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No. 6 Cal Vies for Indoor Spot in Kick-Off Weekend

Jan 22, 2015
BERKELEY – Sixth-ranked California looks to qualify for the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships when it hosts the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Sunday and Monday at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Golden Bears (0-0) welcome No. 45 Saint Mary’s (0-0), No. 72 Fresno State (0-0) and Michigan State (2-0) to Hellman for the two-day event.

The Bears will open their dual-match season when they face Michigan State at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Fresno State and Saint Mary’s – which played in the recent Cal Winter Invitational – return to Hellman for a second straight week and will play each other at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Sunday’s losing teams play at 10 a.m. on Monday in a consolation match. Sunday’s winners face off on Monday at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the indoor championships.

The Cal men’s and women’s tennis programs will also host a special ceremony commemorating the grand reopening of the Hellman Tennis Complex after Saturday’s last match of the men’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend (see below).

Scoring Updates on Twitter

Follow the Bears on Twitter @CalWomensTennis for scoring updates throughout the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

Poll Position

Cal moved up one spot to No. 6 in the Jan. 20 ITA team poll. The ITA will update its singles and doubles rankings on Feb. 10. The Bears have six ranked singles players and four ranked doubles teams. The Bears ranked in singles are sophomore Maegan Manasse (No. 5), senior Zsofi Susanyi (No. 14), freshman Karla Popovic (No. 30), junior Lynn Chi (No. 34), sophomore Denise Starr (No. 64) and junior Klara Fabikova (No. 78). Manasse also holds a top-10 ranking in doubles, as she and Starr are ranked fourth, followed by the ninth-ranked Susanyi and Fabikova, the 39th-ranked Chi and Susanyi and the 60th-ranked Popovic and Fabikova.

Maegan Manasse Named Pac-12 Player of the Week

Maegan Manasse collected the Pac-12 Women’s Tennis Player of the Week honor this week after claiming the singles and – with Denise Starr – the doubles titles at the Cal Winter Invitational. This marks Manasse’s first career Pac-12 weekly honor and the 25th for Cal women’s tennis overall.

The sophomore Golden Bear – who is ranked fifth in the nation in singles – improved her singles record to 24-3 after winning all three of her matches in Cal’s tournament at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The fourth-ranked pair of Starr and Manasse now have a 16-4 doubles record after also going unbeaten in the Cal Winter Invitational.

Click here to read a December 2014 feature on Manasse in The Daily Californian.

Scouting the Bears

  • Maegan Manasse has produced perhaps the most impressive season so far for the Bears; her fall included an appearance in the indoor final, quarterfinal runs in the regional and All-American, and a win over Denise Starr in the top-flight final in Cal’s fall tournament
  • Manasse had wins over nine ranked players in the fall including UNC’s top-ranked Jamie Loeb, Miami’s 18th-ranked Stephanie Wagner and Pepperdine’s 20th-ranked Lorraine Guillermo
  • Starr has a 14-3 singles record; her fall included a runner-up finish to Manasse in the Cal Nike Fall Invitational and a run to the round of 16 at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championship
  • Zsofi Susanyi has a 12-5 singles mark; in the fall the two-time singles All-American won five times over ranked singles opponents, including a victory over Florida’s No. 14 Brianna Morgan and a win over USC’s 38th-ranked Giuliana Olmos at national indoors
  • Klara Fabikova has a 13-2 singles record, including a 6-1, 6-4 win over No. 123 Catherine Leduc of Saint Mary’s in the Cal Winter Invitational
  • Fabikova had a 7-2 singles record in the fall, when she was ranked 60th; her wins included a 6-2, 6-2 result over TCU’s 31st-ranked Stefanie Tan at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships
  • The 2014 NCAA singles runner-up, who was ranked eighth in the ITA’s fall preseason poll, Lynn Chi posted an 8-5 record in the fall of 2014, which included runs to the quarterfinals of both the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships
  • Karla Popovic – who was not ranked in the fall singles rankings – vaulted to No. 30 after posting a 16-3 record, wins over five ranked players, a run to the regional semifinals, reaching the Saint Mary’s Fall Invitational semis and getting to the ASU Thunderbird Invitational final; she improved to 19-3 after the Cal Winter Invitational
  • Popovic’s wins over ranked opponents included a victory over then-No. 16 Susanyi in the regional quarterfinals, a result over the Sun Devils’ then-No. 46 Stephanie Vlad in the ASU quarterfinals and a win over then-No. 77 Sarah Lee of Michigan in the ASU semis
  • In doubles, Fabikova and Susanyi have an 11-1 overall record after going 3-0 at the Cal Winter Invitational
  • Also in doubles, Chi and Susanyi have a 5-2 record, while Popovic and Fabikova have compiled a 2-1 record
  • Cal alumna Amanda Augustus (class of 1999) – the 2014 Pac-12 Coach of the Year – is in her eighth season as head coach of the Bears
  • First-year assistant coach Zack Warren, who was previously a UNLV men’s tennis assistant coach, served as the volunteer assistant coach for the Cal men’s team during the 2012-13 season

Scouting the Field

  • Michigan State beat Eastern Michigan, 5-2, and Oakland, 7-0, on Jan. 18 in East Lansing, Michigan
  • Danielle Flores (No. 32), Kareena Manji (tied for No. 94) and Catherine Leduc (No. 123) are ranked in singles for Saint Mary’s
  • Fresno State’s Sophie Watts is ranked 47th in singles

A Look at the 2014 ITA Kickoff Weekend

Eighth-ranked California needed roughly two hours to defeat 43rd-ranked Washington, 4-0, in the finale of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 25 and advance to the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships. Freshman and 31st-ranked Maegan Manasse clinched the team victory with a 6-0, 6-2 singles win over the Huskies’ Natalie Coronel on court six at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

Hellman Grand Opening

The Cal men’s and women’s tennis programs will host a grand reopening ceremony of the Hellman Tennis Complex on Saturday on the second day of the men’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Cal. The ceremony will take place at approximately 4 p.m., after the end of the final men’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend match of the day.

This will mark the first spring since the completion of the upgrades at the home of Golden Bear tennis. The upgrades include the following:

  • New building housing men’s and women’s team locker rooms, restrooms and showers
  • New public restrooms for fans
  • New elevated seating extending from court No. 1 to court No. 6
  • New team lounge/academic room

Traffic Note

For those attending the ceremony at Hellman on Saturday and/or the ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches on Sunday, please be aware that due to a tower crane removal from the south side of campus, one lane of Bancroft Avenue – between Telegraph Avenue and Dana Street – will be closed from 5 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be no metered parking on that stretch of Bancroft Avenue during that time. Vehicles are advised to use other streets – such as Haste Street or Channing Way – to travel west-bound on those days.

Next Time

If they qualify, the Bears will compete in the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championships from Feb. 6-9 at the Boar’s Head Tennis Club in Charlottesville, Virginia.