No. 3 Cal Set to Face No. 9 Georgia Tech at ITA Indoors
Feb. 11, 2010
BERKELEY - This Week:ITA National Team Indoor ChampionshipsA.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium | Madison, Wis.www.itatennis.com
vs. No. 9 Georgia TechFriday, Feb. 12 1:30 p.m. PT
Next Week:Hellman Tennis Complex | Berkeley, Calif.
vs. No. 26 Arizona StateMonday, Feb. 22 Noon PT
The Golden Bears carry a perfect 4-0 record into the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships and look to move one step further than their semifinal finish from a year ago. Cal hosted and defeated Utah and Sacramento State to earn the right to compete for the team indoor title. While the Bears rank sixth, with 24 victories, in all-time wins at the indoor championship, Cal has advanced to the title match just once in its 22-year existence. The Bears fell, 8-0, to Stanford in the championship match in 2000. Cal will face an upset-minded Georgia Tech squad in the opening round. The Yellow Jackets won back-to-back indoor titles in 2007 and 2008, but were denied a third consecutive crown when the Bears knocked them out in last year's quarterfinal. Cal and Georgia Tech later met in the 2009 NCAA Championship round of 16 with the Bears prevailing once again. The Bears will feature three ranked singles players in the lineup when they take the courts at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Sophomore Jana Juricova is the second-ranked singles player in the nation with junior Marina Cossou holding the No. 10 ranking. Junior Mari Andersson checks in with the No. 83 singles ranking.
THIS WEEK: The No. 3-ranked California women's tennis team (4-0) will face No. 9 Georgia Tech (5-0) out of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the first round of the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships held at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the campus of host University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. The Golden Bears and the Yellow Jackets will take the courts not before 1:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 12. All four quarterfinal matches will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 1:30 p.m. PT, with both semifinal matches taking place at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 14. The championship match is scheduled for 9 a.m. PT on Monday, Feb. 15. Wisconsin Sports Information will provide live stats for all matches throughout the weekend.
BEAR TRACKER: Fans can follow the progress of the Bears at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championship via live stats at this URL: http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/itaChamps.html. Live statistics will be provided by the sports information department of the host institution, University of Wisconsin. Cal will provide live streaming video of all home matches held at Hellman Tennis Complex throughout the year. Please visit CalBears.com for on-court links.
CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: Joining Cal and Georgia Tech in the 16-team championship field are No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Northwestern, No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Miami, No. 7 Florida, No. 8 USC, No. 10 Tennessee, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 12 UCLA, No. 15 Clemson, No. 16 Michigan and unranked host Wisconsin. Teams which lose in the first round or in the quarterfinals will play in a non-conclusive back-draw. The championship match will be held on Monday, Feb. 15, at 9 a.m. PT.
CAL AT THE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Cal has won 24 matches at the indoor championships, the sixth highest total. The Bears advanced to the championship match in 2000, where they fell to rival Stanford. In 2009, Cal knocked off two-time defending champion Georgia Tech in the quarterfinal before falling to runner-up Georgia in the semifinal. Only 11 different teams have made appearances in the final match with just six different teams able to claim at least one championship for their schools. Stanford's nine titles are the most; followed by Florida's six; and Georgia with three. Georgia Tech won back-to-back crowns in 2007-08 with Duke and Northwestern each holding one title each.
