Cal women’s head tennis coach Amanda Augustus made history in 1999 when she played for the 10-0 Bears, which, at that time, was Cal’s best start to the season. And now, she is once again making history by coaching the 12-0 Bears in 2016, who have surpassed her team’s old record.
This weekend the undefeated No. 2 Bears bested Arizona State (7-4, 1-1 Pac-12), 5-2, on Friday and also defeated Arizona (9-5, 0-2), 6-1, on Saturday to begin their Pac-12 season.
“We did a good job this weekend in different conditions, so I thought we competed well both matches,” Augustus said. “I was happy to see how we put it together in the doubles today. Obviously we have some things to work on, but I was pleased to get Pac-12 wins on the road.”
In Friday’s match versus the Sun Devils, the Bears’ singles players brought home the win for the team after recovering from losing the doubles point. The No. 52 pair of Klara Fabikova and Olivia Hauger lost to the unranked duo of Desirae Krawczyk and Stephanie Vlad, 6-1, while Cal’s Lynn Chi and Maria Smith also lost to Kassidy Jump and Gussie O’Sullivan.
The Bears were able to come back and win five out of the six singles matches. Chi was the first to finish, defeating Ebony Panoho 6-3, 6-1. ASU’s unranked Jump upset No. 5 Fabikova 6-3, 6-4. No. 80 Denise Starr, No. 96 Hauger, and Karla Popovic all won their matches in two sets, with No. 10 Maegan Manasse clinching the win for Cal defeating No. 36 Krawczyk 6-3, 7-5.
“I think I played well,” Manasse said when asked about her weekend’s performance. “Denise (Starr) and I didn’t get to finish our doubles matches but we were in there. In singles every match has gotten better and better. I had a lot of fun this weekend.”
With the more difficult of the two matches out of the way, the Bears continued the second half of their weekend in Tucson versus Arizona. The doubles went a little better for Cal on Saturday as it was able to win the doubles point with Fabikova and Hauger’s 6-3 win over Samantha Czarniak and Inge Hendrikx and also with Chi and Smith’s defeat of Devin Chypyha and Sophia Thomas, 6-3.
Once again, Cal won five of the six singles points despite Manasse being upset by Lauren Marker in a close match 6-4, 7-6 (10-7). Fabikova, however, seemed to get her groove back as she beat Shayne Austin 6-2, 6-1. Freshman standout Hauger appears to have a knack for comebacks as she battled back from a first set deficit, defeating Hendrikx 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Popovic and Chi both played solid matches as well, winning in two sets. Starr was indeed the star of Saturday’s match as she clinched the win for the Bears by beating Czarniak 6-4, 6-0.
“This weekend I think we did really well and we competed out hearts out,” Augustus said. “We were tested with the heat but able to fight through it. I actually don’t think it affected us at all, which is good. We are on track with where we need to be at this point in the season.”
The next two matches for Cal will be at home against USC and UCLA, which it already played a couple of weeks ago. The two wins in Arizona will most likely be confidence boosters for the upcoming matches as well as the fact that they know what to expect from the Trojans and Bruins.
“It’s a great feeling to be undefeated,” Manasse said. “Every school competes really hard with us because we have a target on our backs, but we compete really well.”
Taylor Choe covers women’s tennis. Contact her at [email protected]