ATHENS, Ga . - California's Anett Schutting, Zsofi Susanyi and Lynn Chi all won in the opening round of 64 in the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday to reach Thursday's second round at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Golden Bear freshman Denise Starr lost in the first round.
All three Bears will play second-round matches at 6 a.m. PT/9 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Playing in the first set of first-round matches on Wednesday morning, Schutting, a senior ranked 18th, defeated No. 56 Saska Gavrilovska of Texas A&M, 6-4, 6-1. Schutting will play Virginia’s No. 32 Danielle Collins in the second round.
“We hadn’t seen Gavrilovska before; she’s a freshman,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “Anett had to battle and figure out what patterns worked against her. Anett competed really hard. Every game was tough on that court. Anett’s experience as a senior really showed. She played a more and more aggressive game and closed out the match well.”
“Denise had a fabulous year,” Augustus said. “It’s never easy to play on court one like she did much of the year, but she got some great wins and had a great record there. The experience she got this year bodes well for the future with the young group that we’ll have.”
In the next set of matches Wednesday morning, the 23rd-ranked Susanyi, a junior, upset Texas A&M’s 10th-ranked Cristina Stancu, 6-0, 6-4.
“Stancu is a pretty good player,” Augustus said. “Zsofi’s game style works against well against a player like that. Zsofi was really able to mix the height of the ball up. She’s been playing and feeling better and better, and she’s gotten healthier as the season has gone on. She’s quite comfortable playing on these courts as well.”
In her first-round match, the 24th-ranked Chi, a sophomore, lost the first set but bounced back to win a second-set tiebreaker and ultimately upset Michigan’s ninth-ranked Emina Bektas, 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-1.
“Lynn didn’t start off the match great today,” Augustus said. “But I think she was willing to keep fighting and working. Her and [associate head coach] Cordell were figuring out the kind of game plan that would work. That’s where her experience in her second year comes into play. We’ve seen in the last couple months how much more confidence she has. Her fitness was a major weapon in the third set in comparison to her opponent. The biggest key was she never gave up and was able to pull out the victory. That was a great win for Lynn today. That’s definitely one of her top wins so far. One match at a time, but obviously a win over a top-10 opponent bodes well.”
In Thursday’s second round, Chi will play Clemson’s 33rd-ranked Romy Kölzer, and Susanyi will take on Georgia State’s No. 22 Abigail Tere-Apisah.
This marked Cal’s first action in Georgia since falling to Stanford in the NCAA team tournament in the round of 16 on May 15 in Atlanta.
“It was really great for them to get back on the courts,” Augustus said. “We had a few days to rest a little bit and practice, but they were all excited to start the singles tournament today. We got to play early, which was nice, and not have to wait around too long. Overall we had a good first day of matches.”