California Women's Tennis Sweeps Georgia Tech In NCAA Round of 16
May 15, 2009
College Station, Texas -- The 2009 Women's Tennis NCAA Tournament continued Friday, as the Round of 16 took the courts at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center on the campuse of Texas A&M. California moves on to the quarterfinals on Sunday, May 17, while UCLA and Washington fall. Stanford's match with Baylor has yet to be decided.
The eighth-seeded Golden Bears (20-4) won its season-high ninth consecutive match today as they made quick work of Georgia Tech, 5-0, in the Round of 16. Cal will make its 19th appearance in the national quarterfinals and draw No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Northwestern (28-1) in a 4 p.m. CT match on Sunday, May 17.
The Bears captured the first point of the match when Cal's No. 3 doubles pair of senior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Stephany Chang broke the Yellow Jacket serve to end a hard fought 8-6 win over Lynn Blau and Amanda McDowell. Cal won the first doubles match of the day with ease at the top court as No. 7-ranked sophomore Mari Andersson and freshman Jana Juricova posted an 8-2 victory against 30th-ranked Noelle Hickey and Christy Striplin. Georgia Tech evened the score as the 74th-ranked doubles team of Irina Falconi and Sasha Krupina took out No. 35 senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Marina Cossou, 8-4, on court two.
Cal was dominate in the singles matches as 32nd-ranked Bobusic gave the Bears a 2-0 lead when she registered a 6-0, 6-3 win against Blau in the No. 5 slot. A the No. 4 singles court, No. 54 Ilcinkas gave the Bears a comfortable cushion as she earned the 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 45 Striplin to put Cal out in front, 3-0.
No. 41 Andersson defeated No. 61 Hickey at court three to take a 6-3 win in the first set before claiming match point, up 5-4 in the second. Over on the top court, No. 11-ranked Juricova allowed No. 12 Falconi to stay on pace in the second after tacking up a 6-0 win in the first set. There, Juricova also held match point at 5-4 in the second set. Both Andersson and Juricova were up 40-30 in the 10th game of the second set and finished milliseconds apart to give the Bears a 5-0 win. Andersson's slightly earlier win awarded her with the match-clinching point of the day.
The other side of the bracket was not as kind to the Pac-10. Defending naitonal champion UCLA, the tournament's 11th seed, fell 2-4 to sixth-seeded Miami (Fla.), end the Bruins' hope for a second straight title. Friday's loss marks the Bruins' earliest tournament exit since 2006 as they finish the season with a 19-7 overall record. UCLA captured the program's first NCAA title in 2008 and reached the finals in 2007.
Although this concludes the team portion of the tournament for UCLA, the Bruins still have two players looking for individual titles next week in College Station. Remynse and Schnack are both in the singles draw and are also pairing together in the doubles tournament.
Washington's surprise run to the NCAA Round of 16 also ended today in a loss to 22nd-ranked South Carolina. The Huskies, who will return their entire roster next year, finish the season at 18-8 overall. This was UW's first Round of 16 appearance since 2004. Venise Chan will be sticking around in College Station to compete in the NCAA Singles Championships for the second straight year. A trip to the Round of 16 with two victories would guarantee All-American status for the sophomore.