No. 7 Cal Beats No. 6 USC for SoCal Split
BERKELEY - Seventh-ranked California rebounded from a close loss on Friday to defeat sixth-ranked USC, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The nonconference victory over the Trojans (8-2) gave the Golden Bears (4-3) a split with the southern California schools, after a 4-3 setback against No. 2 UCLA one day ago.
"It's a very important victory for us today, especially after losing such a close match yesterday," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "We came out a little slow in the doubles - not the way we wanted to, especially after sweeping the doubles yesterday. We knew we were going to have to really battle against this team. We won all of our third sets out there today, which is a test of our fitness and something we work really hard on. We haven't really been pushed to that point this season until this weekend, so that was something I really wanted to see. This was a real crucial victory for us."
Neither co-No. 1 singles player - Cal sophomore Zsofi Susanyi and USC sophomore Sabrina Santamaria - played singles matches today, though each played doubles. Susanyi was hampered by an injury sustained against the Bruins, while Santamaria suffered a minor injury in Saturday's doubles.
Augustus was proud of how her team handled being a player down for the second straight day.
"That's something we've really been working hard on since indoors," Augustus said. "That's a mental adjustment. We have 10 very capable players on our team. The biggest thing the team learned is it's not just us; other teams have injuries, stuff happens, and it's the teams that are better able to adapt (that succeed)."
In doubles, Cal senior Tayler Davis and sophomore Laura Posylkin fell on court three to USC's Giuliana Olmos and Gabriella DeSimone, 8-2, in the first completed match. Santamaria - also a member of the nation's top-ranked doubles team - and Kaitlyn Christian then beat Cal's 27th-ranked team of freshman Lynn Chi and junior Anett Schutting, 8-5, on court one to give the doubles point to USC. On court two, Cal's No. 31 doubles team of Susanyi and freshman Klara Fabikova then lost to USC's 48th-ranked Valeria Pulido and Danielle Lao, 8-6.
In singles, Chi - ranked 66th - quickly upended No. 81 Olmos, 6-4, 6-0, on court two to tie the match at 1-1, and then junior Alice Duranteau, despite losing the first set, 2-6, dominated the rest of the match against Pulido on court six, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, to move Cal ahead, 2-1.
USC tied the match at 2-2 when Cal junior Kelly Chui lost to Ellie Yates on court five, 6-3 7-5. But that was the Trojans' last win of the day.
Fabikova, ranked No. 113, gave Cal the go-ahead point when she dispatched No. 60 DeSimone, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, on court three, and then Davis topped Christian, 5-7, 7-5, 6-1, on court four to clinch the match for the Bears.
With Susanyi out for singles, Schutting played on court one for the second consecutive match, and this time the nation's 12th-ranked player upset the No. 3 player in Lao, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, to make the final score 5-2.
The Bears return to the courts when they host No. 62 Sacramento State on Friday, March 1, at 1:30 p.m. at Hellman.
No. 7 Cal 5, No. 6 USC 2
Feb. 23 in Berkeley, Calif.
Hellman Tennis Complex
1: No. 1 Christian/Santamaria (USC) def. No. 27 Chi/Schutting (Cal) - 8-5
2: No. 48 Pulido/Lao (USC) def. No. 31 Susanyi/Fabikova (Cal) - 8-6
3: Olmos/DeSimone (USC) def. Davis/Posylkin (Cal) - 8-2
(USC wins the doubles point)
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2.
1: No. 12 Anett Schutting (Cal) def. No. 3 Danielle Lao (USC) - 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
2: No. 66 Lynn Chi (Cal) def. No. 81 Giuliana Olmos (USC) - 6-4, 6-0
3: No. 113 Klara Fabikova (Cal) def. No. 60 Gabriella DeSimone (USC) - 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
4: Tayler Davis (Cal) def. Kaitlyn Christian (USC) - 5-7, 7-5, 6-1
5: Ellie Yates (USC) def. Kelly Chui (Cal) - 6-3, 7-5
6: Alice Duranteau (Cal) def. Valeria Pulido (USC) - 2-6, 6-3, 6-0