Chi’s Win Creates NCAA Final Rematch at Indoors

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. – Lynn Chi’s singles win on the opening day of the USTA/ITA National Women’s Indoor Intercollegiate Championships set up a familiar match-up for Friday, as California won two singles matches and one doubles match overall on Thursday.

Chi, a junior ranked eighth in singles, beat Valentine Confalonieri of – aptly enough – Lynn University, 6-3, 6-4, in the round of 32 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The Golden Bear – who also turned 20 on Thursday – next faces Virginia’s Danielle Collins – the defending NCAA champion – in the round of 16 at 9 a.m. ET on Friday. The Cavalier, ranked 10th and seeded seventh at the tournament, defeated Chi in the NCAA singles final last season.

Maegan Manasse also emerged victorious from Thursday’s round of 32, dispatching Florida’s Josie Kuhlman, 6-0, 6-1. The 43rd-ranked Cal sophomore plays Houston’s Despoina Vogasari at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. Sixteenth-ranked senior Zsofi Susanyi fell, 6-2, 6-4, to Clemson’s fifth-ranked and sixth-seeded Julia Elbaba. The veteran Bear plays Florida’s 14th-ranked and third-seeded Brianna Morgan at 11 a.m. ET in Friday’s consolation round of 16.

Cal’s seeded doubles teams had byes in the opening round of 32. The third-seeded tandem of Susanyi and junior Klara Fabikova then moved out of the round of 16 with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over the USTA/ITA National Small College Super Bowl winners, Linda Fritschken and Emma Onila from Barry University. That result set up an all-Pac-12 round of 16 match with UCLA’s fourth-ranked Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips at 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

The 11th-ranked pair of Manasse and sophomore Denise Starr lost in a round of 16 upset to Oklahoma State’s 27th-ranked team of Kelsey Laurente and Viktoriya Lushkova, 6-4, 3-6, 10-5.

The Bears next play in consolation doubles. After getting a quarterfinal walkover due to an injury to the Florida team of Kuhlman and Peggy Porter, the Cal pair plays in the consolation semifinals on Saturday against either North Carolina’s Ashley Dai and Kate Vialle or Columbia’s Tina Jiang and Crystal Leung.

“It was a good first day,” Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. “We were successful in both singles and doubles. Zsofi had a tough draw today. She ran into an in-form Julia Elbaba. I think the match was much closer than the score indicates. A couple of points either way, and the match could easily have gone to three sets. Zsofi rebounded very well in the doubles. Her and Klara played fantastic.

“Lynn was playing a girl from Lynn. When Lynn lost the first game, it was funny out on the court with them saying, ‘Game, Lynn.’ But it wasn’t our Lynn. Our Lynn took a couple games to find her rhythm then won convincingly. The girl was quite strong and Lynn had to step up her game. Lynn is looking forward to matching up with Danielle Collins, whom she played in the NCAA final. They’re very good friends as well.

“Maegan played outstanding in her first round of singles today against a Florida freshman who won the Florida regional final. Maegan was successful on the court in singles, but there was just a little bit of bad luck for Maegan and Denise in doubles. That team is a new team for Oklahoma State, with a transfer from Miami in Laurente and a talented new freshman in Lushkova. It was a very close three-set match, and the format that we’re playing  – using a 10-point tiebreaker for the third set – means things could kind of go either way. They’ll get their opportunity in the consolation draw to keep competing and getting better.”

The national tournament concludes on Tuesday.

USTA/ITA National Women’s Indoor Intercollegiate Championships

Nov. 6, 2014, in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Singles Main Draw

Round of 32

[5] No. 43 Maegan Manasse (Cal) def. Josie Kuhlman (Florida) – 6-0, 6-1

[6] No. 5 Julia Elbaba (Clemson) def. No. 16 Zsofi Susanyi (Cal) – 6-2, 6-4

No. 8 Lynn Chi (Cal) def. Valentine Confalonieri (Lynn) – 6-3, 6-4

Doubles Main Draw

Round of 32

[3] Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi (Cal) bye

[4] No. 11 Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr (Cal) bye

Round of 16

[3] Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi (Cal) def. Linda Fritschken/Emma Onila (Barry) – 6-2, 6-1

No. 27 Kelsey Laurente/Viktoriya Lushkova (Oklahoma State) def. [4] No. 11 Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr (Cal) – 6-4, 3-6, 10-5

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