No. 6 Cal Sweeps No. 19 Arizona State
March 30, 2007
BERKELEY - After getting off to a sluggish start in singles, the No. 6 California women's tennis team got back on track and shut out No. 19 Arizona State, 7-0, Friday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Center. The Golden Bears won their second conference match and improved to 16-3 on the season.
'You wouldn't know it was 7-0, Cal head coach Jan Brogan said. 'Playing Arizona State, late in the season, it's never easy. In my opinion, they're probably the most dangerous team late in the season. They really work to get better and improve with their team.'
After earning the doubles point, junior Susie Babos and senior Zsuzsanna Fodor both lost the first set in their singles matches. No. 4 Babos, playing on the top court, was tied at three in the second set with ASU's Sabrina Capannolo. The reigning NCAA singles champion won the next three games and took the second set, 6-3. Capannolo jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third set, before Babos came back to tie it at two. They traded games until Capannolo took a 6-5 lead. Babos fought back to win the next game and the tiebreaker to take the match. The win marked six in a row for the All-American.
Fodor didn't win a game in the first set of her match against Nadia Abdala. In the second set, the reigning Pac-10 singles champion jumped out to a 3-1 lead before taking the second set, 6-2. In the third set, the 13th-ranked Fodor got even from the opening set as she shut out Abdala, 6-0, to win the match.
'Fodor played one of the best tactful matches I've seen anybody play,' Brogan said. 'Abdala was hitting the lines with everything in the first set. It really required her to completely change what she was doing, tactfully, to beat her. I was really proud of her.'
Junior Marion Ravelojaona also had to come back in her match against Rebecca Rankin. Ravelojaona dropped the first set, 6-4, and trailed 4-2 in the second set. She fought back to win the next four games and take the second set, 6-4. In the third-set tiebreaer, Ravelojaona led 8-3 before Rankin came back and cut the deficit to two. Ravelojaona hung on to win the set and the match.
On the third court, No. 17 Nina Henkel stayed red hot, notching another victory under her belt. She took care of business against Roxanne Clarke, earning a 6-4, 6-1 victory. Henkel was the first Bear to finish in singles.
The match-clinching victory for Cal came on the fourth court. Junior Stephanie Kusano beat Kady Pooler, 6-2, 7-5. Kusano dominated the first set, but was in a battle with Pooler in the second. Pooler led 3-2 at one point before Kusano retook the lead. The Sun Devil tied the set at five, but Kusano won the next two games to take the match.
'Stephanie's never beaten Kady Pooler,' Brogan said. 'They're both Americans so they've played each other a lot in juniors. She's really worked hard to be able to beat a player with more of an attacking game. In a way, she gets the game ball for that.'
On the sixth court, Cristina Visico increased her winning streak to seven with a straight-set victory over Laila Abdala. The junior was the second Cal player to finish, beating Abdala 6-3, 6-2.
In doubles, the third-ranked team of Babos and Fodor took down another top-10 duo, as they beat No. 9 Pooler and Clarke, 8-4. The Bears won all three doubles matches, as sophomores Claire Ilcinkas and Bojana Bobusic won the first match of the day. They knocked off Rankin and Laila Abdala, 8-3 on the third court.
Cal returns to the Hellman Tennis Center tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m., when it squares off against Arizona.
(4) Susie Babos (Cal) def. Sabrina Capannolo (ASU) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6
(13) Zsuzsanna Fodor (Cal) def Nadia Abdala (ASU) 0-6, 6-2, 6-0
(17) Nina Henkel (Cal) def Roxanne Clarke (ASU) 6-4, 6-1
Stephanie Kusano (Cal) def Kady Pooler (ASU) 6-2, 7-5
Marion Ravelojaona (Cal) def Rebecca Rankin (ASU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0
Cristina Visico (Cal) def Laila Abdala (ASU) 6-3, 6-2
(3) Babos/Fodor (Cal) def (9) Pooler/Clarke (ASU) 8-4
Henkel/Kusano (Cal) def Capannolo/Jessica Leitch (ASU) 7-6
Claire Ilcinkas/Bojana Bobusic (Cal) def Rankin/L. Abdala (ASU) 8-3
Order of Finish:
Doubles 3, 1, 2
Singles 3, 6, 4, 2, 5, 1