Four Bears Claim NCAA Singles Selections
BERKELEY – Emblematic of its depth and success this season, fourth-ranked California placed four Golden Bears in the NCAA singles championship field, the NCAA announced on Wednesday. Senior Anett Schutting, junior Zsofi Susanyi, sophomore Lynn Chi and freshman Denise Starr all earned at-large invitations to the 64-player tournament. Additionally, the NCAA announced that Maegan Manasse is a singles alternate and the pair of Schutting and Chi is an alternate for the 32-team NCAA doubles tournament.
The singles and doubles competitions will be conducted May 21-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., following the conclusion of the NCAA team championship, which runs from May 15-20. Georgia will serve as host.
“It speaks to the depth of our team,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “It’s a great honor to be selected for the individual championships both in singles and doubles. It speaks to also the strength of our conference with so many players from conference schools getting selected. It just shows the quality of tennis we play in the West and in the Pac-12. I’m excited for Anett to be one of the 16 seeds. This is part of the tradition on this team – of competing hard in the team championship as well as the singles and doubles championships.”
All matches shall be the best-of-three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six- games-all will be used for all matches.
This is the third consecutive year that Schutting and Susanyi have received NCAA singles invitations. In the 2012 tournament, Susanyi, as a freshman, reached the semifinals, while Schutting fell in the round of 64. Last season, Schutting – as the eighth seed – suffered an upset in the opening round, while Susanyi advanced to the round of 16.
Schutting, who is Cal’s highest-ranked player in singles at No. 19, is one of eight players designated as Nos. 9-16 seeds in this year’s singles tournament. She brings a record of 27-11 into the postseason, which for Cal begins on May 9 against Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAA team tournament in Berkeley. In her most recent action, Schutting reached the singles semifinals of the Pac-12 Championships’ main draw. Ranked 20th, Susanyi has compiled a 24-9 singles record.
Starr, who plays No. 1 singles for the Bears, has a singles mark of 20-10 and a ranking of 31st. She reached the quarterfinals of the singles main draw at Pac-12s. Chi has a No. 25 national ranking and a 31-9 singles record. Like her doubles partner, Chi reached the singles championship’s semis at the conference tournament. The 42nd-ranked team of Schutting and Chi – which currently has a 14-7 record – also advanced to the doubles championship semifinal round at Pac-12s and is fifth on the list of alternates.
“Hopefully they’ll continue their great play in doubles,” Augustus said of Chi and Schutting. “With a little luck they’ll get the opportunity to play in the doubles tournament.”
Manasse also needs some luck to get into NCAA singles, as she is the third alternate in that tournament. The freshman is ranked 60th in singles and has a 32-5 record heading into the postseason. She reached the semifinals of the singles invitational at Pac-12s, falling to 85th-ranked sophomore teammate Klara Fabikova.
Along with Cal’s May 9 NCAA opener against FDU, the Bears will host the first-round match between Pepperdine and LSU on May 9 and then host an NCAA second-round match between the first-round winners of those two matches on May 10 at the Hellman Tennis Complex.