OJAI, Calif. - Maegan Manasse became just the third California player to win the Pac-12 singles championship when she beat UCLA's Catherine Harrison in Sunday's final at Libbey Park. The Conference crown is the latest award in the stellar career of the Golden Bear junior, who was a singles and doubles Al-American last season. Cal's Olivia Hauger added another accolade to her own excellent young career when she captured the singles invitational championship on Sunday.
"It's a really exciting way to end the weekend," Cal head coach Amanda Augustus said. "Both Olivia and Maegan played really well today and played smart tactically. Both competed really hard."
The top-seeded Manasse, ranked 11th nationally in singles, posted a dominant 6-3, 6-2 victory over the third-seeded and 17th-ranked Harrison, the defending Pac-12 champ. Manasse joins prominent alumnae in Raquel Kops-Jones (2004) and Zsuzsanna Fodor (2006) as a Conference main-draw singles champion.
BERKELEY - The No. 2 Golden Bears edged No. 6 Central Washington, 14-13, Saturday on Witter Rugby Field in the national semifinals of the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup Rugby Championship.
California (19-2) advances past the Wildcats (7-4) and into the final to face No. 1-ranked Brigham Young, who defeated No. 7 Arkansas State, 68-20, in Saturday's second semifinal in Provo. The Varsity Cup national championship is set for Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m. MT, televised live on NBCSN from South Field in Provo, Utah.
The University of California is an academics-first institution which sometimes fields competitive sports teams. This past NCAA season, the Cal Bears rolled out a swingman who dazzled in his first and last university year. His name: Jaylen Brown.
The fact this fellow decided on Cal is a clue to his personality. He is a most intelligent and well-rounded young man who could have chosen any school in the U.S., as he was a highly prized high schooler out of Marietta, Georgia. Instead of faking his way through his freshman year like so many (in fairness, a lot of these young men are under pressure from their overheated and overpaid coaches, who view their kids' academic responsibilities as little more than an annoyance), Jaylen was fully engaged in his studies.
We don't spend enough time considering a player's smarts when we try to project their potential as NBAers, an oversight I hereby pledge not to repeat.
You can't be stupid and a NBAer. The intellectual demands are too great. When your coach draws up a play on his whiteboard, you need to be able to process the hoops notation (1 in-bounds, 2 fake a screen then hard left, 3 receive the pass with left hand and pivot on right foot....on and on) represented in Xs & Os. There's film study of opponents, offenses and defenses which could change on every trip down the floor - you get the picture.
I've talked before about a player's fit with his new team and city. We want players who want to be here. Brown definitely checked the box indicating openness to new experiences and places.
Looking for clues on who the Cowboys are targeting in the middle rounds during next weekend's draft? Here's a name to watch out for next weekend in rounds 3-4: Cal wide receiver Kenny Lawler.
Standing at 6-2, 203 pounds, Lawler has good size, but only average speed. Even without blazing speed, he was able to haul in 27 touchdowns catching passes from possible No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff. He saved one of his best performances for his last game, the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth (5 receptions, 75 yards, 3 touchdowns).