No. 10 Cal Heads To Pac-10 Championships

April 25, 2007


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WHAT'S AHEAD:The No. 10 California women's tennis team (19-6, 5-3) heads to Ojai for the 2007 Pac-10 Championships April 26-29. Senior Zsuzsanna Fodor, who is ranked No. 11 in singles, looks to defend her Pac-10 singles title. The Golden Bears are hoping to make a big impact in the tournaments to get back on their winning ways after ending the regular season losing their last three matches. Following the conference championships, Cal will gear up for the NCAA regionals on May 12 and 13. Competing in the singles main draw for Cal will be Fodor, No. 4 Susie Babos, No. 23 Nina Henkel, Stephanie Kusano and Cristina Visico. Two pairs will participate in the doubles main draw, third-ranked Babos and Fodor and Kusano and Henkel.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT:Pac-10 competition will be held in conjunction with the 107th annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament. The Pac-10 men will compete at Libbey Park in Ojai for all rounds. The Pac-10 women will play at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club Thursday, April 26, and Friday, April 27. All semifinal and final matches on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, are at Libbey Park. Matches begin at 8 a.m., with two rounds of singles on opening day. One round of singles and two rounds of doubles will be played on Friday. Semifinals and finals will be held at a time yet to be determined.

LAST YEAR'S PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS:In the main draw of the last year's singles tournament, Fodor emergerd victorious in winning the singles crown, defeating USC's Amanda Fink, 7-6, 6-3. Fodor knocked off another Trojan in the semifinals, beating Lindsey Nelson, 6-1, 6-1. She became the second Cal women's tennis player to win the Pac-10 singles championship (Raquel Kops-Jones 2004).In doubles, Fodor and Susie Babos advanced to the final of the doubles draw before eventually suffering defeat in the title match. Babos, Cristina Visico and Stephanie Kusano all joined Fodor in the singles main draw. Visico and Kusano made it to the second round and Babos advanced to the quarterfinals.

THE COMPETITION:Some of the top singles players and doubles pairs Cal will have to contend with are listed below:

Singles -
ARIZONA: No. 42 Danielle Steinberg, So.; No. 78 Juliette Mavroleon, Jr.
ARIZONA STATE: No. 29 Nadia Abdala, Fr.; No. 67 Sabrina Capannolo, Sr.
STANFORD: No. 12 Theresa Logar, Sr.; No. 14 Celia Durkin, Jr.; No. 16 Anne Yelsey, Sr.; No. 20 Jessica Nguyen, So.; No. 82 Lindsay Burdette, Fr.; No. 92 Whitney Deason, Jr.
UCLA: No. 15 Riza Zalameda, Jr.; No. 35 Tracy Lin, Jr.; No. 49 Yasmin Schnack, Fr.; No. 101 Ashley Joelson, So.
USC: No. 9 Lindsey Nelson, Jr.; No. 10 Sarah Fansler, Fr.; No. 73 Amanda Fink, So.; No. 100 Dianne Matias, Sr.

Doubles -
ARIZONA STATE: No. 12 Kady Pooler, Sr./Roxanne Clarke, Sr.
STANFORD: No. 21 Lindsay Burdette, Fr./Anne Yelsey, Sr.; No. 36 Celia Durkin, Jr./Jessica Ngueyn, So.
UCLA: No. 26 Riza Zalameda, Jr./Yasmin Schnack, Fr.; No. 38 Elizabeth Lumpkin, Jr./Stephanie Wetmore, Fr.;No. 59 Riza Zalameda, Jr./Ashley Joelson, So.

Cal fell to Stanford for the third time this season in a 4-3 loss last Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Center. Although Zsuzsanna Fodor didn't get the team win on Senior Day, the Bears' lone senior won her singles match, defeating Anne Yelsey, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, on the second court. On the top court, No. 4 junior Susie Babos beat ninth-ranked Theresa Logar in straight sets, 6-0, 7-5. Babos dominated the first set, and although Logar hung with the reigning NCAA singles champion in the second set, Babos earned the victory. Sophomore Claire Ilcinkas picked up Cal's third point in the match. She beat Lejla Hodzic on the sixth court, 6-1, 6-4. It was the second of two victories on the day for Ilcinkas, who earned the lone doubles victory for the Bears with fellow sophomore Bojana Bobusic. The sophomore tandem beat Logar and Whitney Deason, 8-5.

In the second-longest homestand of the season for Cal from March 30-April 7, the Bears were dominant in all four conference matches, recording sweeps over Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State. Within those four matches, Cal only surrendered one doubles match on the third court against the Wildcats. In the 24 singles matches played, 20 of them were straight-set victories. Arizona State was the only team to give Cal a little trouble in singles. Susie Babos, Zsuzsanna Fodor and Marion Ravelojaona all went to a third set in their matches, but the Bears took the match-deciding set in all three contests.

Cal finished 9-1 in March, including seven wins on its home court. In the nine victories, five of them were by the score of 6-1. The other four were shutouts, which included three Pac-10 matches. Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona and Arizona State were all swept by the Bears. Before the victory against Hawaii on March 25, Cal took down then-No. 9 Northwestern the day before in the Aloha State. Pepperdine was the first victim to fall to Cal in its five-match homestand on March 4. After the victory over the Ducks on March 9, Cal went on to beat Loyola Marymount, Texas and TCU.

Last May, Susie Babos became the first Golden Bear from the women's team to win the NCAA Singles title, becoming just the fourth international player to ever win the national singles crown and the first 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, 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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