No. 13 Cal Battles No. 6 USC, No. 4 UCLA in L.A.
BERKELEY - Riding a five-match winning streak, 13th-ranked California heads to southern California to battle No. 6 USC and No. 4 UCLA in the race for the Pac-12 title. The Golden Bears (10-4, 4-0 in the Pac-12) play the Trojans (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12) on Friday, March 29, at 1:30 p.m. at Marks Stadium, before playing the Bruins (13-2, 4-0 Pac-12) on Saturday, March 30, at noon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
The Bears played their conference sistren in February in nonconference action. Cal fell to the Trojans, 4-1, in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Feb. 10, lost to UCLA, 4-3, on Feb. 22 in Berkeley and defeated USC, 5-2, on Feb. 23 at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Bears and the Trojans boasted the co-No. 1 singles players in the nation during that Feb. 23 match, but neither No. 1 - Cal sophomore Zsofi Susanyi nor USC sophomore Sabrina Santamaria - played in singles, though they played in doubles.
Scouting the Bears
• Cal brings a five-match winning streak into this week's matches in Los Angeles
• The Golden Bears' talented roster includes four players who are ranked in singles by the ITA: sophomore Zsofi Susanyi (No. 4), junior Anett Schutting (No. 6), freshman Lynn Chi (No. 59) and freshman Klara Fabikova (No. 80)
• The Bears boast the following ranked doubles teams: No. 23 Susanyi and Fabikova and No. 25 Chi and Schutting
• Cal has a 5-2 record against common opponents with USC: the Bears defeated USC (5-2 on Feb. 23 in Berkeley), Washington State (6-1 on March 8 in Berkeley), Washington (7-0 on March 9 in Berkeley), San Diego State (6-1 on March 17 in San Diego), Colorado (7-0 on March 22 in Berkeley) and Utah (7-0 on March 23 in Berkeley) and lost to USC (4-1 on Feb. 10 in Charlottesville, Va.) and Stanford (6-1 on March 2 in Stanford, Calif.)
• Schutting claimed the current Pac-12 Player of the Week honor after collecting two singles wins and two doubles wins in Cal's conference victories over Colorado (7-0 on March 22) and Utah (7-0 on March 23) at home
• Cal is one of 11 Division I schools with both its men's and women's teams ranked by the ITA; the Cal men hold a No. 15 ranking in the latest poll
• The April 19 match between No. 13 Cal and No. 15 Stanford in Berkeley - which is the last dual match of the regular season - will air on the Pac-12 Networks; Paul Sunderland (play-by-play) and Justin Gimelstob (analyst) are slated to be the announcers
• Amanda Augustus is in her sixth year as head coach at Cal
Scouting the Trojans
• USC is on a seven-match winning streak; its latest result was a 7-0 victory at Washington State on March 23
• The Trojans have the following ranked players - singles: No. 2 Sabrina Santamaria, No. 7 Danielle Lao, No. 27 Zoe Scandalis, No. 70 Gabriella DiSimone and No. 116 Giuliana Olmos; doubles: No. 1 Santamaria/Kaitlyn Christian, No. 36 DiSimone/Scandalis and No. 44 Lao/Valeria Pulido
• Santamaria and Christian are the defending NCAA-champion doubles team
• USC has a 7-0 record against common opponents with Cal, with wins over Fresno State (7-0 on Feb. 2 in Los Angeles), San Diego State (7-0 on Feb. 20 in L.A.), UCLA (4-2 on March 8 at UCLA), Colorado (7-0 on March 15 in L.A.), Utah (7-0 on March 16 in L.A.), Washington (6-1 on March 22 in Seattle) and Washington State (7-0 on March 23 in Pullman, Wash.)
• Richard Gallien is in his 18th year as USC's head coach
Scouting the Bruins
• UCLA hosts Stanford on Friday before playing Cal on Saturday
• The Bruins are on a four-match winning streak and beat Washington, 7-0, on March 23 in Seattle in its most recent contest
• UCLA's roster includes the following ranked players - singles: No. 3 Robin Anderson, No. 67 Kyle McPhillips, No. 88 Kaitlin Ray, No. 91 Catherine Harrison, No. 101 Chanelle Van Nguyen and No. 110 Pamela Montez; doubles: No. 13 Anderson/Skylar Morton, No. 30 McPhillips/Morton, No. 43 Montez/Courtney Dolehide and No. 69 Montez/Anderson
• The Bruins have a 7-1 record against common opponents with Cal: UCLA lost to USC (4-2 on March 8 at home) and beat Washington (4-0 on Jan. 27 at home and 7-0 on March 23 in Seattle), Georgia (4-1 on Feb. 10 in Charlottesville, Va.), Saint Mary's (4-0 on Feb. 23 in Moraga, Calif.), Utah (6-1 on March 15 at home), Colorado (6-1 on March 16 at home) and Washington State (6-1 on March 22 in Pullman, Wash.)
• Stella Sampras Webster - the older sister of former U.S. men's star Pete Sampras - is in her 17th year as UCLA's head coach; she led UCLA to the NCAA title in 2008
California had a slightly tougher go of it on March 23 against No. 69 Utah, but just as on March 22 against Colorado, the No. 13 Golden Bears trounced their Pac-12 Conference opponent, 7-0, at the Hellman Tennis Complex. The Bears improved their record to 10-4 (4-0 in the Pac-12), while the Utes fell to 7-6 (1-4 Pac-12).
Third-ranked Zsofi Susanyi played and won her first singles match since returning from injury for Cal.
The 40th-ranked duo of junior Anett Schutting and freshman Lynn Chi defeated No. 21 Tereza Bekerova and Paige Miles, 8-5, on court one to open doubles play, and then seniors Tayler Davis and Annie Goransson clinched the doubles point with an 8-2 victory over Callie Craig and Sarah Pham on court three. To wrap up doubles play, freshman Klara Fabikova paired with junior Kelly Chui - Fabikova's second different doubles partner in two days - to beat Natasha Smith and Elena Najera-Salas, 8-3, on court two.
In singles, No. 108 Fabikova shut out an opponent for the second consecutive day when she beat Smith, 6-0, 6-0, this time on court four, and then Goransson topped Kovarcikova, 6-2, 6-2, on court five to give Cal a 3-0 lead. On court two, the 57th-ranked Chi secured the match for the Bears with a 6-3, 6-1, victory over Pham.
Cal tacked on the final three points when junior Alice Duranteau beat Miles, 6-3, 1-6, 1-0(10-1), on court six, Susanyi - playing on court three - worked through a 6-4 first set and then settled down to take the second set 6-0 and win the match, and just moments later No. 9 Schutting posted a 6-3, 7-5, win over No. 70 Bekerova on court one to complete the Bears' 7-0 result.
Susanyi - who played solely in doubles in Cal's win over Colorado on Friday -played solely in singles against the Utes.
Cal hosts Oregon on April 5 at 1:30 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Complex.