No. 9 Golden Bears Open NCAA Tournament Run at Home
May 5, 2009
BERKELEY - This Week:NCAA Division I Women's Tennis ChampionshipFirst and Second RoundsHellman Tennis Complex | Berkeley, Calif.
First RoundMatch #1: No. 41 Pepperdine vs. No. 31 TexasFriday, May 8 10 a.m.Match #2: Long Island vs. No. 9 CaliforniaFriday, May 8 1 p.m.
Second RoundMatch #3: Winner #1 vs. Winner #2Saturday, May 9 Noon
THIS WEEK: The No. 9-ranked California women's tennis team (17-4, 7-1 Pac-10) looks to return to the national championship match as it hosts the opening rounds of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships this weekend at Hellman Tennis Complex. The Golden Bears draw Northeast Conference champion Long Island (10-7, 3-0 NEC) in their first-round match at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 8. Earlier in the day, No. 31 Texas (16-7, 10-1 Big 12) faces off with No. 41 Pepperdine (13-11) at 10 a.m. The winners of the two matches will meet again in a second round match at noon on Saturday, May 9. Saturday's winner will advance to play as one of the final 16 teams at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. Cal enters the postseason riding a season-high six match winning streak and recently celebrated the selection of five players to the Pac-10 All-Conference team. All three of this weekend's matches will feature live set scoring and streaming video via links at www.calbears.com/sports/w-tennis/cal09ncaa.html.
TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the NCAA first and second round matches are $8 for adults and $4 for seniors, students with valid identification and youth (K-12). Only single-day tickets will be sold and all tickets will only be sold at the Hellman Tennis Complex north gate.
FIVE BEARS TABBED FOR ALL-PAC-10 HONORS: Five California women's tennis players were selected to the 2009 Pacific-10 All-Conference team as voted on by the league's coaches. Freshman Jana Juricova became the third Golden Bear to earn the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award (Raquel Kops-Jones, 2001; Susie Babos, 2005) and received first-team honors. Joining Juricova with second-team selections were sophomore Mari Andersson, senior Bojana Bobusic and sophomore Marina Cossou, who takes home the second all-conference honor of her career. Senior Claire Ilcinkas received honorable mention to go with a second-team selection in 2008. The four first and second team selections give the Bears a total of 40 All-Pac-10 players all time (not including honorable mention selections). Previously, Cal had as many as three players selected to the all-conference team on three occasions, including last year as Babos joined Cossou and Ilcinkas. The trio was joined by Stephanie Kusano and Cristina Visico, who each received honorable mention. In 2007, Babos was selected to the first team with assistant coach Zsuzsanna Fodor with Nina Henkel receiving second-team honors. Cal's first triple selection came in 1999 when head coach Amanda Augustus headlined on the first team with second-teamers, Amy Jensen and Anita Kurimay.
SITTING NCAA PRETTY: A school-record five singles players were selected to compete in the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Singles Championship. No. 11-ranked freshman Jana Juricova, No. 26 sophomore Marina Cossou, No. 32 senior Bojana Bobusic, No. 41 sophomore Mari Andersson and No. 54 senior Claire Ilcinkas each earned bids to the field of 64 with Juricova receiving a spot among the eight players seeded ninth through 16th. The No. 7-ranked tandem of Andersson and Juricova also got the nod as one of 32 teams selected for the doubles championship and will enter the tournament as one of just eight seeded teams. Cal's No. 35-ranked team of Cossou and Ilcinkas also received a selection as an alternate team in the doubles championship. The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 20-25 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, following the conclusion of the team championship (May 15-19). Texas A&M University, College Station will serve as the host institution for the championships. Previously, Cal had sent as many as four singles players to the NCAA championships on three separate occasions. Most recently, the Bears were represented by four players in the 2008 tournament as Cossou and Ilcinkas were joined by Susie Babos and Cristina Visico. The Bears also had four players in the singles championship in 1992 and 1993.
CAL IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Bears received their 28th consecutive selection to the NCAA championship tournament this season. In 2008, Cal advanced to the team championship final, where it fell to UCLA; the furthest any Bear squad has ever ventured into the NCAA tournament. Previously, the Bears had made six other appearances in the NCAA semifinal match and had advanced to the quarterfinal on 11 other occasions. The five individuals selected to the singles field of 64 is the most the Bears have ever sent to the championship. Susie Babos lays claim to Cal's only singles NCAA title, as she won the crown in 2006. The Bears are owners of four NCAA doubles championships including two by head coach Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen in 1998 and 1999. Jensen teamed with Claire Curran to win the title once more in 2000. In 2004, Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones took home Cal's fourth doubles championship trophy.
ON COURT - LONG ISLAND: The Blackbirds (10-7, 3-0 NEC) enter the NCAA tournament on an eight-match winning streak after opening the season with a 2-7 record. Long Island saw its second seed all the way to its first-ever Northeast Conference championship with a 4-1 victory over top-seeded Quinnipiac on April 18. Junior Selma Babic leads the team with a 21-4 overall record and a 16-1 mark in duals at the top singles court. Babic combines with fellow junior H'Ann Johnson to form the top doubles team for the Blackbirds. The duo posted a perfect 12-0 record in duals at the top doubles court. Senior Ashley Harvey is second on the team with a 15-6 singles record. She posted an 11-3 mark in duals (11-2) at the second singles court. Both senior Amy Hosotsuji and junior Stephanie Elie have nine singles wins apiece this season. The Bears and the Blackbirds will be meeting on the court for the first time in the history of the two programs.
