No. 5 Golden Bears Set to Host Aztecs and Cardinal
March 3, 2010
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears begin a series of four matches in the friendly confines of the Hellman Tennis Complex this weekend. Cal will gear up to face its rival, No. 14 Stanford in a Saturday matinee but first, must get by San Diego State on Friday afternoon. The Bears roll into the weekend's matches looking to right the ship after getting edged by UCLA in Los Angeles. A strong four-match showing will be important as Cal finishes the regular season with seven out 10 matches on the road. The Bears will look to its top-ranked players to get off to a strong start with the focus on No. 2-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova. Junior Marina Cossou holds the No. 17 singles ranking and is just one victory shy of her 20th singles win of the year. No. 56-ranked junior Mari Andersson slipped for the first time in 2010 as she fell to UCLA's Andrea Remynse, but she will look to get on track and open up another nine-match winning streak.
THIS WEEK: The fifth-ranked California women's tennis team (8-2) hosts two home matches this weekend to begin a four-match mid-season home stretch. The Golden Bears take on San Diego State (5-4) of the Mountain West Conference in a 1:30 p.m. PT match on Friday, March 5, at the Hellman Tennis Complex. Then, No. 14 Stanford (7-1) comes to Berkeley for a noon dual on Saturday, March 6. The outcome of the Cal-Stanford match will not affect Pac-10 standings as the first of two scheduled dual matches this season. Both of Cal's home matches this weekend will feature live streaming video via links at the CalBears.com women's tennis page.
BEAR TRACKER: Cal will provide live streaming video with on-screen scores of all home dual matches held at the Hellman Tennis Complex throughout the year. Please visit the women's tennis page at CalBears.com for on-court links.
QUICK HITS: Throughout the 2010 spring dual season, different Bears will appear on the CalBears.com women's tennis page for a special video segment called Quick Hits. To learn more about each individual player and the team, visit CalBears.com today.
ON COURT - SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs (5-4) snapped a two-match skid with a 6-1 victory over Eastern Washington on March 2. San Diego State and Cal have two common opponents. The Aztecs fell, 4-3, to Hawaii and dropped a 5-2 decision to USC. The Bears earned victories over each team while on the road. No. 65-ranked junior Julia Trunk leads the way for SDSU with 11 singles victories this season and a 6-3 mark at the top singles court. Freshman Alicia Aguilar is ranked No. 71 in singles and has picked up six wins in her first year on campus. Sophomore Sierra Ellison earned her 10th singles win in the Aztec's last outing. Ellison and her sister Roxanne Ellison team up to hold the top court. The sophomore tandem is 5-3 in dual matches and leads the team with 13 doubles victories. Trunk and freshman Julia Wais hold the second court and have earned eight doubles victories together. Cal owns a 31-7 all-time series advantage and last defeated San Diego State, 7-0, on Jan. 28, 2007.
ON COURT - NO. 14 STANFORD: The Cardinal (7-1) is coming off its first loss of the year in a 6-1 defeat at UCLA. In its seven wins this season, Stanford has given up just three points. However, in a turn of events, the Cardinal got just one point in its loss to the Bruins. The Stanford lineup boasts five ranked singles players topped by junior Hilary Barte. Barte has not dropped a match in duals with an 8-0 mark and is second on the team with a 16-3 overall record. Freshman Mallory Burdette holds the No. 28 spot and leas the Cardinal with an 18-4 singles record. Burdette's elder sister senior Lindsay Burdette is ranked No. 44 and is 8-1 in duals at the second court; 12-5 overall. Freshman Stacy Tan ties for second most on the team with 16 singles victories and holds the No. 63 ranking. Finally, junior Carolyn McVeigh checks in at No. 95 with a 6-1 record at the fifth singles court. Barte and Lindsay Burdette are the No. 2-ranked doubles team in the nation and have amassed a 20-2 overall record with an 8-1 mark in duals at the top court. Mallory Burdette and Tan form Stanford's No. 27-ranked freshman duo. The two have put together a 15-3 record with a 7-1 mark in duals at the second court. While the Cardinal holds a 60-9 series lead against the Bears, recent matches have been heated and come down to the wire. Last year, the teams split 4-3 decision with the home teaming claiming victory each time.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears split matches in Southern California as they defeated 10th-ranked USC, 5-2, before falling in a tight 4-3 decision to No. 4 UCLA. Cal showed no mercy as it claimed the doubles point for the 10th time in as many matches while in Los Angeles. First, the bears swept all three courts against the Trojans. Then, Cal got wins on the second and third doubles courts to gain momentum over UCLA heading into singles. Earlier in the week, the Bears hosted No. 28-ranked Arizona State at the Hellman Tennis Complex and came up with a 6-1 victory. Junior Marina Cossou maintained a perfect 6-0 record through all three dual matches and earned a big 6-2, 6-2 win over No. 19 Alison Ramos of USC to help the Bears clinch the victory over the Women of Troy.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 5 as a team in the most recent (March 2) 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. 17 with junior Mari Andersson at No. 56. As the defending NCAA doubles champions, Andersson and Juricova hold the No. 13 ranking as a doubles team. Cossou and senior Kasia Siwosz are the No. 38-ranked doubles team in the nation.
POWER OF THE PAC: Seven of the Pac-10's nine 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. UCLA leads all teams with the No. 4 ranking with Cal just one spot behind at No. 5. Defending conference champion USC comes in at No. 12 with Stanford holding the No. 14 ranking. Washington holds the No. 18 spot to give the conference five teams in the top 20 alone. Arizona ranks No. 39 with Arizona State at No. 44. Oregon received rankings for several weeks to begin the spring dual season but has fallen off recently. 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).
JURICOVA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Jana Juricova was named Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 8-14, after she led the Bears to a pair of victories over No. 9 Georgia Tech, 5-2, and No. 12 UCLA, 4-3, at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Juricova suffered just her first defeat in nine matches but lost to the top-ranked player in the nation in Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi, 7-6(7), 7-5. She then rebounded to defeat fifth-ranked Yasmin Schnack of UCLA, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 12-ranked Maria Mosolova of Northwesterm, 6-3, 6-1. In doubles, Juricova teamed with junior Mari Andersson and maintained their perfect record in dual matches by defeating the Georgia Tech duo of Falconi and Sasha Krupina, 8-5, upsetting UCLA's No. 10-ranked tandem of Andrea Remynse and Schnack, 8-1, and beating Northwestern's team of Elena Chernyakova and Lauren Lui, 8-4. This is the second career weekly honor for Juricova and the conference leading 10th overall Pac-10 Player of the Week selection for the California women's tennis team. Juricova joins Zsuzsanna Fodor as the only other two-time selection from Cal.
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.
CAL AT THE ITA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Cal has won 26 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 2010, the Bears advanced to the semifinal match for the second consecutive year. In 2009, Cal knocked off two-time defending champion Georgia Tech in the quarterfinal before falling to runner-up Georgia. 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 before Northwestern accomplished the same feat with titles in 2009 and 2010; and Duke holds one title.
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.