Fourth-Seed Bears Defeat Army, 4-0, in Round One of NCAA Championships
May 9, 2003
College Station, Texas - The #4 California women's tennis team (20-5) advanced to the NCAA Round of 32 with a commanding 4-0 victory over Army this afternoon, May 9 in the first round of the NCAA Regionals at the Texas A&M Tennis Center in College Station, Texas.
Cal took the early 1-0 lead without even needing the services of their top doubles tandem, #4 Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones. The Bears easily claimed the doubles point by securing victories on both courts two and three, in that order, erasing the need for Fusano and Kops-Jones to finish their match.
Jieun Jacobs and Jody Scheldt responded from two disheartening losses to end the regular season with an 8-3 decision over Melanie Bundoc and Marissa Limsiaco on court two. Jacobs and Scheldt gave the Bears their first victory of the day, setting the table for the doubles sweep. The pair improves to 23-10 on the year with the victory. Nicole Havlicek and Catherine Lynch then wrapped things up in a tidy manner, completing an 8-1 drubbing of Lauren Leftin and Lyndsey Nott on court three to secure the doubles point for the Bears. Havlicek and Lynch improve to 16-5 on the year - all in dual match play.
The Bears took the momentum onto the singles courts, as each of the players claimed first set victories - four of them without even dropping a single game. Havlicek was the first to finish her match, handing the Bears a 2-0 lead with her 6-0, 6-1 victory over Lyndsey Nott on court six. The junior from Ontario has compiled a 14-3 record over her last 17 matches and is now 31-9 for the year.
Army started to show some signs of life in each of their respective second sets, but the Bears' firepower proved too much for the Black Knights. With the five remaining Cal players all mired in second set leads, it was just a matter of which two players would finish first to claim the victory. Senior captain #25 Fusano took the first such honor, handing Cal the 3-0 lead with her victory over Annie Collier on court No. 2. After jumping out to a 6-0 first set, Fusano was never really threatened in taking a 6-0, 6-2 victory for her 24th win of the year.
It was only fitting that the squad's victory leader and highest ranked player at #6 in the nation would finish things off and send the Bears into tomorrow's Round of 32. Kops-Jones jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Limsiaco on the top court, but the Army sophomore made things interesting by cutting Kops-Jones' lead to 3-2. The Cal junior responded to the pressure by rattling off three straight games to secure the 6-2 first set. In the second stanza, Limsiaco tied things up at 1-1, but this time Kops-Jones did not let things get any closer in taking five straight games for the 6-2, 6-1 victory and the match.
The three remaining Bears were all ahead in their respective matches when Cal claimed the victory. #93 Lynch was up 6-0, 2-1 over freshman Megan Noble, #53 Jacobs had a 6-0, 4-1 advantage over Melanie Bundoc and Scheldt was engaged in a fierce battle at 7-5, 1-1 with Lauren Leftin on court five.
'We played Army in the the NCAA tournament a couple of years ago at our place,' stated head coach Jan Brogan. 'They play really disciplined, as you would expect from a military school. They gave us good competition on every court. This was a nice lead-in for us for tomorrow.'
The Bears return to action Saturday, May 10 in a Round of 32 matchup with host school #2 Texas A&M, whom defeated #3 LSU, 4-0, in today's other Round of 64 matchup. Match time is set for 11:00 a.m. (PST), with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 at the University of Florida, May 15-24.
FINAL RESULT#4 California 4, #49-64 Army 0
SINGLESNo. 1 - #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) d. Marissa Limsiaco (Army), 6-2, 6-1*No. 2 - #25 Christina Fusano (Cal) d. Annie Collier (Army), 6-0, 6-2No. 3 - #93 Catherine Lynch (Cal) vs. Megan Noble (Army), DNFNo. 4 - #53 Jieun Jacobs (Cal) vs. Melanie Bundoc (Army), DNFNo. 5 - Jody Scheldt (Cal) vs. Lauren Leftin (Army), DNFNo. 6 - Nicole Havlicek (Cal) d. Lyndsey Nott (Army), 6-0, 6-1ORDER OF FINISH: 6, 2, 3**Clinched the match
DOUBLES (California wins point)No. 1 - #4 Fusano/Kops-Jones (Cal) vs. Collier/Noble (Army), DNFNo. 2 - Jacobs/Scheldt (Cal) d. Bundoc/Limsiaco (Army), 8-3No. 3 - Havlicek/Lynch (Cal) d. Leftin/Nott (Army), 8-1
Records - #4 California 20-5, #49-64 Army 17-7