No. 4 Cal Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals with 4-1 Victory over North Carolina
May 15, 2003
Gainesville, Fla. - The #4 University of California women's tennis team (22-5) survived a scare in its NCAA Sweet 16 match with #13 North Carolina (19-9), but escaped with a 4-1 victory to advance to its 12th quarterfinal showing in the 22 years of the NCAA Championship Tournament. The Bears will face Pac-10 rival USC in the quarterfinals Friday, May 16 at 2:00 p.m. (EST).
Entering today's match, the Bears had only lost one match in which they won the doubles point and only won one match in which they lost the doubles point. So, things did not look good for Cal early after dropping two of three doubles matches to hand North Carolina the early 1-0 lead.
On the bright side, Cal's fourth-ranked tandem of Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones continued on their torrid pace, winning their sixth match in a row on court one, defeating #7 Cline/Mojzis, 8-3. The Cal duo jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead before the Tarheels rattled off three straight games to make things interesting. But the senior Fusano served for the 8-3 victory to give the Bears the early advantage.
Meanwhile, courts two and three were engaged in tightly contested matches with Cal up 7-6 on No. 2 and down 6-5 on No. 3. Nicole Havlicek and Catherine Lynch were down 1-3 and 2-4 in the early stages of their match with #45 Bunn/Pinchbeck, but eventually narrowed the gap to 5-6. The UNC duo proved too much down the stretch, however, claiming an 8-6 victory to tie things at 1-1. The doubles point boiled down to court No. 2, where Jieun Jacobs and Jody Scheldt were in the midst of an 8-8 tiebreaker with Marlene Mejia and Lee Bairos.
Jacobs and Scheldt looked to be in control early, establishing leads of 4-2 and then again at 7-5. But down 7-5 and 40-15, the UNC pair rallied back to force deuce and ultimately take the game to narrow the gap to 7-6. UNC then went on to take an 8-7 lead, but this time Cal rallied back. Down 40-love, Jacobs and Scheldt responded to force deuce and an 8-8 tiebreaker. But it was all Tarheels in the tiebreaker as the UNC duo opened up a 5-0 lead and ultimately the 9-8 (7-2) victory to give the Tarheels the 1-0 advantage heading into the singles competition.
Cal responded to the doubles loss by jumping out to 1-0 leads in four of the six singles matches, while claiming first set victories in four of the six as well. On court five, after falling down 1-3 to Lee Bairos, Jody Scheldt responded with five straight games to take the first set, 6-3, in come back fashion. She didn't let the same thing happen in the second stanza, though, taking a 4-1 lead and eventually the 6-3, 6-3 victory to tie the match at one apiece. #53 Jieun Jacobs put the Bears in the drivers seat with her 6-4, 6-4 decision over Kendall Cline on court four. The Cal junior took a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Cline tied it at 4-4 before Jacobs closed it out at 6-4. In the second set, Jacobs fell behind 0-2, rallied to take five straight games for the 5-2 lead and eventual 6-4, 6-4 victory for the 2-1 team lead.
On court one, #6 Kops-Jones gave the Bears the 3-1 lead with her commanding 6-4, 6-2 victory over #13 Kate Pinchbeck. The Cal All-American was never really threatened in the match, trailing only once, 1-2, in the second set. With the win, Kops-Jones claimed her 40th victory of the year to improve to 40-14 overall.
All the Bears needed was a victory from one of the three remaining matches and they received the clincher from Nicole Havlicek on court six. After dropping the first set, 3-6, she responded to take a 6-2, 7-5 second and third sets, respectively, to clinch the 4-1 victory for the Bears. Havlicek looked to have it locked up with a 5-2 advantage in the third, but Kendrick Bunn made things interesting by closing the gap to 5-5. The junior from Ontario showed nerves of steel to close it out with an ace in the third set to claim the 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 hard fought victory.
On court two, senior #25 Christina Fusano was engaged in a battle with #42 Marlene Mejia, 3-6, 6-4, 1-5 when the match was halted, and #93 Catherine Lynch was mired in a 6-4, 5-7, 5-0 fight with #44 Aniela Mojzis.
'The match was similar to the last time the two teams played each other, except for us losing the doubles point,' said head coach Jan Brogan. 'I had absolute confidence that we would win ... having Jody (Scheldt) in the singles lineup this time helped us out a lot. This was an important win for us.'
With the victory, Cal enters its 12th quarterfinal showing in the 22 years of the championship, and will face Pac-10 rival #5 USC at 2:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, May 16. The Trojans defeated Kansas State, 4-0, in the Round of 16 this afternoon.
Complete tournament results can be found on the University of Florida's website at www.GatorZone.com.
COMPLETE RESULTS:Doubles: (North Carolina wins doubles point)1. #4 Fusano/Kops-Jones (Cal) d. #7 Cline/Mojzis (UNC), 8-32. Bairos/Mejia (UNC) d. Jacobs/Scheldt (Cal), 9-8 (7-2)3. #45 Bunn/Pinchbeck (UNC) d. Havlicek/Lynch (Cal), 8-6
Singles:1. #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) d. #13 Kate Pinchbeck (UNC), 6-4, 6-22. #25 Christina Fusano (Cal) vs. #42 Marlene Mejia (UNC), DNF3. #93 Catherine Lynch (Cal) vs. #44 Aniela Mojzis (UNC), DNF4. #53 Jieun Jacobs (Cal) d. Kendall Cline (UNC), 6-4, 6-45. Jody Scheldt (Cal) d. Lee Bairos (UNC), 6-3, 6-36. Nicole Havlicek (Cal) d. Kendrick Bunn (UNC), 3-6, 6-2, 7-5*ORDER OF FINISH: 5, 4, 1, 6** Clinched match
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