CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Seventh-ranked California suffered a 4-1 loss to No. 4 USC in the consolation round and exited the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship on Sunday at the Boar's Head Sports Club. The fifth-seeded Golden Bears (3-2) earned a singles win thanks to 109th-ranked Lynn Chi, before the third-seeded Trojans (7-1) knocked fifth-seeded Cal out of the prestigious national tournament.
The Bears produced a 1-2 record at the indoor tournament, beating No. 16 Michigan, 4-0, in Friday's first round, losing to No. 6 Georgia, 4-1, in Saturday's quarterfinal and falling to fourth-ranked USC in Sunday's consolation match.
"We're pretty pleased with what we did here," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "Our two losses here were to two teams ranked ahead of us (in USC and No. 6 Georgia). Of course you don't like to take any losses. But I thought we competed really well today. Lynn had a great win at singles, and we did well in doubles considering we played with a different doubles team today."
The Bears were indeed close to capturing the doubles point. First, the Cal sophomore duo of Laura Posylkin and Cecilia Estlander fell on court three to USC's Giuliana Olmos and Danielle Lao, 8-1, and then Chi/Schutting upset the 13th-ranked doubles team of Gabriella DeSimone/Zoe Scandalis, 8-5, on court two to tie the proceedings.
That gave Cal a chance to take the early team lead on court one, where the Bears produced a tight match despite not having their usual pairing of sophomore Zsofi Susanyi and freshman Klara Fabikova there. Senior Tayler Davis joined Susanyi in doubles today, as Fabikova was out with an injury suffered in Charlottesville. The Bears pushed the top-ranked doubles team - USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria - but fell, 8-6.
"Zsofi and Tay were a couple points away from beating the No. 1 team in the nation," Augustus said. "It was a really great doubles point."
Chi immediately knotted the team score at 1-1 when she bageled the Trojans' 56th-ranked DeSimone, 6-0, 6-0, on court three.
But USC regained the advantage at court six, where Ellie Yates topped Estlander, 6-0, 7-5, and followed that with No. 17 Santamaria's 6-4, 6-3, victory over the ninth-ranked Schutting on court two to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead. The seventh-ranked Susanyi then fell at court one to No. 14 Lao, 7-5, 6-1, and USC claimed the match, 4-1.
Top-seeded UCLA will play sixth-seeded North Carolina on Monday for the indoor championship.
Cal returns to action when it hosts the second-ranked Bruins on Feb. 22 and then takes on fourth-ranked USC on Feb. 23 at Hellman Tennis Complex.
"We had a really good look at SC today and at UCLA as well here," Augustus added. "The Pac-12's success here says a lot about our conference and how strong we are. These matches make us stronger. We kept our seed. We beat Michigan on the first day, and Michigan won two matches in the back draw and should move up in rankings. That was a solid win for us on the first day.
"We would've liked to win the tournament, but given we were not quite at full strength, we're happy with the experience some of the younger players got. We had a good showing by everyone in certain areas. We had a few people missing from the lineup. At this point in the season, it's good to see where we are with the people we had out there, and the quarterfinal finish was a good one."