No. 6 Cal hosts No. 52 SDSU, No. 38 UNLV

Feb. 7, 2006

The sixth-ranked California women's tennis team (4-1) returns home this week to host No. 52 San Diego State University (2-1), on Friday at 1:30 p.m. and No. 38 UNLV (4-0) on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. All matches will be played at Hellman Tennis Center.


52-ranked SDSU is currently 2-1 for the season. The Aztecs are led this year by senior Dita Hauerlandova, a senior from Prague, Czech Republic, who currently holds a 9-4 overall singles record. Hauerlandova is 2-1 playing No. 1 singles. Head coach Peter Mattera is entering his 13th year at the helm for the Aztecs and currently boasts a 189-116 career record. In their last meeting (1/29/05) Cal defeated SDSU, 5-2. The Bears hold an overall record of 29-7 over the Aztecs.

The No. 38 UNLV Rebels are off to their first-ever 4-0 start after shutting out UC Riverside, 7-0 last Saturday. UNLV has posted four-straight shutouts to open its 2006 dual match season, for the first time in program history. The Rebels are led by sophomore Elena Gantcheva, who currently holds a No. 8 singles ranking. Gantcheva is 20-5 in singles play and garnered 2005 MWC Freshman of the Year honors last season. At the helm for UNLV is sixth-year head coach Kevin Cory. Cory currently boasts a 96-47 career record. In their last meeting in 2004, Cal defeated the Rebels, 7-0. The Bears are 3-1 all-time against UNLV.

Cal went 2-1 this past weekend at the USTA-ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships. On the first day of competition the Bears upset No. 5 Northwestern, 5-2. Cal clinched the doubles point and then went on to tally four singles victories, including 19th-ranked Suzi Fodor's win over 12th-ranked Alexis Prousis, 6-3, 6-4. On day two, Cal fell to No. 13 Duke, 4-3, in the quarterfinals. Cal dropped the doubles point, but then went on to record three singles victories by Marion Ravelojaona, Claire Ilcinkas and Jessica Shu. On day three Cal defeated ninth-ranked Miami in the consolation quarterfinals. Cal started off strong winning the doubles point, and then tallied three victories on the singles court. Ravelojaona clinched the win for the Bears when she defeated Patricia Starzyk, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Cal also defeated Miami last May in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears are now 21-18 in 12 USTA-ITA appearances.

Cal has made improvements on the doubles court this season, as they clinched two out of three doubles points this past weekend at the Indoors. Against No. 5 Northwestern, Suzi Babos and Stephanie Kusano recorded a victory for the Bears playing No. 1 doubles, when they defeated Cristelle Grier and Georgia Rose, 8-2. Suzi Fodor and Ilcinkas then secured the victory for Cal when they outlasted Alexis Prousis and Feriel Esseghir, 8-3, playing in the No. 2 doubles position. In the consolation match against ninth-ranked Miami, Cal swept the doubles point. Cal is 11-4 overall on the doubles court this spring.

Ravelojaona, who is currently ranked No. 34 in the nation in singles, was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after defeating all three of her opponents on the singles court this past weekend at the USTA-ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships. The sophomore from Paris, France, tallied her first victory when she outlasted Northwestern's Jamie Peisel, 6-4, 6-1, playing No. 4 singles. Ravelojaona then went on to defeat Tara Iyer of Duke, 6-2, 6-1 and clinched Cal's victory over ninth-ranked Miami when she defeated Patricia Starzyk, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the No. 3 singles spot. Ravelojaona is 7-1 overall on the singles court for the spring. This marks the first Player of the Week honor for Ravelojaona and first weekly honor all-time for California.

19th-ranked Zsuzsanna Fodor secured the upset for the Bears over fifth-ranked Northwestern last week at the Indoors after defeating 12th-ranked Alexis Prousis, 6-3, 6-4.

Freshman Claire Ilcinkas, who is currently ranked 83rd in the nation in singles, went 2-1 on the singles court this past weekend, while also notching 2 victories on the doubles court with teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor. Ilcinkas boasts a 7-2 singles record and holds a 4-1 doubles record with Fodor.

Cal moved up in the rankings after its showing at the USTA-ITA National Indoor Championships, from No. 18 to No. 6.

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