Jan. 28, 2012
BERKELEY - The seventh-ranked California women's tennis team punched its ticket to the 2012 ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a 5-2 victory over No. 28 Washington in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event at the Hellman Tennis Complex on Saturday, Jan. 28. Despite the absence of fifth-ranked senior Jana Juricova, the Golden Bears (3-0) defeated the Huskies (1-1) to become one of 16 teams that will converge on the Board's Head Tennis Club in Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 10-13, for the ITA's prestigious indoor tournament.
"I think [today's win] shows the depth of the team, this year," said head coach Amanda Augustus. "I think it's a good surprise in disguise. It's going to help us, down the line, especially going to indoors. Some of our players got experience in matches, so I think it's going to be a blessing. The team showed Jana that they can step up and get it done and that confidence really goes both ways."
Freshman Zsofi Susanyi replaced Juricova in both the singles and doubles lineups and started her day on the same side of the net with fellow frosh Cecilia Estlander. The duo stayed in step with Washington's Denise Dy and Samantha Smith to a four-all tie, but the Huskies claimed one more game before the match was called when Cal secured the doubles point.
Down at No. 3 doubles, junior Tayler Davis and sophomore Alice Duranteau raced off the court in under 35 minutes as the tandem claimed an 8-0 win over Natali Coronel and Riko Shimizu. At No. 2 doubles, junior Annie Goransson and sophomore Anett Schutting claimed their eighth straight victory, together, on an 8-1 win over Capucine Gregoire and Andjela Nemcevic to seal the first point of the day.
Coming off her quick doubles match, No. 32-ranked Davis wasted little time in her singles match and dismissed Smith, 6-0, 6-1, to give the Bears a 2-0 lead in the dual. Shortly thereafter, No. 81 Goransson completed her 6-2, 6-2 win against Gregoire to extend Cal's lead to 3-0. Washington got on the board, next, on 10th-ranked Dy's 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 21 Susanyi, who got her first taste of dual singles action.
"I think it was a little bit of a tough ask, today," said Augustus of Susanyi. "Everyone knows that Denise [Dy] is a senior and a really good player, but all things considered, it was a good start. I think it was also good because now, in practice, she will know what to work on. In doubles, she did a great job."
Despite Dy's efforts from the top court, No. 64-ranked Estlander put an end to the Huskies' hopes as she finished off Coronel, 6-1, 6-3, to secure the clinching point for the Bears. It was Estlander's ninth consecutive singles victory; her 15th overall, this year.
"I didn't realize that I had clinched the match while I was playing, but afterwards, it felt great," said Estlander. "When you know you have all the support of your teammates, you want to go out and do well for them."
No. 74-ranked Schutting posted a 7-5, 6-2 win over Nemcevic at court four to give the Bears their fifth point of the day. In the day's only three-set match, Julija Lukac out-lasted Duranteau, to claim a 10-6 win in the third-set match tiebreaker. Lukac took a 7-3 win in the first-set tiebreaker but Duranteau turned things around to come up with a 6-1 win in the second.
Cal has won 28 matches at the ITA Indoor Championships; the sixth highest total. The Bears advanced to the championship match once, in 2000, where they fell to rival Stanford, and made semifinal appearances, twice, in 2009-10.
In a consolation match, earlier in the day, No. 32 San Diego (1-1) upended No. 36 UNLV (3-2) by a 6-1 count. Juliette Coupez sealed the first dual victory of the year for the Toreros when she took out Nives Pavlovic, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 3 singles.
The Bears will host No. 53 San Diego State in a 1:30 p.m. PT dual on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Hellman Tennis Complex, before they hit the road for the indoor championships. Please visit CalBears.com for more information, and go to www.itatennis.com for complete information on the indoor championships.
No. 7 California 5, No. 28 Washington 2
No. 32 San Diego 6, No. 36 UNLV 1