Lynn Chi advances to round of 16 at NCAA Singles Championship

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Each player on the Cal women’s tennis team has proved her individual talent on the court this season against the best teams in the nation. But it wasn’t a court one or even court two or three player that advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship.

In the round of 32 Thursday at the NCAA Singles Championship in Athens, Georgia, Lynn Chi advanced to the third round while Anett Schutting and Zsofi Susanyi fell in their respective matches, ending their tournament run.

No. 24 Chi (35-10) faced off against Romy Kølzer of Clemson for the third time this season after defeating her at both the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, 6-2, 6-4, on Oct. 1 and in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, 6-4, 6-2, on Feb. 7.

Kølzer kept the first set close, but Chi ultimately prevailed, 7-5. The second set, however, played out much differently with Chi crushing Kølzer, 6-1, to take the overall match and book her ticket to the round of 16. There, she will play UCLA’s No. 8 Jennifer Brady.

“Today’s play was highlighted by Lynn Chi advancing to the round of 16 and earning All-America status for the first time in her career,” said head coach Amanda Augustus to Cal Athletics. “We’re continuing to take things match by match, and we’ve seen Lynn’s steady progression all season long. I’m happy that she played well today.

Cal’s lone-seeded player, No. 18 Schutting(28-13), was defeated by Virginia’s 32nd-ranked Danielle Collins, 6-3, 6-3, ending her Cal tennis career. No. 23 Zsofi Susanyi (23-10) then fell in another upset to Georgia State’s 22nd-ranked Abigail Tere-Apisah, 7-6(3), 6-1.

Both players had tremendous seasons, winning their first Pac-12 titles. Schutting was awarded two All-American honors over her first three years at Cal and is primed to receive another one this season.

“Anett’s (Schutting) had a stellar career,” Augustus said to Cal Athletics. “She’s been an All-American in singles and doubles and has helped out our team in a wide variety of ways. She’s improved tremendously throughout her career at Cal, on and off the court. She gave her best today. If you look at her stats over four years she’s been unbelievably consistent. She’s been amazingly successful, having been ranked in the top 10 in the country in singles and doubles.”

With Schutting’s departure, Susanyi becomes Cal’s most-experienced player with three All-American honors as well as a trip to the NCAA singles semifinals back in 2012.

“We’re not done yet,” Augustus said to Cal Athletics. “But it’s exciting to see how the five of six returning starters build off this history-making year that we had this year.”

Winston Cho covers women’s tennis. Contact him at [email protected]l.org