No. 6 California Hits The Road to Face No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 41 Long Beach State
Jan. 24, 2008
Saturday, Jan. 26 - 2 p.m.
El Dorado Park Courts
Long Beach, Calif.
at No. 41 Long Beach St.
Sunday, Jan. 27 - 12 p.m.
Strauss Tennis Center
at No. 18 Pepperdine
BEAR NOTES: The No. 6 California women's tennis team (0-0) will face its first dual-match opponents of the season this weekend as it travels to the Los Angeles area to meet No. 41 Long Beach State (1-0) in a 2 p.m. match on Saturday and No. 18 Pepperdine (1-0) in a 12 p.m. start on Sunday.
LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears hosted three teams in the Cal Winter Invitational over the three-day weekend in a round-robin tournament. The visiting No. 14 Fresno State Bulldogs emerged with No. 39 Melanie Gloria winning the singles title and the nation's top-ranked duo of Gloria and Tinesta Rowe winning the doubles title. Joining the Bears and the Bulldogs in the tournament were No. 57 St. Mary's and No. 66 Nevada. Three Bears came away from the weekend with three singles victories a piece. Freshman Marina Cossou took three wins from court two while seniors Cristina Visico and Stephanie Kusano each went undefeated in singles play from courts three and six respectively. In doubles play, senior duo No. 36 Susie Babos and Kusano won two matches before facing No. 1 Rowe and Gloria. In a see-saw battle, the two doubles teams traded games until the Bulldogs pulled away with a 9-7 victory. The tournament was the last tune-up for the Golden Bears before the dual match schedule began and was an opportunity for the team to experience playing as a team for the first time in the 2007-08 season.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 41 LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State is 1-0 on the young season with the victory coming against San Diego last weekend at home. The 49ers were supposed to host No. 8 USC this week but the match has been delayed twice due to heavy rains. The Beach is led by junior Hannah Grady who has a 10-3 singles record this year and has added to that, a 7-3 mark in doubles play. With senior Stephanie Bengson, Grady is also a part of the top 49er doubles team. Long Beach made the trip up to the bay area to face the Bears in individual matches in the fall during the Cal Nike Invitational. The Bears have faced the 49ers four times in dual matches and own a 4-0 record in those meetings. The last time the two teams met in 1987, Cal came away with a 9-0 victory.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 18 PEPPERDINE: The Waves and the Bears will tangle up for the 31st time this weekend with the Bears taking the win in last year's meeting by a 6-1 score. Overall, Cal holds a 24-6 record against Pepperdine heading into Malibu, Calif. The Waves are coming off a 5-2 home win over No. 63 Cal Poly SLO. Pepperdine is led by senior Bianca Dulgheru from the first court. Dulgheru posted a modest 4-3 record in the fall but is a constant for the Waves, coming into her final season. Dulgheru teams with senior Sylvia Kosakowski as the top Wave doubles team. Kosakowski is the No. 99 singles player in the nation after collecting seven wins in solo action and advancing to the singles final at the 2007 Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational.
HEAD COACH Amanda Augustus: As one of Cal tennis' most successful players, Amanda Augustus returned to her alma mater in July of 2007 to succeed her college coach Jan Brogan, who announced her retirement, after 29 years at the helm. Augustus came to the Bears from Michigan where she guided her team to a 17-8 overall record in 2006-07. The Wolverines reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, completing its season with a No. 22 national ranking. A four-time All-American at Cal from 1996-99, Augustus played professionally on the Women's Tennis Association tour for several years before turning her efforts to coaching. As a player for the Bears, she earned All-Pac-10 honors each of her four years, including first-team recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior. She teamed with Amy Jensen to capture the NCAA doubles titles in both 1998 and 1999 to become the first tandem ever to win back-to-back championships.
