Manasse Stars At Riviera & Martin Honored

Annually, the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, which is staged at the preeminent golf/tennis facility in the US, opens the intercollegiate tennis season. Showcasing the elite players from schools across the country, the event is unmatched. That was more than clear this year.

Denise Starr, Amanda Augustus and Maegan Manasse

Denise Starr, Amanda Augustus and Maegan Manasse

Danielle Collins of Virginia, who initially was a Florida University competitor, waltzed past Sinead Lothan of Miami, a Waterford, Ireland native, 6-1, 6-2 in the singles trophy round. The rhythm continued in the doubles final when Southern California’s Maegan Manasse and her Cal teammate, Denise Starr from Brooklyn, New York salsaed past Hayley Carter and Whitney Kay of North Carolina, 6-1, 6-4.

Ironically, the last time a Berkeley tandem was the Riviera champion, current women’s coach Amanda Augustus, who grew up in Manhattan Beach, along with Cal teammate, Renata Kolbovic of Brno, Czech Republic, received the trophy in 1995. Two years before (1993), Keirsten Alley and Pam Nelson won the school’s first Riviera doubles title.

Maegan Manasse Photo The Daily Californian

Maegan Manasse Photo The Daily Californian

A delighted Augustus told Cal Athletics, “I’m really happy that the next generation of Bears can come home with the really cool trophy they give at this tournament. It kind of looks like an Oscar. It’ll be a trophy to remember for them, to be sure. They also have a perpetual trophy – a really big trophy – that they engrave the champions’ and finalists’ names on. To have Maegan and Denise become a part of history in that way is a tremendous honor.”

Manasse, who lost 7-6, 6-3 in the singles semifinals to Collins, admitted to the school’s publication,  “I lost in singles yesterday, but I still had to play doubles, so I focused on that… We play great together, and it’s so much fun.”

Amy Jensen and Amanda Augustus Photo www.und.com

Amy Jensen and Amanda Augustus Photo www.und.com

As an intercollegiate competitor at Cal, Augustus, who graduated in 1999, was a gifted doubles player. She and Amy Jensen won the NCAA Women’s Doubles in 1998 and in her senior year (’99). They became the first team to capture back-to-back titles. A four-time All-American, she was the Cissy Leary Sportsmanship Award winner for the ITA’s Northwest Region. Augustus also received the Gladys Heldman Award for her academic and athletic achievements. The Daily Californian named her the 1998 Female Athlete of the Year.

Pam Austin, the Director of Tennis at the Riviera Country Club and a committed member of the SCTA Board of Directors, noted, “As always the ITA/Riviera All-American Championships field was outstanding. The tournament was a great opportunity to watch the best intercollegiate players up close.  The experience of having involvement with the local tennis community, a situation where club members housed players and the ball kids were from Riviera, was immeasurable. This year was the biggest event yet, and 2016 promises, if it is possible, to be even better.”

Billy Martin Photo UCLA Athletics

Billy Martin Photo UCLA Athletics

UCLA has a superlative academic-tennis reputation. Over the years, the university has had a legion of outstanding players. Beginning in 1984, which was the inaugural year for the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame, Arthur Ashe was a charter member, and so was his coach, JD Morgan. Since then, Jack Tidball (in 1987), Jimmy Connors (in1995), Glenn Bassett (in 1998), Allen Fox (in 2005), Herb Flam (in 2006), Keri Phebus (in 2007), Larry Nagler (in 2011) and Charlie Pasarell (in 2012) have been acknowledged.

During halftime of the UCLA-Arizona State football game at the Rose Bowl, men’s coach, Billy Martin became the latest former Bruin tennis standout to join this exclusive group, along with Annett Buckner Davis-volleyball; Danny Farmer-football and volleyball; Paul Nihipali-volleyball; Jan Palchikoff-rowing and swimming, Janice Parks-softball, Eric Valent-baseball; and Richard Washington-basketball.

Martin, the third-longest tenured active coach at the university, became a member of the Southern California Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and the ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1996. He won the NCAA singles and led the Bruins to the team title in 1975. In his 22 years as coach, he has an impressive 499-106 record, along with an NCAA title in 2005.

The four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, who has won 11 conference titles, told the Daily Bruin, “It’s a great honor knowing how many great Bruins are in (the Athletics Hall of Fame) in all the different sports. To feel like I’m going to be part of that is very humbling.”

Mark Winters

 

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