No. 10 Cal Opens Season with Trip to San Diego

Jan. 28, 2003

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WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 10 California women's tennis team kicks off the 2003 season with a trip down South. The Bears face the San Diego Toreros at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 and the No. 28 San Diego State Aztecs on Saturday, Feb. 1 at noon. Cal is a perfect 7-0 all-time vs. the Toreros and 6-1 vs. the Aztecs.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The team enters this season ranked No. 10 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. In addition to the team ranking, four singles players and one doubles tandem also garnered national attention. Junior Raquel Kops-Jones enters the season ranked No. 12 overall, while senior captain Christina Fusano is No. 34 and junior Catherine Lynch is No. 46. The trio is expected to hold down the top half of the singles lineup this season. Junior Jieun Jacobs also claimed a No. 54 rank. Kops-Jones and her doubles partner Fusano, teamed together to win the Pac-10 doubles title in 2002 and checked in at No. 4 in the nation.

IN THE FALL: The team got off to a quick start in the fall at the Bulldog Classic in Fresno. The Bears advanced three players to the quarterfinal round and finished the weekend with one advancing to the finals. Kops-Jones, a Fresno native, provided quite a homecoming as she breezed through the first four rounds of action to advance to the title match. Lynch and Nicole Havlicek met in an all Cal quarterfinal match, with Lynch escaping in a three-set victory. Kops-Jones and Lynch also teamed up to advance to the finals of the doubles bracket. Two weeks later at the All-American Championships, Kops-Jones and Lynch made it into the main draw, with Kops-Jones falling in the second round and Lynch in the first. But in the consolation draw, Jacobs went five rounds and defeated four consecutive ranked opponents to win the consolation title. At the Saint Mary's Invitational, Cal put on one of the strongest team showings of the season, advancing four singles players into the Round of 32. Carla Arguelles and freshman Jessica Shu recorded the strongest performances of the team, both cruising into the Round of 16. Arquelles then teamed with Havlicek to take the doubles crown. At the Regional Championships, Kops-Jones, Lynch and Fusano and two doubles tandems (Kops-Jones/Fusano and Arguelles/Havlicek) all advanced to the quarterfinals. As a doubles pair, Kops-Jones and Fusano advanced all the way to the semifinals, but in singles competition the two faced off against each other in the semifinals. Kops-Jones defeated her teammate and eventually went on to win the championship, earning her a spot in the exclusive 32-man draw of the National Indoor Championships. Kops-Jones entered the prestigious tournament for the first time in her career and teamed with Fusano to become the first Cal women's doubles team at the Indoors since Amy Jensen and Claire Curran teamed up to win it in 1999. While Kops-Jones dropped her first round singles match to No. 17 Mira Radu of Mississippi, she and Fusano made a strong run in the doubles bracket, advancing to the semifinals.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO: The USD women's tennis team (0-1) dropped their season opener on the road to the University of Arizona, 6-1, Saturday, Jan. 25. USD's lone point came from sophomore Jennifer Brown at the No. 6 singles spot with Brown earning a 6-3, 6-4 win over Zorica Zasova.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE: The No. 28 San Diego State women's tennis team (1-0) opened its 2003 spring season with a 6-1 win against Long Beach State at the SDSU Tennis Courts Saturday, Jan. 25. Head coach Peter Mattera returns for his 10th year at the helm of the women's program, while five letterwinners, including No. 6 Silvia Tornier, return from last year's squad that advanced to the first round of the NCAA tournament. SDSU finished the 2002 season ranked 30th in the nation.

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