ON COURT - NO. 31 TEXAS: The Longhorns (16-7, 10-1 Big 12) are making their 27th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament this year and look to improve on a visit to the round of 16 from a year ago. Texas was ranked as high as No. 16 to start the year and advanced to the title match at the Big 12 Championships where the Longhorns fell to Baylor, 4-1, on April 26. Still, Texas arrives in Berkeley as the winners of four of its last five matches and eight of the last 10. The Longhorns are led by No. 86-ranked junior Vanja Corovic who has posted an 8-6 record on the top singles court in duals (12-8 overall). Fellow junior Sarah Lancaster leads the team with a 23-6 record (19-2 in duals) as she recorded a perfect 10-0 mark in conference duals. Corovic teams up with senior Marija Milic to hold the No. 48 doubles ranking in the country. The duo put up a 16-10 record together this season with a 9-7 mark at the top court. Sophomore Maggie Mello is second on the team with an 18-10 singles record (14-5 in duals) and freshman Krista Damico ranks third on the team with 15 wins (15-16 overall, 11-12 in duals). Sophomore tandem Amanda Craddock and Caroline Larsson have notched an 11-3 record together, going 9-2 at the third doubles court in duals. The Bears and Longhorns were scheduled to meet in Austin, Texas on March 13 but rains cancelled the match. Cal is 12-11 all-time against Texas and took a 6-1 win in the last meeting on March 12, 2007.
ON COURT - NO. 41 PEPPERDINE: The Waves (13-11) are making their 22nd-consecutive appearance (25th overall) in the NCAA tournament after claiming their 22nd West Coast Conference title with a 4-2 win over Saint Mary's College on April 19. Pepperdine enters the tournament on a three-match winning streak since losing in a 7-0 defeat to Cal on April 12. The Waves are led by No. 113-ranked freshman Alexandria Walters who has posted eight wins at the second singles court and currently holds a 10-10 overall record. Sophomore Anamika Bhargava holds top-court honors and has claimed eight wins there (8-11 in duals, 9-13 overall). Freshman Andrea Oates tops all Waves with an 18-6 record overall and has yet to be defeated at the sixth singles court (6-0). Senior Alex Liles comes in second to Oates with a 17-7 overall singles mark and has dominated the third court with a 9-3 mark. Bhargava and Liles have posted a 19-5 record together in doubles play (17-5 in duals). The Bears hold a 25-6 edge in all-time meetings against Pepperdine.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears finished up their regular-season dual schedule with a bang as Cal took out rival Stanford, 4-3, to secure second place in league play; sending the Cardinal to its worst Pac-10 finish in school history. Much like the way things happened in this year's first meeting between the two teams, the road team stole the doubles point but the home team buckled down to win on four singles courts to take the victory. Stanford jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Bears finally put a point up on the board. Cal knotted things up at two-all before a win by freshman Stephany Chang put the Bears on top, 3-2. The Cardinal tied things once more at three-all before the only three-set match of the day started its final set. In a thrilling finish, sophomore Marina Cossou battled back from losing the first set and after being down in the second to win a second-set tiebreaker, 7-5. She then poured it on in a 6-2 third set victory over No. 89-ranked Lindsay Burdette at the second court. Cossou pushed he singles record to 20-8 on the year as she secured the win for Cal. Sophomore Mari Andersson got her 19th win of the season, putting her just one victory away from giving the Bears seven players with at least 20 wins this season. Senior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Jana Juricova each completed the regular-season dual schedule with a team high 33 wins. Chang is next on the team with a 28-9 record and senior Claire Ilcinkas is fourth on the team with a 27-9 record. Both Cossou and senior Marion Ravelojaona have 20 wins apiece.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 9 as a team in the most recent (April 28) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has five ranked singles players with 11th-ranked freshman Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Sophomore Marina Cossou is No. 26 with senior Bojana Bobusic at No. 32. Sophomore Mari Andersson holds the No. 41 ranking and senior Claire Ilcinkas is ranked No. 54 to give the Bears five singles players among the top 55 in the nation. Cal's arsenal also includes three of the top doubles teams in the country as Andersson and Juricova combine for the No. 7 ranking; Cossou and Ilcinkas become the No. 35-ranked doubles team; and Bobusic teams with Juricova for the No. 54 ranking.
POWER OF THE PAC: Seven 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. Conference champion USC leads the way with the No. 7 ranking but is followed closely by ninth-ranked Cal. No. 11 UCLA and No. 13 Stanford come up next with Arizona State at No. 30 to give the conference five teams in the top-30 alone. Washington checks in at No. 32 with Oregon at No. 70. Arizona held a ranking for several weeks this season and 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.
CAL AT THE PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Senior Marion Ravelojaona advanced as far as the women's singles invitational final for the Bears at this year's Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif. Sophomore Marina Cossou advanced to the main draw's singles semifinal where she fell to the eventual runner up. In doubles play, senior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Stephany Chang teamed up to advance to the quarterfinal of the main draw. The Bears have fared well historically at the Pac-10 Championships. To its credit, the California women's tennis program has produced six doubles champions and two singles title holders since the tournament's inception in 1987. Raquel Kops-Jones was the first Cal woman to earn the singles crown as she won it in 2004. Current assistant coach Zsuzsanna Fodor secured Cal's second singles title two years later in 2006. Cal's first doubles team to win the title did so in 1988 as Alissa Finerman and Tifany Silveria walked away with the championship. Keirsten Alley and Pam Nelson won back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994 before current Cal head coach Amanda Augustus teamed up with Claire Curran to claim the championship in 1997. Kops-Jones and Christina Fusano became Cal's second back-to-back Pac-10 doubles champions as the won in 2002 and 2003.
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.
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 55-18 (.753) 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.