No. 3 Golden Bears Host Huskies and Cougars to Open Conference Play
Feb. 26, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 3-ranked California women's tennis team (5-1) returns from a two-week layoff and opens Pac-10 Conference play with two matches at home as the Golden Bears host No. 38 Washington (7-2) on Friday (Feb. 27) at 1:30 p.m. and No. 58 Washington State (3-7) on Saturday (Feb. 28) at 11 a.m. Both matches will be played at the Hellman Tennis Complex on the Berkeley campus. This will be the first and only regular season meetings for Cal against the Huskies and Cougars and will count towards the Pac-10 standings. Please check CalBears.com for information, updates and live streaming video.
ANDERSSON NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Mari Andersson was named Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 9-15. Andersson helped the Bears to a 2-1 record and their first appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship semifinal since 2004 as she won all three of her singles matches and two of her three doubles matches with freshman Jana Juricova. In singles play, Andersson didn't drop a set as she defeated three different ranked opponents. She opened up with a 6-2, 7-5 win over No. 111 Keri Wong of Clemson and followed that up with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against No. 27 Christy Striplin of Georgia Tech. She then finished off No. 100 Yvette Hyndman of Georgia, 7-6(2), 6-0. In doubles, Andersson and Juricova went 2-1 on the second court as they defeated Clemson's duo of Bek and Hadzismilimovic, 8-4 in the opening round and got an 8-5 win over Hickey and Striplin of Georgia Tech in the quarterfinal. Andersson was named to the ITA National Team Indoor All-Tournament Team and also received Cal's Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week award that same week.
INDOOR HONORS: Senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson were each named to the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championship All-Tournament Team. Andersson held the third-court position while Ilcinkas took fourth-court honors. The two each went 3-0 in singles matches at the annual team tournament and picked up two wins each with their doubles partners as the Bears advanced to the semifinal match for the first time since 2004. The pair was joined by four other singles players and three doubles teams on the all-tournament team. Representing the top court was Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, who was also named the tournament's most outstanding player. Court two honors belonged to Duke's Ellah Nze. On court five, Georgia had Naoko Ueshima while Shannon Matthews of Notre Dame rounded out the singles players on court six. All three doubles teams came from Northwestern: Georgia Rose and Lauren Lui on the top court, Maria Mosolova and Keri Robison on court two and Samantha Murray and Elena Chernyakova on court three. Ilcinkas and Andersson became the first two Bears to receive all-tournament honors at the Indoor Championships.
LAST WEEK: The Bears had a weekend off after returning from the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championships where they advanced to the semifinal round for the first time since 2004. Cal opened the annual Madison, Wis. tournament with a 4-3 victory over No. 12 Clemson in the round of 16. Next, the Bears came away with a 5-2 win against No. 7 Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals. No. 6 Georgia proved to be too much for Cal as the Bears fell, 4-2 in the semifinal. Georgia would eventually fall to top-seeded and top-ranked Northwestern, making the Wildcats the first Big 10 team to win the title. Senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson were each named to the all-tournament team.
ON COURT - NO. 38 WASHINGTON: The Huskies (7-2) are looking to avenge a loss to the Bears from earlier this season at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Cal advanced to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship with a 5-2 win against a No. 37-ranked Washington team on Feb. 1. The Huskies played their first two home matches in over a month last weekend and came away with a 1-1 split, dropping a 4-3 decision to No. 40 Sacramento State before claiming a win over No. 75 Rice. Washington has two players who hold ITA singles rankings: sophomore Venise Chan is ranked No. 53 and freshman Denise Dy is No. 61. Chan is 15-3 in singles matches this year, 8-1 in dual matches. Dy is 14-4 in her singles matches, and is also 8-1 in dual matches. Dy's resume includes an upset over sophomore Marina Cossou at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Chan and Dy combine to form the Huskies' top doubles team, holding the No. 28 ranking. The pair has posted a 12-2 record together. The Bears hold a 21-3 all-time series advantage against the Huskies and have won their last four meetings against Washington.
ON COURT - NO. 58 WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars (3-7) are coming off back-to-back losses to 45 Oregon and No. 36 Ohio State. Oregon outlasted the Cougars 7-0 and Ohio State defeated the Cougars, 5-2. Against the Buckeyes, WSU forced three-set matches at the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 positions winning two of the three. Washington State has multiple players who have already recorded double-digit wins in singles this season. Freshman Elisabeth Fournier leads the way for the Cougars with 13 victories, while senior Aleksandra Cekic and sophomore Marina Nicolas have each secured 10 wins apiece. Sophomore Ekaterina Kamendova returned to the courts for the first time since suffering a collapsed lung against Weber State, Jan. 22. Kamendova now has a 9-4 singles record, 8-6 in doubles. The Cougars have no ranked players in singles or doubles. The Bears own a 12-1 lead over the Cougars in the all-time series and have won the last six meetings against Washington State.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Golden Bears are ranked No. 3 as a team in the most recent (Feb. 24) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has five ranked singles players led by 16th-ranked freshman Jana Juricova. Sophomore Marina Cossou isn't far behind, holding down the No. 18 spot. Senior Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 27 and senior Claire Ilcinkas is No. 32. Sophomore Mari Andersson received her first ITA singles ranking a week ago, debuting at No. 110. The Bears also boast one of the top-10 ranked doubles teams in the country as Cossou and Ilcinkas team up to hold down the No. 8 ranking.
CAL AT THE ITA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Bears made their fourth consecutive appearance at the indoor championship and advanced to the semifinal for the first time since 2004. Cal has now won its opening match in seven of its last nine visits to Madison, Wis. for the annual tournament. The Bears rank sixth among all teams for most wins at the championship with 24 and are only one of 11 teams that can claim they have made it to the final of the championship, earning runner-up status in 2000. In the second year of its existence, senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson earned honors on the Indoor Championship All-Tournament Team; Ilcinkas on the fourth singles court and Andersson on the third.
FALL 2008 REVIEW: The Bears were highly successful in fall individual tournaments in 2008. Senior Bojana Bobusic advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Singles Championship match and earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Championships along with All-Americans sophomore Marina Cossou and senior Claire Ilcinkas. Freshman Jana Juricova put her name on the map as she posted a team-best 17-2 overall singles record. She won the Saint Mary's Invitational singles title and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational singles title and joined forces with Rachael Dillon to win the doubles championship at the Saint Mary's Invitational as well. Senior Marion Ravelojaona returned from a leg injury a year ago to claim the Cal Nike Invitational Blue Flight singles championship in the early fall.
HEAD COACH Amanda Augustus: In just her first season at the helm for the Golden Bears, head coach Amanda Augustus led Cal to a program-best finish as the NCAA championship runner up in 2008. Augustus recorded a 21-6 overall record and helped Cal to a third place finish in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 conference mark. The Bears completed the season with the No. 3 ranking, which was also the highest finish in Cal history. In just two seasons as a collegiate head coach, Augustus has solidified a 43-15 overall record and proven that her squads will be ones to be reckoned with, producing four ITA All-American selections in her first season at Cal and pushing the Bears to heights not reached before.