Bears Set To Start Season with Cal Invitational

Sept. 26, 2006

BERKELEY - KICKING IT OFF AT HOME: The California women's tennis team starts the 2006 fall season at home, hosting the Cal Invitational this weekend. The Golden Bears, who ended last season ranked No. 13, are joined by Pac-10 rivals Stanford and Arizona State, as well as fellow California teams: Fresno State, USF, Long Beach State, Sacramento State, Pacific, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara and UC Davis. The tournament will feature two flights of 32 in singles and two flights of 16 in doubles. The tournament will take place at the Hellman Tennis Center and the Channing Tennis Courts.

TOUGH COMPETITION: The Cal Invitational will feature some returning champions from a year ago. The Cal roster includes: the 2006 NCAA Singles Champions, Susie Babos and the 2006 Pac-10 Singles Champion, Zsuzsanna Fodor, will be competing. In addition, members of the 2006 NCAA team champion, Stanford, will be participating. Fresno State and Arizona State finished the 2006 campaign in the top 25, coming in 20th and 24th, respectively. Long Beach State just missed the top 25, ending up No. 26.

NEWCOMER TO THE COURTS: Cal will show off its new freshman prospect Nina Henkel this weekend. Henkel was ranked No. 36 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) girls under 18 (G18) last season. The native of Espenau, Germany reached the semifinals at the junior U.S. Open and the junior European Championships. She also won the G18 singles title at Italy's 13th Citta di Prato and the G18 doubles title (with Elena Kulikova of Russia).

SIMPLY THE BEST: The Bears will roll into the Cal Invitational with a lot of momentum from last season. Babos defeated Lindsey Nelson of USC to become the first Cal women's tennis player to capture the national singles crown. She was also selected to the 2006 ITA All-Star team. Fodor upended USC's Amanda Fink to claim the Pac-10 singles title. The duo is currently ranked No. 2 in the ITA preseason doubles rankings. Fodor also comes into the fall ranked in the top five in singles.

RANKED BEARS: Babos and Fodor are joined by Cristina Visico, Stephanie Kusano and Marion Ravelojaona in the ITA preseason rankings. Ravelojaona also made the doubles preseason rankings with her partner, Claire Ilcinkas.

SINGLES:No. 5 - Zsuzsanna Fodor,No. 12- Susie Babos,No. 56 - Cristina Visico,No. 60 - Stephanie Kusano,No. 90 - Marion Ravelojaona,

DOUBLES:No. 2 - Fodor/Babos,No. 60 - Ilcinkas/Ravelojaona

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