No. 1 Cal women’s tennis hopes to overpower San Diego State, extend undefeated streak

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When a team plays on its home turf, it always holds the advantage. It has the crowd behind it and more importantly, the familiarity of being at home. This can make a difference, especially during the lows that every tennis player encounters.

On Wednesday, the No. 1 Cal women’s tennis team will be taking on San Diego State at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. The 3-6 unranked Aztecs should not provide too much of a challenge for the 8-0 Bears. The goal for the match remains the same as it has been for the Bears: improvement on doubles.

“Our doubles is still a work in progress,” said Cal head coach Amanda Augustus. “I think we’re going to continue to work on our doubles play and continue to develop more confidence in our doubles. Singles-wise we need to work on some extra serves and returns.”

In their last match, the Aztecs defeated UC Irvine 6-1, breaking a four-match losing streak. SDSU had not won a match since its 4-3 win over UC Davis on Feb. 6. The Aztecs were crushed 7-0 by both now-No. 15 Pepperdine and Washington.  SDSU also lost to Saint Mary’s, 4-3 and Hawaii, 4-2. SDSU has been in a slump lately, which will probably prolonged to Wednesday’s match versus Cal. The Aztecs do not have any ranked players, and looking at their record, the Bears should be expected to come away with a clean win.

“I think it’s going to be a good inspiration for us in the upcoming match versus (No. 3) Florida,” said No. 5 senior Klara Fabikova. “I think for this match that we need to not think about Florida and take care of business.”

The Bears seem to be fairly confident in their ability to glide through this next match with relative ease.

Wednesday will be the perfect opportunity for No. 13 junior Maegan Manasse to refresh and get back into her groove. Last weekend in the doubleheader against UCLA and USC, she lost in a disappointing match to USC’s No. 38 Giuliana Olmos and also lost both doubles matches. She rebounded versus UCLA’s No. 18 Catherine Harrison, winning in three sets. The Bears are going to need her in top form for Friday’s match against No. 3 Florida.

There should be high expectations for No. 102 freshman Olivia Hauger, who shined in Cal’s match versus USC. Fabikova has also been performing excellently, and this match against the Aztecs should give her the chance to work on her serve and her doubles returns that she has been focusing on to improve.

The duo of Fabikova and Hauger is a force to be reckoned with as a doubles pair. No 2. Manasse and Denise Starr need to rebound from losing their last match against UCLA’s unranked pair of Harrison and Kyle McPhillips and gain the confidence that is necessary for Friday’s match.

With the home-court advantage and playing against an unranked team, the Bears hold all the cards and should use this match as good practice and preparation for the much anticipated match against Florida. Cal is expected sweep in both singles and doubles without having to go all out to come away with the win.

Taylor Choe covers women’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected]