No. 12 Bears Face Trio of Pac-10 Foes in Pacific Northwest
April 7, 2010
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears embark on their second three-match road trip of the season with a trio of conference duals set in the Pacific Northwest. Cal went 2-1 two weeks ago when it was on the road for three straight. The Bears are coming off their second 5-2 win of the year over defending Pac-10 champion USC and look to build some momentum with just five regular-season duals left before the postseason arrives. Last week, No. 3-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season; her third career honor, and the most for any individual Cal women's tennis player. After sitting out a couple of matches to nurse an illness, No. 15-ranked junior Marina Cossou will return to fortify Cal's lineup this week.
THIS WEEK: The 12th-ranked California women's tennis team (14-4, 2-1 Pac-10) will face three Pac-10 opponents in conference duals this weekend (April 8-11) in the Pacific Northwest. The Golden Bears draw Oregon (7-13, 1-5) first and take on the Ducks in a 4 p.m. PT match on Thursday (April 8) at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore. Cal will then head north for a noon PT match against No. 25 Washington (10-4, 2-3) at Bill Quillian Stadium in Seattle on Saturday, April 10, before completing the three-match trip with an 11 a.m. PT match at Washington State (9-11, 1-4) at the Simmelink Tennis Courts in Pullman, Wash., on Sunday, April 11.
BEAR TRACKER: The Cal-Washington dual (Saturday, April 10) will feature live scoring and video via links at the www.GoHuskies.com website courtesy of Washington Sports Information. 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.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Fans and media can purchase Cal women's tennis photos at GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of Cal Athletics. Follow @GBSports on Twitter to get instant notifications when new albums and galleries are posted to the website. Visit www.twitter.com/gbsports to follow.
ON COURT - OREGON: The Ducks (7-13, 1-5 Pac-10) host Cal and Stanford to complete their regular-season dual schedule and are hungry for more after notching the first conference win of 2010 with a 4-3 victory against Washington State on April 3. After opening the year with a 5-1 record, Oregon dropped its next 11 matches before breaking that streak with a 7-0 win against Montana State. The Bears-Ducks matchup is the fifth of six straight home matches for Oregon. The young Duck lineup doesn't include any ITA ranked players, led by three juniors; Siobhan Cavan, Emmanuelle Cor and Pavlina Smatova. The Bears have never dropped a dual match to the Ducks with a perfect 17-0 mark.
ON COURT - NO. 25 WASHINGTON: The Huskies (10-4, 2-3 Pac-10) started the year, 9-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of Arkansas on ITA Kick-Off Weekend, but have since lost three of their last four outings. Washington earned its second conference victory in a 5-2 win over Oregon on April 2. The Husky lineup features two of the top-20 singles players in the country. Fourth-ranked sophomore Denise Dy leads the way for Washington with a 23-3 mark in all matches (11-1 in duals). No. 17-ranked junior Venise Chan holds court at the top singles position with a 20-8 overall record (10-4 in duals). Chan and Dy team up to form the No. 14-ranked tandem in the nation with an 18-5 record (11-2 in duals). The Bears are 22-3 all-time against the Huskies.
ON COURT - WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars (9-11, 1-4 Pac-10) were edged, 4-3, by Oregon in their most recent dual match. Prior to falling to the Ducks, Washington State had lost seven of its last nine matches. The Cougars' only conference win of the season came against a No. 39-ranked Arizona squad on March 6. No. 94-ranked freshman Liudmila Vasilieva paces the Cougars from the top singles court with a 21-10 overall mark including 10 wins from No. 1 in duals. Sophomore Elisabeth Fournier leads all Cougars with a 25-6 record and is 15-3 from No. 2 singles. Fournier and Vasilieva form Washington State's top doubles team. Cal leads the all-time series against the Cougars with a 13-1 record.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears got back into the win column after dropping their first Pac-10 match on the road to Arizona State by defeating No. 18-ranked defending Pac-10 champion USC, 5-2, on April 3. It was the second time this season that Cal took out the Trojans by a 5-2 count. The Bears swept the doubles courts to claim their 16th doubles point of the season in 18 matches. No. 3-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova clinched the deciding point at the top singles court with a three-set win over No. 2 Maria Sanchez, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 12 as a team in the most recent (April 6) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has three ranked singles players with third-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Junior Marina Cossou is No. 15 with junior Mari Andersson at No. 44. As the defending NCAA doubles champions, Andersson and Juricova hold the No. 7 ranking as a doubles team. Cossou and senior Kasia Siwosz are ranked No. 73 among doubles teams. Freshmen Tayler Davis and Annie Goransson earned their first collegiate rankings on March 16 as the pair snagged the No. 79 spot in the national doubles rankings. They are currently unranked.
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. 8 ranking with Stanford not far behind at No. 11. Cal holds the No. 12 ranking with USC at the No. 17 spot. Arizona State checks in at No. 21 with Washington at No. 25, to give the conference six teams in the top 25 alone. Arizona ranks No. 56. Oregon and Washington State each received rankings for several weeks to begin the spring dual season but have 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 REPEATS AS PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Jana Juricova became the first Golden Bear to receive three Pac-10 Player of the Week awards when she was selected for the honor on April 6. She was also named conference player of the week for the week of Feb. 8-14. Juricova defeated No. 2-ranked USC junior Maria Sanchez to earn the clinching point in Cal's 5-2 victory over the Trojans on April 3. The Bears have received 12 Pac-10 Player of the Week selections; the most of all teams in the conference.
COSSOU FOR CELEBRATION: Junior Marina Cossou was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of March 15-21, after helping the Bears nab a pair of wins over ranked opponents. It was her second career selection and Cal's 11th overall at the time. She secured a victory for the Bears by defeating Harvard's Hideko Tachibana, 6-3, 6-0, at the second singles court. Next, she defeated Sacramento State's Rebecca Delgado, 6-2, 6-3, to earn her 23rd overall singles win of the season. Teaming with senior Kasia Siwosz, the pair pushed their doubles record to 12-1 by beating Tachibana and Kristin Norton of Harvard, 8-2, before they took out Delgado and Clarisse Baca of Sacramento State, 8-3.
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.
ALWAYS A BEAR: Senior transfer Kasia Siwosz arrived in Berkeley by way of Waco, Texas, where she was a member of Baylor's women's tennis team. She went from being a Lady Bear to a Golden Bear. Prior to her time with Baylor, she was a Tiger All-American at Cowley College, where she claimed junior college national titles in both singles and doubles.
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.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?: Sophomore Stephany Chang and freshman Tayler Davis each hail from the South Bay's Silicon Valley city of San Jose. Chang attended Laurel Springs High School while Davis prepped at Archbishop Mitty High School.
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.