No. 4 Seed Bears Travel to 19th NCAA Sweet 16 Appearance
May 12, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: After claiming two first round victories this past weekend at the NCAA Regionals in College Station, Texas, the California women's tennis team (21-5, 6-2, Pac-10) advances to its 19th overall Sweet 16 appearance and 18th out of the last 19. The Bears will challenge #13 North Carolina on the Stadium Courts at the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. The match is set to take place Thursday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. (PST).
WHAT & WHERE: The University of Florida will host the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Florida. Each team match will be played on six courts and will be stopped immediately when an overall winner is determined. Tickets for the 10-day event may be obtained by calling the Florida box office at 1-800-34-GATOR, ext. 6800. The Gator Ticket Office is located between Gates 1 and 2 on the west side of the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Office hours are 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Follow all the action at http://www.GatorZone.com.
CAL AT THE NCAAs: The Bears are one of three teams in the nation, along with Stanford and UCLA, to participate in all 22 NCAA Tournaments since its inception in 1982. Out of those 22 appearances, Cal has advanced to at least the Sweet 16 in 19 of those showings, four times advancing to the semifinals in 2000, 1999, 1994 and 1985. Overall, the Golden Bears own a 58-21 (.734) cumulative record at the NCAAs. In the Round of 16, the Bears have advanced to at least the quarterfinal round on 15 out of the 19 appearances.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INDIVIDUAL PLAY: In NCAA individual competition, the Bears have had a singles or doubles entry in 20 of 22 years, including 17 in a row. In 1998, '99 and 2000, current assistant coach Amy Jensen became the only player in NCAA history to capture three consecutive NCAA doubles titles, giving Cal its first national championships. In the 2003 NCAA singles competition, three players will be representing Cal. #25 Christina Fusano (25-12), a senior, and #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (39-14) and #53 Jieun Jacobs (29-9), both juniors, were selected for individual tourney play, while #4 Fusano/Kops-Jones (31-9) will represent the Bears in the doubles competition. Fusano and Kops-Jones are making their second consecutive trip to the singles championship while Jacobs makes her first appearance.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA: The #13 Tarheels defeated the College of Charleston, 4-0, and Clemson, 4-1, in the opening rounds of NCAA Championship play to advance to their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. Cal owns a 2-0 all-time advantage over North Carolina, including a hard-fought 4-3 victory March 13, 2003 in Berkeley.
LAST WEEKEND vs. ARMY: Cal was never really threatened in the Round of 64 matchup with the Black Knights, sweeping Army with a 4-0 decision. The Bears took the early 1-0 lead with doubles victories on courts two and three, halting the match in progress on court one. In singles action, junior Nicole Havlicek handed the Golden Bears a 2-0 lead with her tidy 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lyndsey Nott on court six, while claiming her 31st victory of the year. Senior team captain #25 Christina Fusano followed that up with her straight set victory, defeating Annie Collier, 6-0, 6-2, on court two. Junior All-American #6 Raquel Kops-Jones clinched the match with her team-leading 39th victory of the season in a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Marissa Limsiaco on court one.
LAST WEEKEND vs. TEXAS A&M: Cal opened the competition by claiming the doubles point, with victories from #4 Fusano/Kops-Jones on court one and Jacobs/Scheldt on court two. #25 Fusano then claimed the first singles victory over Ashley Hedberg and Scheldt followed with a 6-3, 6-0 decision over Nicki Mechem for the 3-0 lead. #93 Lynch clinched the 4-0 victory with her 6-1, 6-1 victory over Roberta Spencer on court three.
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