Cal women’s tennis star Maegan Manasse secures doubles championship

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Although summer seems like the perfect time for athletes to take a small break from their hectic schedules, Maegan Manasse hasn’t quite taken a break, a fact that was on display this past week with her stellar performances on the tennis court at the Fort Worth Pro Tennis Classic in Texas, where she became a doubles champion Saturday.

When it came to competing in doubles matches last season, the rising junior normally played alongside Cal teammate Denise Starr. At the Fort Worth Pro Classic, however, Manasse partnered up with Florida’s Josie Kuhlman, and the duo seemed to have gotten on the same wavelength early on in the tournament, as indicated by a first-round victory against the team of Syracuse alumna Madeleine Kobelt and Russia’s Alina Silich. Manasse and Kuhlman managed to dispatch Kobelt and Silich with a score of 3-6, 6-2, 10-7.

The victory allowed the team to advance to the quarterfinals, where it faced off against the pair of Nicole Collie and Zoe Hives. The duo of Manasse and Kuhlman appeared to have linked up a lot better in this fixture, as they managed to beat their opponents in straight sets. The Bear and the Gator bested their opponents with a strong 6-4, 6-2 score, and the win allowed the rising junior and the rising sophomore to advance to the semifinals.

For their semifinal match, Manasse and Kuhlman took on the duo of Veronica M. Corning and Jessica Wacnik. At this point in the tournament, the Cal and Florida mainstays were too much for their semifinal foes to overcome, as they once again won in straight sets, this time with a score of 6-2, 7-5. Even the stronger effort that Corning and Wacnik presented in the second set wasn’t enough to prevent the powerhouse of Manasse and Kuhlman from reaching the championship match.

In the final, Manasse and Kuhlman squared off against Jessica Ho and USC’s Giuliana Olmos, who earned ITA All-American honors in singles competition last season.  Manasse and Kuhlman’s foes experienced similar levels of success early on in their quest to compete for the top honors, and it seemed that this fixture would be decided in the third set. The Bear and Gator, however, once again proved to be a formidable pair and came out on top with another straight-set victory, this time with a score of 6-4, 6-4. By the time the chair umpire declared the match in Manasse and Kuhlman’s favor, there wasn’t much of a shadow of a doubt that they earned the right to be recognized as the Fort Worth Pro Classic doubles champions.

The doubles success proved to be Manasse’s moment of glory at the tournament and will help overshadow the disappointing outcome that she dealt with as a singles competitor at the tournament. Manasse lost in the first round of singles competition after having played three hard-fought qualification matches.

Nevertheless, Manasse will be able to come back home with her head held high after coming out on top against several talented duos in the past few days. But she likely won’t be taking a break anytime soon, because the 2015-16 season is rapidly approaching.

Manny Flores is the assistant sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @manny_0.