No. 8 Women's Tennis Takes On Oregon and Pepperdine

April 8, 2009

BERKELEY -

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THIS WEEK: The No. 8-ranked California women's tennis team (14-4, 5-1 Pac-10) will play its third and fourth home matches in a row at Hellman Tennis Complex as the Golden Bears host No. 56 Oregon (9-9, 1-4 Pac-10) in a noon match on Saturday, April 11, and No. 45 Pepperdine (9-9) at noon on Sunday, April 12. Cal pulled off consecutive victories over the Arizona schools last weekend to maintain a spot in the race for the conference title with just two Pac-10 matches left on the schedule. Both of this weekend's matches will be streamed live via links at the women's tennis page at CalBears.com.

LAST WEEK: The Bears claimed convincing wins over No. 21 Arizona State and No. 59 Arizona to open up a five-match home-stand. Cal defeated the Sun Devils for the ninth consecutive time in a 5-2 victory as senior Bojana Bobusic clinched the win with her 6-3, 6-2 court-three win against Laila Abdala. The Bears were unable to win the doubles point for just the sixth time this season but responded with five wins in singles play. Cal's No. 6-ranked duo of sophomore Mari Andersson and freshman Jana Juricova walked away with a big 8-2 victory against No. 13-ranked Micaela Hein and Kelcy McKenna to get the Bears' only doubles win. Juricova later defeated No. 3-ranked McKenna in singles by a 6-1, 6-2 score on the top singles court. Cal took out the Wildcats in a 7-0 sweep as it won all nine matches on the day. Andersson and Juricova got their 15th doubles win of the year to start things off before the Bears rolled to their 12th doubles point of the season. Freshman Stephany Chang clinched the win for Cal with a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Debora Castany at court six. With the win over Arizona, the Bears pushed their record to 10-2 when they win the doubles point.

BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 8 as a team in the most recent (April 7) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has five ranked singles players with 10th-ranked freshman Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Senior Bojana Bobusic is No. 21 and sophomore Marina Cossou is No. 25. Sophomore Mari Andersson holds the No. 42 ranking and senior Claire Ilcinkas is ranked No. 47 to give the Bears five singles players among the top 50 in the nation. Cal's arsenal also includes three of the top 40 doubles teams in the country as Andersson and Juricova combine for the No. 6 ranking; Cossou and Ilcinkas become the No. 20-ranked doubles team; and Bobusic and Juricova are ranked No. 38.

ON COURT - NO. 56 OREGON: The Ducks (9-9, 1-4 Pac-10) have won their last two matches since snapping a six-match losing streak against No. 54 San Diego on April 3. Prior to losing seven of their last ten contests, Oregon had opened the season with six wins in eight matches. The Ducks are led by senior Carmen Seremeta, who has posted an 8-10 record at the top singles court in duals. Sophomore Pavlina Smatova leads the team with 12 singles victories (10-7 in duals) and combines with senior Ana Cecilia Olivos to become the No. 51-ranked doubles team in the nation. The duo holds an 8-5 record at the top doubles court in all dual matches. Freshman Madelie Janse van Rensburg has 11 singles wins and is 9-9 in dual matches. Olivos is fourth on the team with a 10-12 singles record, 6-6 in duals. The Ducks have never defeated the Bears, falling in all 16 matches. Last year, Cal went to Eugene, Ore. and returned with a 6-1 victory.

ON COURT - NO. 45 PEPPERDINE: The Waves (9-9, 0-0 WCC) are on a two-match winning streak and have won three of their last four. Pepperdine has been unable to sustain a streak of more than two wins all year but has also not lost more than two matches in a row; with that happening just once. No. 93-ranked freshman Alexandria Walters is Pepperdine's only ranked player and boasts seven singles victories on the season; five coming at the second court. Fellow freshman Andrea Oates leads all players with a 14-4 mark, all duals, including a 6-0 mark at court six. Senior Alex Liles is next in line with a 13-6 record (13-5 in duals). Liles combines with sophomore Anamika Bhargava to form the top doubles team for the Waves. The two have accumulated a 15-3 record together, including 13-3 in duals (10-1 at court two). Cal owns a 24-6 edge over Pepperdine heading into the 31st meeting, riding a five-match winning streak.

POWER OF THE PAC: Eight 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. The Bears lead the way at No. 8; followed closely by ninth-ranked USC. No. 10 Stanford and No. 11 UCLA come up next on the list with Arizona State at No. 25 to give the conference five teams in the top-25 alone. Washington holds the No. 35 spot with Oregon at No. 56 and Arizona at No. 59. Washington State cracked the rankings for the first time on March 17 at No. 74 but has since fallen off. 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 COLLECTING WEEKLY CONFERENCE HONORS: Three Bears have won Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week honors this season to give Cal nine such awards all time; the most of any Pac-10 team. Sophomore Mari Andersson won the award for the week of Feb. 9-15 and freshman Jana Juricova took home honors for the week of March 9-15. Senior Bojana Bobusic claimed the prize for the week of March 16-22 to make it the first time in school history that Cal has had three winners in the same season.

AUGUSTUS SELECTED TO LEAD USTA WOMEN'S SUMMER COLLEGIATE TEAM: Head coach Amanda Augustus was selected by the United States Tennis Association to coach the 2009 USTA Women's Summer Collegiate Team along with Princeton head coach Kathy Sell. The USTA began the summer program in 1996 as an elite training program for the top American collegiate tennis players. The teams will be named in May, after the NCAA championships and will include 12 men and 12 women from the top collegiate tennis programs in the country. This summer, for the first time, USTA Player Development will host two Pro Tour Transition camps--one for men and one for women--for the selected players. The men's camp will be held June 20-23 in Boca Raton, Fla. while the women's camp will be conducted July 6-9 in Atlanta, Ga.

BOBUSIC NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Bojana Bobusic was named the Pac-10's women's tennis player of the week for the week of March 16-22 as she emerged from play with a perfect record in all four of her matches. She became the third Cal player to win the honors this season as she helped the Bears to a 5-2 win over No. 42 Denver and a narrow 4-3 loss to No. 18-ranked Fresno State. Bobusic ran her singles record to 27-7 overall with a 13-1 mark in dual matches as she defeated Denver's Ute Schnoy at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-2. She then took out Fresno State's Tinesta Rowe at No. 4 singles, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-5 for her eighth straight singles victory. In doubles play, she teamed up with freshman Jana Juricova for just their fifth and sixth matches together (first since the fall) and got two big wins to help Cal win the doubles point for the 10th time this year. The duo claimed an 8-2 win over Julia Bauregger and Mallory Voelker of Denver on the top court in their first match. Then in their second match, they fought out an 8-5 win over top-ranked Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. This was Bobusic's first such honor and the ninth all-time for the Cal women.

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.

JENSEN RETURNS TO BERKELEY: A four-time All-American selection and two-time All-Conference selection while at Cal, Denver head coach Amy Jensen returned to face her alma mater as a head coach for the first time when the Denver Pioneers invaded Hellman Tennis Complex on March 19. The Bears emerged with a 5-2 victory. 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.

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 52-18 (.743) 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.

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