Coming off a disappointing loss to Stanford and with top player Zsofi Susanyi still out due to injury, no one knew what to expect from the Cal women’s tennis team last weekend.
Nobody could have expected the dominating performance that the team turned in. Cal dropped only three sets in the opening of Pac-12 play as it crushed both Washington State and Washington.
On Friday, Cal (7-4, 2-0 in the Pac-12) made quick work of Washington State (10-4, 0-2), sweeping the doubles matches and winning on five of the six singles courts to finish the match, 6-1. The next day, the Bears looked even more impressive against Washington (8-4, 0-2) en route to a 7-0 sweep.
Anett Schutting, playing on the top court in Susanyi’s absence, defeated Washington State’s Liudmila Vasielieva 6-0, 6-2. Her encore to that performance was a 6-1, 6-1 decimation of Washington’s Andjela Nemcevic the next day, the only ranked player Cal had to face all weekend.
“I think she did such a good job today of taking control of that match and not letting that girl in the match at all,” said Cal coach Amanda Augustus. “You can see the confidence, and she’s starting to feel more comfortable playing on the top court.”
Schutting also was victorious in both of her doubles matches of the weekend, playing on the top court with freshman Lynn Chi.
“We like their chemistry,” Augustus said. “We like the base that they’ve developed so far. Each week, our goal is to just keep adding to their game.”
The weekend also featured senior Annie Goransson’s return to singles. Though still recovering from a back injury, Goransson looked to be near 100 percent when she won both of her matches on the sixth court easily.
“Being out playing again is just such a reward for all the hard work I’ve put in and people around me have helped me with,” said Goransson.
Cal’s other senior — Tayler Davis — also played well. She has quietly put together a singles record of 6-1 this season, mostly on the fourth court.
The only match Cal lost was when Alice Duranteau played Washington State’s Olga Musilovich on the fifth court. In one of the most intense matches that Hellman Tennis Complex has seen over the last few weeks, Duranteau was able to win the second set and push the match into a tie-breaker. After a few balls hit the net, the long match was over, and Musilovich emerged victorious.
“It’s very different being the last Bear standing,” Duranteau said. “The match was already over, but my team was so supportive that I was just trying to get through that match and keep fighting as hard as I could.”
Even with all of Cal’s great performances, the team always sees areas to improve.
“For a tennis player, it’s never perfect — you always want to do a little bit better,” Augustus said. “To get our first conference win under our belts back on our home courts, I thought they did a good job today.”
Janice Chua covers men’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected].