ATHENS, Ga. - Hitting her stride at just the right time in the season, California's 24th-ranked Lynn Chi posted one of the biggest victories of her young career when she upset North Carolina's top-seeded and top-ranked Jamie Loeb, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the NCAA Singles Championship quarterfinals on Saturday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Golden Bear plays in the semifinals on Sunday.
After her first match against the UNC freshman, the Cal sophomore improved her singles record to 37-10 while handing Loeb just her fourth loss of the season (53-4).
Chi will play Georgia State’s Abigail Tere-Apisah in Sunday’s semifinal round at 9 a.m. PT/noon ET. Tere-Apisah has already played one Bear in the tournament, as she beat junior Zsofi Susanyi, 7-6(3), 6-1, in the round of 32.
“Lynn came out a little bit nervous today but with her progression and maturity, she was able to shake it off and execute the game plan,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “She kept going for shorter balls, was willing to come in and was doing all the things she had been practicing. But now she’s gaining in confidence and starting to see all the options she has on the court.
“Lynn hits the ball as clean as anyone in the country. It’s great to see her just play the match and not get distracted by the moment or who she was playing. That’s been huge along with her just working and getting better every match she played.”
“It feels really good to reach the semis,” Chi said. “I think my game plan in the first set was the right one. I started off nervous but was just not hitting the shots I wanted to make. Once I calmed down a little bit and controlled my nerves, I stuck to the game plan and made my shots.”
Susanyi, a junior, was the last Bear to reach the NCAA singles semifinals; she fell in the 2012 semis as the first Cal freshman to get that deep into the NCAA singles tournament.
Chi brings a four-match winning streak into Sunday’s match, her first against Tere-Asipah. The second-year Bear, who has also won six of her last seven matches, had a 15-match winning streak snapped by UCLA’s Jennifer Brady in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Championships. The next time Chi faced the Bruin – in Saturday’s NCAA round of 16 – Chi beat Brady to advance to Sunday’s match.
Including NCAA doubles, Chi is the last Pac-12 women’s player still competing at NCAAs.
NCAA Singles Championship
May 24, 2014, in Athens, Georgia
University of Georgia – Dan Magill Tennis Complex (Feild Courts)