ON COURT - NO. 9 GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets (5-0, 0-0 ACC) have opened their season with five consecutive victories; four of which came at home. Georgia Tech hosted and defeated Arizona State and Kentucky, each by a 4-2 score, during the ITA Kick-Off weekend to earn a bid to the indoor championships. The Jackets' three other wins have come by a 7-0 margin. Georgia Tech is led by the top-ranked player in the nation in sophomore Irina Falconi. Falconi boasts a 16-1 mark in singles matches this season. Her only loss came at the hands of Cal sophomore Jana Juricova in the singles championship match at the ITA Indoor Championships last fall. Junior Sasha Krupina is ranked No. 66 and holds down the No. 2 singles court with a 3-2 record in duals. Falconi and senior Amanda McDowell have recorded a 5-0 mark at the top doubles court. The two won the 2008 ITA All-American doubles title. McDowell, herself, was the 2008 ITA National Player of the Year after claiming singles crowns at the NCAA championships and the All-American Championships. The Yellow Jackets and the Bears will be meeting for the fourth time, with Cal holding a 2-1 edge in the series.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears defeated Saint Mary's College, 7-0, on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Cal swept all nine matches from the Gaels to earn its fourth straight victory. Sophomore Jana Juricova defeated Catherine Isip, 6-2, 6-1, at the top court to earn her team-high 20th singles victory moments before junior Mari Andersson sealed Cal's win in a 6-0, 6-1 win over Claire Soper at court three. Junior Marina Cossou and senior Kasia Siwosz took out Alex Poorta and Soper at the second doubles court, 8-2, for their third victory together in order to seal the doubles point for the Bears. With the win, Cal moved to 6-0 in the all-time series against the Gaels.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 3 as a team in the most recent (Feb. 4) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has three ranked singles players with second-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Junior Marina Cossou is No. 10 with junior Mari Andersson at No. 83.
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. The Bears lead all teams in the poll with the No. 3 spot. Defending conference champion USC comes in at No. 8 with No. 12 UCLA and No. 14 Stanford not far behind. Washington holds the No. 20 spot with Arizona State at No. 26 to give the conference six teams in the top 26. Oregon ranks No. 72. Last season, Cal represented the conference in the NCAA title match with four teams advancing as far as the round of 16. Two seasons ago, Cal and UCLA battled it out in the NCAA team championship match to give the conference full control of the national title. The conference also produced the 2009 NCAA doubles champion in Cal's own Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova. Juricova is also the defending ITA Indoor Championship singles title holder. The Pac-10 finished 2009 with 14 ITA All-American selections, three of which were given to Bears, Andersson (doubles) and Juricova (singles and doubles).
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: The Bears are a truly diverse group with players hailing from five different countries. Junior Mari Andersson and freshman Annie Goransson each come from Sweden; sophomore Jana Juricova is from the Slovak Republic; junior Marina Cossou is a native of France; and senior Kasia Siwosz is from Poland. Sophomores Stephany Chang and Catalina Visico, and freshmen Tayler Davis and Nelly Radeva are each from California.
FAMILY TIES: Sophomore Catalina Visico is the younger sister of former Cal tennis standout Cristina Visico (2004-08). While she prefers to be called Catie, Catalina has forged her own identity with the Bears as a vocal leader and an integral part of the team. The elder Visico was a 2008 All-Pac-10 Honorable mention and completed her career at Cal with over 100 singles victories and 40 doubles wins.
HOW SWEDE IT IS: Junior Mari Andersson (Bastad, Sweden) and freshman Annie Goransson (Hollviken, Sweden) each hail from the Nordic country of Sweden. In fact, both players prepped at Bastad Gymnasium, and have faced each other in several youth and junior tournaments.
FALL 2009 REVIEW: The Bears were highly successful in fall individual tournaments in 2009. Sophomore Jana Juricova earned the most notable of achievements as she claimed Cal's first ITA Indoor Championship singles crown on Oct. 26. Juricova completed an incredible streak of 10-straight set victories over ranked opponents as she defeated No. 8 Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech in the singles final, 6-4, 7-6(4). Juricova also advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final before bowing out to Washington's Denise Dy. Juricova was joined in the singles quarterfinal at the regional championships by both juniors Mari Andersson and Marina Cossou. Senior transfer Kasia Siwosz breezed her way to the Saint Mary's Invitational singles title without dropping a single set. Cossou made it all the way to the Gold Flight final at the Cal Nike Invitational before falling to No. 11-ranked Yasmin Schnaak of UCLA and freshman Tayler Davis made an appearance in the Blue Flight final before falling to USC's Christala Andrews. As a doubles team, Andersson and Juricova advanced to the Northwest Regional championship match before being taken out by the No. 3-ranked team of Hillary Barte and Lindsay Burdette of Stanford; and Davis and Siwosz claimed the Blue Flight crown at the Cal Nike Invitational.
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