Cossou Wins ASU Thunderbird Invitational Title

Nov. 4, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - California women's tennis freshman Marina Cossou won her fifth consecutive match today to capture the ASU Thunderbird Invitational Title. Hosted by the Arizona State women's tennis program, the 13th annual Thunderbird Invitational concluded today on the courts of the Whiteman Tennis Center. Other participating players came from host ASU, Stanford, Purdue, Michigan, Kansas State and Utah.

In the final, the always consistent Cossou got off to a good start, going up 3-0 on Arizona State's Kelcy McKenna. Cossou took away McKenna's cross-court pattern by playing tough at the net whenever she received a short ball. Continuing her strong play, Cossou eventually stretched her 4-2 lead into a 6-2 first set victory.

In the second set, Cossou jumped out to a three-game lead once again but surrendered her advantage when she got away from her strategy. McKenna used a strong serve to pull to a 3-3 tie. On serve through the rest of the set, the pair fought it out for the second in a tie-breaker that McKenna took 10-8. Cossou returned to her strategy in the third set and broke McKenna twice to win 6-4, claiming the tournament title for the Golden Bears.

Cossou's win is the third in a row for Cal women's tennis, with each title coming at the hands of host Arizona State. In 2006, as the sixth-seeded player in the tournament, senior Marion Ravelojaona won the title with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over ASU's Sabrina Capponolo. Cal's Jessica Shu won the title in 2005 with a 6-2, 6-1 clincher over ASU's Rebecca Rankin.

All four of the other Cal players in the tournament competed in consolation matches today, with junior Claire Ilcinkas leading the charge with a straight set 6-1, 6-0 victory over Utah's Evgenia Kryunchkova. Senior Stephanie Kusano met Stanford's Jennifer Yen and won in two sets as well, 6-4, 6-3. In the third place match, junior Bojana Bobusic could not stay the pace with ASU's Laila Abdala, falling 6-4, 6-1 and competing the tournament in fourth overall.

In doubles play, Kusano joined Bobusic to defeat Purdue's team of Beier and Boeker 9-8, winning the tie-breaker 7-0. Cossou and Ilcinkas fell in a 9-7 match to Arizona State's Jessica Leitch and Kelcy McKenna.

For complete results and bracket breakdown from the Invitational, please visit and find the women's tennis page. The conclusion of the Thunderbird Invitational completed fall tournament play for the Cal women's tennis team. The Golden Bears will return to action in 2008, hosting the Cal Winter Invitational on the courts of the Hellman Tennis Complex from Jan. 18-20. Check for updates and times.

Main Draw Singles Results
CAL Marina Cossou def. ASU Kelcy McKenna 6-2, 6-7(8), 6-4 (Final)

Main Draw Singles Consolation
ASU Laila Abdala def. CAL Bojana Bobusic 6-4, 6-1 (Third place match)
CAL Claire Ilcinkas def. UTAH Evgenia Kryunchkova 6-1, 6-0
CAL Stephanie Kusano def. STAN Jennifer Yen 6-4, 6-3
ASU Micaela Hein def. CAL Rachael Dillon 6-4, 6-3

Doubles ResultsCAL Kusano/Bobusic def. PUR Beier/Boeker 9-8
ASU Leitch/McKenna def. CAL Cossou/Ilcinkas 9-7

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