Undefeated at Home, No. 5 Bears Face Denver and No. 18 Fresno State
March 18, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 5-ranked California women's tennis team (10-2, 2-0 Pac-10) will host two matches this week at Hellman Tennis Complex. The Golden Bears will take on Denver (8-3) out of the Sun Belt Conference on Thursday (March 19) at 1:30 p.m. The Pioneers come to Berkeley guided by a familiar face as third-year head coach Amy Jensen returns to the Cal campus for the first time as an opposing coach. After a day's break, the Bears will meet No. 18 Fresno State (8-4) of the Western Athletic Conference on Saturday (March 21) at noon. Both matches will feature live video streaming via links available at CalBears.com.
LAST WEEK: The Bears upset then-No. 5-ranked Baylor and then claimed a 5-2 victory against No. 14 Arizona State in the desert. By winning the doubles point against the Sun Devils, Cal opened singles matches with the first point in hand for the eighth time this year. The Bears are 7-1 when they win the doubles point. Cal couldn't wrestle the doubles point away from Baylor but managed to get wins on four singles courts to pull off the 4-3 win. Freshman Stephany Chang sealed the victory for Cal with her 7-6, 6-0 win against Kasia Siwosz at No. 6 singles. The Bears also got wins from freshman Jana Juricova, who posted a 6-0, 6-2 score against No. 46 Lenka Broosova. Seniors Claire Ilcinkas and Bojana Bobusic also got wins at No. 3 and No. 4 singles respectively. The Bears had a match rained out in Austin, Texas before heading to Tempe, Ariz. to face the Sun Devils. Juricova and sophomore Mari Andersson got their 12th doubles win together as they defeated No. 10-ranked Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna at No. 1 doubles. Juricova continued her hot hand as she took out No. 3-ranked McKenna at the top singles court, 6-0, 6-1. Bobusic and lcinkas added points once more as Bobusic claimed her 25th singles victory of the season. Senior Marion Ravelojaona endured the longest match as she prevailed 6-7, 7-6, 1-0 over Sianna Simmons at No. 5 singles.
JURICOVA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman Jana Juricova led the Bears to wins over No. 5 Baylor (4-3) and No. 14 Arizona State (5-2) last week to earn her first conference honor. In singles play, she defeated 46th-ranked Lenka Broosova of Baylor, 6-0, 6-2, and then pulled off the upset of ASU's Kelcy McKenna (ranked No. 3 in the nation), 6-0, 6-1, on the road. Her singles record stands at a team-best 26-4 this year. In doubles, Juricova teamed with sophomore Mari Andersson to take out Baylor's No. 55-ranked duo of Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanviuk, 8-3, before claiming an 8-6 victory over the Sun Devils' 10th-ranked duo of Micaela Hein and McKenna. Juricova and Andersson are 12-1 in matches together this season.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears moved up three spots to No. 5 as a team in the most recent (March 17) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has five ranked singles players with 17th-ranked freshman Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Sophomore Marina Cossou is No. 21 and senior Bojana Bobusic is No. 22. Claire Ilcinkas holds the No. 38 ranking to give the Bears four in the top 40 alone. Sophomore Mari Andersson is ranked No. 75 to complete the list and gives the Bears five among the top 75 singles players in the nation. Cal's arsenal also includes two of the top 10 doubles teams in the country as Andersson and Juricova combine for the No. 7 ranking; and Cossou and Ilcinkas become the No. 9-ranked doubles team.
ON COURT - NO. 42 DENVER: The Pioneers (8-3) come to Berkeley as winners of their last seven matches, four of which were dominating 7-0 performances. Led by third-year head coach and Cal alum, Amy Jensen, Denver holds the No. 42 ranking and features the talents of No. 67-ranked senior Mallory Voelker. Voelker is 14-3 on the year and has yet to be beaten at the top singles court in dual matches with an 11-0 record there. Junior Ute Schnoy holds a 15-2 record on the year and is also undefeated in dual matches with an 11-0 record at No. 3 singles. Schnoy is one of three players with 15 singles wins on the year. Seniors Annette Aksdal and Kyla Iwinski are both 15-6 in singles matches this year; Aksdal is 8-3 at No. 2 singles while Iwinski is 7-4 at No. 4 singles. Voelker and junior Julia Bauregger are 8-2 together at the top doubles court and lead the team with an 11-5 record this year. Aksdal and sophomore Bhavani Tirumurti are second on the team with a 10-5 doubles record (6-3 in duals at No. 3 doubles). The Bears and Pioneers will be meeting on the court for the first time.
