No. 11 Cal Hosts Sacramento State

Jan. 19, 2007


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WHAT'S AHEAD: The No. 11 California women's tennis team opens the 2007 season at home against Sacramento State, Saturday at 12 p.m. at Hellman Tennis Center. The Golden Bears have never lost to Sacramento State, winning the first 13 meetings. The most recent meeting was in 2003, when Cal beat the Hornets 4-0. Currently, Sacramento State is ranked No. 63. Last weekend, the Hornets competed in the Maui Invitational. They finished the tournament strong, winning seven matches over the final two days. The following weekend, Cal travels to Southern California to square off against the University of San Diego and San Diego State. The Bears hosted the Aztecs last season and beat them 7-0.

BEARS SUCCEED IN WINTER INVITATIONAL: Cal completed its third home tournament last weekend, the Cal Winter Invitational. The Golden Bears competed against Cal Poly, Fresno State and Saint Mary's. It was another successful tournament for Cal, as it won five of the singles flights and two of the four doubles flights. Senior Zsuzsanna Fodor went undefeated in singles in the tournament, including an impressive victory of Cal Poly's Brittany Blalock 6-1, 6-1. Juniors Cristina Visico and Stephanie Kusano and sophomore Bojana Bobusic each recorded three singles wins over the weekend as well. Visico and Bobusic notched three doubles wins as well to give them six victories for the weekend.

CAL IN THE ITA RANKINGS: Cal enters the spring season ranked No. 11 in the ITA rankings. Junior Susie Babos starts the campaign ranked No. 3 in singles and and No. 2 in doubles with partner Zsuzsanna Fodor. Freshman Nina Henkel, coming off a very successful fall campaign, is currently ranked No. 14. The top recruit, who won the ITA Northwest Regional in October, also placed high in doubles, as Henkel and her partner, sophomore Daron Moore, stand at No. 12 in the nation. Juniors Cristina Visico and Marion Ravelojaona also earned high rankings by the ITA. Visico stands at No. 27, while Ravelojaona is ranked No. 34. Two other ranked Bears were junior Stephanie Kusano (74) and sophomore Bojana Bobusic (77).

FANTASTIC FALL: Susie Babos carried her momentum from her NCAA singles title last May into the fall, as she won the All-American Championships in October and the doubles crown in the ITA Northwest Regional with partner senior Zsuzsanna Fodor. In the opening tournament of the fall, the Cal Invitational, Babos also won the singles draw and the doubles draw with Fodor. It was a successful fall season all around for the Bears. Freshman Nina Henkel made her presence felt when she won the ITA Northwest Regional singles tournament in October, proving why she was one of the best recruits in the country. Adding to the impressive string of fall championships, Marion Ravelojaona won the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational last November. In the finals, No. 6 seed Ravelojaona beat No. 4 seed Sabrina Capannolo of Arizona State, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to win the tournament. It was an impressive run for Ravelojaona, as she knocked off two other seeded competitors over the course of the weekend.

HENKELS ON HER WAY: : It was an impressive fall season for freshman Nina Henkel. The winner of the ITA Northwest Regional, Henkel is starting to make a name for herself, as she posted a fall record of 11-2, Perhaps her most impressive win thus far was upsetting Theresa Logar of Stanford in the semifinals of the regional. Logar, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and ranked No. 3 in the ITA preseason rankings, had a 5-2 lead in the third set, but could not hold off Henkel, as she climbed back to beat Logar, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5. In the finals, Henkel knocked off another Cardinal, Jessica Nguyen, to win the singles title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.

FODOR PAC-10 SINGLES CHAMPION: The impressive string of championships won by Cal in 2006 includes the Pac-10 Singles title by Zsuzsanna Fodor, as she defeated then-No. 10 ranked Amanda Fink of USC to claim the title. Fodor, a 2006 All-American along with Susie Babos, was also named the Pac-10 Player of the Year last season. She entered postseason play ranked No. 3 by the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

BABOS NCAA SINGLES CHAMPION: Last May, Susie Babos became the first Golden Bear to win the NCAA Singles title, becoming just the fourth international player to ever win the national singles title and the second Bear to advance to the NCAA final since Lisa Albano in 1991. In addition, Babos also was the sixth unseeded player to advance to the NCAA final, sixth sophomore to win the national championship and the 15th Pac-10 NCAA singles champion. She defeated USC's Lindsey Nelson, 6-4, 6-1, in the final. Along the way of winning the national crown, Babos upset the 2005 NCAA champ and No. 4 seed Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor, 6-3, 6-4, in the quarterfinals.

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