No. 4 Cal (5-2) Travels to Eugene to Face No. 39 Oregon
Feb. 25, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 4 California women's tennis team (5-2) continues its short two-game road trip this weekend Sunday, March 2, as the Bears tackle No. 39 Oregon at 1:30 p.m. Cal owns a perfect 10-0 all-time advantage over the Ducks, including last year's 7-0 blanking in Berkeley on March 2.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA: The Bears enter the Oregon match with a record of 5-2 after splitting a weekend series with No. 33 Pepperdine and No. 5 Stanford. On Friday, Cal breezed past the Waves, 4-0, before falling to the Cardinal, 6-1. In singles play, 12th-ranked Raquel Kops-Jones continues her domination over the world of intercollegiate tennis, having earned a 6-1 dual record thus far. No. 54 junior Jieun Jacobs is not far behind, compiling a 5-2 slate for second on the team. In doubles, the fourth-ranked tandem of Kops-Jones and senior Christina Fusano, the 2002 Pac-10 champions, are continuing their run of success with a 5-2 dual record. Overall, the squad has earned a 25-13 dual singles total and a 13-7 doubles record through seven matches.
ABOUT OREGON: The Ducks, ranked No. 34 in the nation, have opened 2003 with a strong 9-3 record. Oregon is led by a No. 28 sophomore Daria Panova, on the top court. The Moscow, Russia native has come up big for the Ducks in the early going, notching a 7-3 record at the No. 1 spot and has been a large part of their 2003 success. Courtney Nagle and Panova hold down the top spot in doubles. The pair has posted a 5-6 record there.
WEEKEND RESULTS: After throttling No. 33 Pepperdine 4-0 on Friday, the 4th-ranked Bears were pitted in a rematch against long-time nemesis Stanford after defeating the Cardinal, 4-3, in the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships (2/7). The Cardinal was ready for the Bears, jumping out to the early 1-0 lead by earning the doubles point, only Cal's second missed opportunity in seven chances. The fourth-ranked pair of Kops-Jones and Fusano were defeated on court No. 1 by No. 8 Lauren Barnikow and Erin Burdette, for only their second loss of the season. Stanford was dominant in singles action, winning five of the six matches, including three in straight sets. The lone victory for the Bears came from Kops-Jones at No. 1, as she posted her second consecutive straight-set victory over No. 17 Amber Liu, and claimed her sixth victory of the dual season (6-1).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: In addition to the No. 4 national team ranking, four singles players and one doubles tandem have also garnered national attention. Kops-Jones enters the season ranked No. 12, while senior captain Fusano is No. 34, junior Catherine Lynch is No. 46 and Jieun Jacobs claims No. 54. Defending Pac-10 doubles champions, Kops-Jones and Fusano, check in at No. 4.
HEAVY COMPETITION: Through the first seven matches of the year, the Bears have faced six teams ranked in the Top 35 nationally, including three teams ranked in the Top 5. The schedule doesn't get any easier from there as 12 of the final 13 scheduled teams are in the Top 55, including five teams currently ranked in the Top 10.
HELLMAN TOUGH FOR PAC-10 OUTSIDERS: Friday's 4-0 sweep of the visiting Waves of Pepperdine marked the team's 30th-consecutive win over a non-Pac-10 opponent at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. The last time that a non-conference opponent defeated the Bears at home came on March 8, 1996 when Cal was upended by No. 10 Pepperdine by a 5-4 score. This year there will be five more challengers to this impressive streak (Fresno State, North Carolina, Texas, Purdue and Harvard).