ON COURT - NO. 18 FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs (8-4) have won six of their last seven matches; four by a 7-0 score and two by a 6-1 score. Fresno State opened the season with two wins (one over Denver) before falling hard in three losses at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Dogs have since regained their early-season form thanks in part to the play of No. 19-ranked senior Melanie Gloria, who leads the team with a 21-11 singles record (7-5 in duals). Last week's WAC Player of the Week, Gloria teams with fellow senior Tinesta Rowe to hold the No. 16-ranking. The two are 20-6 in all matches this year and 10-1 in duals. The Bulldogs add a pair of outstanding juniors to their steady senior duo as No. 28-ranked Anastasia Petukhova (16-10, 9-3 duals) and No. 89-ranked Renata Kucerkova (17-5, 9-2 duals) give Fresno State a truly formidable lineup on all courts. Kucerkova and Petukhova earned the top doubles ranking in the most recent ITA rankings with an incredible 26-2 record together at the top court. The Bears hold a 31-3 edge over the Bulldogs but lost the last meeting, 4-3, in the second round of the 2006 NCAA tournament.
JENSEN RETURNS TO BERKELEY: A four-time All-American selection and two-time All-Conference selection while at Cal, Denver head coach Amy Jensen returns to face her alma mater as a coach for the first time when the Pioneers invade Hellman Tennis Complex this weekend. Jensen won the 1998 and 1999 NCAA doubles championship with Cal head coach Amanda Augustus and retained the title one more year as she won the 2000 crown with Claire Curran. Jensen served as Cal's assistant and associate head coach from 2001-2006 under the guidance of Jan Brogan. In her second season as head coach of the Pioneers, Jensen guided Denver to its finest season in school history with a 23-3 record, Sun Belt Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2007, Jensen led the Pioneers to a 14-9 record and third place finish at the Sun Belt Conference championship. While at Cal, she posted a career record of 105-52 in singles and a remarkable 94-29 record in doubles. She had a career high singles ranking of No. 9 and finished with a national doubles ranking of No. 2 for three consecutive years. Jensen graduated from Cal in May 2002 with a pre-med degree in integrative biology.
POWER OF THE PAC: All nine of the Pac-10's women's tennis teams hold rankings in the latest Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll of NCAA Division I Women's Tennis teams--making the Pac-10 one of the toughest leagues in collegiate women's tennis. Cal leads the way with the No. 5 ranking; followed closely by No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC. Stanford checks in next at No. 11 with Arizona State at No. 22 to give the conference five teams in the top-25 alone. Washington holds the No. 31 spot with Arizona at No. 64 and Oregon at No. 65. Washington State cracked the rankings for the first time on March 17 at No. 74. Last year, Cal and UCLA battled it out in the NCAA team championship match to give the conference full control of the national title. Three Pac-10 teams made the NCAA quarterfinals and four made it as far as the round of 16. The conference also produced two NCAA singles championship quarterfinalists and the doubles national champion among its 10 ITA All-Americans. Four of those All-American were Bears including currently active senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Marina Cossou as well as Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano.
BEARS TAKE WEEKLY HONORS: Freshman Jana Juricova (Mar. 9-15) and sophomore Mari Andersson (Feb. 9-15) have each been named Pac-10 Players of the Week this season to give Cal the most players in conference history to earn the award with eight. 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 Juricova at the annual indoor tournament. Andersson didn't drop a set as she defeated three different ranked opponents; No. 111 Keri Wong of Clemson; No. 27 Christy Striplin of Georgia Tech; and No. 100 Yvette Hyndman of Georgia. 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. Juricova led the Bears to wins over No. 5 Baylor (4-3) and No. 14 Arizona State (5-2) as she defeated 46th-ranked Lenka Broosova of Baylor and then pulled off the upset of ASU's Kelcy McKenna (ranked No. 3 in the nation) on the road. In doubles, Juricova teamed with Andersson again to take out Baylor's No. 55-ranked duo of Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanviuk, before claiming an 8-6 victory over the Sun Devils' 10th-ranked duo of Micaela Hein and McKenna.
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.
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 48-16 (.750) 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. As a player, Augustus earned All-American honors six times (twice for doubles, four times for singles) and All-Pac-10 honors in each of her four years. She teamed with Amy Jensen to capture the NCAA title in both 1998 and 1999 and became the first tandem to win back-to-back doubles championships.