie Ahn/Carol Zhao; Chi/Schutting beat Ahn/Zhao at the April 19 Big Slam in Berkeley, 8-6. The rematch is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday.
“We’re excited to see Lynn and Anett advance,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “They played a solid match today and get to play the Stanford team again. That should be a great match.”
Also in the doubles main draw round of 16, the second-seeded/36th-ranked Cal team of freshmen Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr lost in an upset to Utah’s Tereza Bekerova/Paige Miles, 8-6.
Cal senior Alice Duranteau and sophomore Klara Fabikova played in the doubles invitational round of 16, but the Bears lost to Arizona’s Akilah James/Susan McRann, 8-6.
Schutting and Chi also moved on to the semis of the singles main draw. Fabikova and Manasse advanced to Saturday and will play each other in the singles invitational semis. But the seventh-seeded/31st-ranked Starr fell to UCLA’s top-seeded/11th-ranked Jennifer Brady, 7-5, 6-3, in the singles main draw quarterfinals.
The third-seeded/19th-ranked Schutting defeated Arizona State’s Desirae Krawczyk, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, while the fifth- seeded/No. 25 Chi beat fourth-seeded/No. 23 Carol Zhao of Stanford, 6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinals of the main draw. Both Bears play their semis at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, as Schutting plays USC’s sixth-seeded Zoë Scandalis and Chi takes on Brady.
In the singles invitational quarterfinals, the fifth-seeded/85th-ranked Fabikova knocked off Washington’s Riko Shimizu, 6-2, 6-4, to set up her 10:30 a.m., Saturday semi with the second-seeded/60th-ranked Manasse, who beat USC’s seventh-seeded Gabriella DeSimone, 6-2, 6-1, to advance.
“We had a good day in singles, having four Bears reach the semifinals,” Augustus said. “Unfortunately Denise lost a tough match to Jenny Brady, but it was well fought and well played. She’ll learn a lot from that experience. Singles overall were exciting. It almost felt like a team match because we had a lot of Bears competing at the same time.
“Lynn over Zhao was pretty exciting. She played well and was very focused, and Lynn executed her game plan and strategy very well. Klara also played well. She was able to get off her court quickly and convincingly. For Maegan beating DeSimone after losing to her the first time we played USC down in L.A. was great, because it showed how much Maegan is growing as a competitor in singles. She’s worked very hard on her game since she lost that match. For her to be able to see herself execute under pressure to someone she previously lost to was exciting.
“For Anett, Desirae was having a good week, and Anett had to play quite smart. Desirare was playing confidently after two good wins yesterday over some top players. Anett had to figure out a way to get Desirae out of her rhythm. Anett didn’t start as quickly as she would’ve liked, but being a senior she figured out how to get out of the match successfully.”