With the departure of senior Mari Andersson, Cal women’s tennis team is currently in midst of a summer audition to take her spot as the No. 2 singles player and Jana Juricova’s double partner.
Incoming sophomore Anett Schutting can be the one to fill those shoes next season.
Due to academic complications from her high school in Tallinn, Estonia, Schutting only made her debut for the Bears six games into the regular
season. After a rough 3-5 start in singles, Schutting finally made herself at home and improved greatly as the season progressed.
By the end of the season, Schutting was a lock at court No. 3 behind Juricova and Andersson. Her signature win came in the first round of the Pac-10 Championships, when she upset Non. 14 Venise Chan of Washington, 7-6(5), 6-4.
However, where Schutting really shined as a freshman was in the doubles game. Although she started the season paired with senior Marina Cossou, Cal coach Amanda Augustus switched Cossou for sophomore Annie Goransson in response to a mid-season three-game losing streak.
Schutting and Goransson immediately clicked, defeating their ranked foes at USC and UCLA just two weeks into the switch. The pair finished 9-3 and broke into the top 25, providing a reliable second doubles team for the Bears.
After her success in doubles, Schutting is currently the front-runner in the audition to become Juricova’s partner. Like Andersson, Schutting is a high-intensity player who relies more on technique, which could serve to counterbalance Juricova’s dominating power strokes.
Despite these similarities, it’s premature to expect Schutting to completely replace Andersson as Juricova’s sidekick in doubles, for the nation’s top doubles pair spent three years honing their skills together.
Still, Schutting has great potential and three years of her own at Cal to develop into a top player. Now with a full year of collegiate tennis under her belt, she might shock many next season as one of the most improved players in the conference.