THREE'S SWEET: Senior Susie Babos captured her third singles national championship in the fall by winning the 2007 Riviera All-American Championship title, successfully defending her 2006 crown. Babos became only the fourth player in the history of the All-American Championship to win back-to-back titles, joining San Diego's Zuzana Lesenarova (1998-99), Stanford's Sandra Birch (1989-90) and Mississippi's Paloma Collantes (1991-92). Babos defeated Clemson's No. 21 Ani Mijacika 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in the championship final. Babos also won the NCAA Singles Championship crown in the spring of 2006 defeating USC's No. 18 Lindsey Nelson in a 6-4, 6-1 match.
ZUMA ZUMA ZUMA: Senior Cristina Visico earned the nickname 'Zuma' for zooming around the court with her quickness and speed. The Southern California native kick-started her senior campaign with a run to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final. En route to her appearance in the final match, Visico defeated No. 49 Katsiaryna Zheltova of Sacramento State and No. 47 Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. Visico's five wins at the Northwest Regional earned her automatic entry to the ITA National Indoor Championships, a first for the senior.
FRENCH CONNECTION: Junior Claire Ilcinkas and freshman Marina Cossou have teamed up to create a formidable duo for the Golden Bears. The doubles team currently holds a 7-3 record with the seven wins topping that of any Cal pair. Together, the two advanced to the doubles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championships and went to the semifinal at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Ilcinkas hails from Paris, France and Cossou from Azereix, a small town in the south of France.
FROM DOWN UNDER TO THE TOP: Junior Bojana Bobusic was born in Belgrade, Serbia but hails from Perth, Australia. The powerful baseline player led all Bears with 16 wins in individual tournament play. Her success put her into the Cal Invitational final where she faced off against fellow junior Claire Ilcinkas. Stringing five wins together, Bobusic advanced to the singles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship.
FRESH PERSPECTIVE: With a heavily senior team, freshman Marina Cossou brings some new blood to the squad. Cossou earned 11 victories in individual tournament play including a 7-6(5), 6-4 upset win over No. 11 Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State at the Cal Winter Invitational. In the fall, Cossou strung together five victories to capture the ASU Thunderbird Invitational singles title. Her current winning streak stands at eight-consecutive matches.
HOMECOMING DANCE: Senior Cristina Visico will be heading home this weekend as the Bears face No. 41 Long Beach State. The diminutive Visico is a 2004 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. She also has roots in other parts of Southern California, born in 1986 in the south bay city of Torrance, Calif. Visico enters this weekend with a 10-5 overall singles record. Senior Daron Moore is also a Southern California native, born in Santa Monica, Calif. and hailing from Studio City, Calif. Moore is a graduate of Campbell Hall High School in North Hollywood, Calif.
FALL 2007 TOURNAMENTS: The Golden Bears enjoyed a successful fall individual tournament season, going 71-38 in singles play and emerging with a 22-17 doubles record. Senior Susie Babos entered the fall ranked No. 4 nationally and claimed her second consecutive All-American Championship crown. Senior Cristina Visico advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final and freshman Marina Cossou won the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational. Junior Bojana Bobusic racked up a team-high 14 singles wins and advanced to the Cal Invitational singles final and the singles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship. Fellow junior Claire Ilcinkas won the Cal Invitational Blue Flight title and held a 9-2 record coming out of the fall.
2006-07 SEASON RECAP: The Golden Bears completed the 2006-07 dual campaign with a flurry of postseason victories to advance to the national semifinal match at the NCAA Championships, falling to eventual NCAA Champion Georgia Tech. Cal finished with a No. 5 ranking after posting a 23-7 overall record, going 5-3 in Pac-10 Conference play, tied for fourth place with Arizona State. At one point, the Bears ripped off an 11-match winning streak that included victories over No. 9 Northwestern, No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 19 Arizona State. As a junior, Susie Babos earned her second All-American honors in both singles and doubles along with senior Zsuzsanna Fodor. Babos and Fodor were also each selected to the All-Pac-10 First Team and named the 2007 Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year. Freshman Nina Henkel was selected as an All-American in singles and also received All-Pac-10 Second Team honors.