No. 7 Golden Bears Head To ITA National Team Indoor Championships
Feb. 5, 2008
vs. No. 16 Clemson
Thurs., Feb. 7 | 9 a.m. (CST)
Nielson Tennis Stadium
Feb. 8-10 | TBA
Nielson Tennis Stadium
BEAR NOTES: The No. 7 California women's tennis team returns to action this week on the road at the 2008 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wisc. The Golden Bears enter the tournament holding the No. 6 seed and will face Clemson in the opening round on Thursday (Feb. 7) at 9 a.m. CST (7 a.m. Pacific). Clemson is currently ranked No. 16 in the latest ITA national poll.
The four-day event (Feb. 7-10) features 16 of the top collegiate women's tennis programs from around the country, competing in the only collegiate national indoor team tennis championship. 2008 marks the 21st edition of the championships, headlined by three-time defending champion Stanford. The Cardinal has won the event a record nine times in its 20-year history. Florida is in second with six titles. The Bears were runners-up in 2000, the furthest a Cal team has gone at the Indoor Championships.
Besides the Bears, Tigers and the Cardinal, the other 13 teams include No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Northwestern, No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 6 Georgia, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Miami, No. 11 Baylor, No. 12 Fresno State, No. 13 William & Mary, No. 14 North Carolina, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 39 Arkansas and host No. 75 Wisconsin. Teams will play at either 9 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. CST each day with the final at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Win or lose, each team will play one match each day from Thursday through Saturday while only the championship match will take place on Sunday. For more information, schedules, results and live scoring, please visit http://www.itatennis.com/WomensTeamIndoor08/main.htm.
LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears had each of their matches against USF and UC Davis (Feb. 3) cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
WEEK ONE: The Golden Bears traveled to the Los Angeles area to take on No. 41 Long Beach State and No. 18 Pepperdine but returned home with a 1-0 record after the match against the Waves was cancelled due to heavy rains. After starting out 1-0 in its own season, Long Beach State suffered a 7-0 sweep at the hands of the Bears. The Bears took all seven points in the first dual match and won all three doubles matches for good measure. Senior Susie Babos, ranked No. 10, defeated the 49ers' top-court player Hannah Grady 6-4, 6-1 to pace the Bears while fellow senior Stephanie Kusano continued her dominance on the sixth court, extending her winning streak to a fifth match. No. 31 junior Bojana Bobusic won her 17th match of the season, defeating Jessica Weeks 6-3, 6-1 and freshman Marina Cossou won her ninth-consecutive match, taking a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Deborah Armstrong. No plans have been made to make up the cancelled match against Pepperdine.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 16 CLEMSON: The Bears have faced the Tigers (3-1) on four occasions and hold a perfect 4-0 record. The two teams recently locked up in the round of 16 of last year's NCAA Championships where the Bears took a 4-0 win against the Tigers on their way to an appearance in the National Championship Semifinal. On the court this season, senior Susie Babos faced then No. 21-ranked Ani Mijacika and won 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 to claim her second consecutive All-American Championship title. The Tigers enter the Indoor Championships coming off a 4-3 loss to then-No. 23 Virginia Commonwealth University. Sophomore Mijacika now holds the No. 4 ranking among singles players and is joined in the top-100 by No. 84 senior Carol Salge and No. 53 junior Federica Van Adrichem. Mijacika and Van Adrichem combine to form the No. 19-ranked doubles team in the country.
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.
BEARS IN THE RANKINGS: The Golden Bears opened the season with the No. 6 ranking but dropped one spot over a weekend in which they were unable to play matches due to weather conditions. Cal finished 2007 with the No. 5 ranking and has completed six seasons ranked No. 4, the team's highest final ranking. Amongst individuals, senior Susie Babos leads the pack with the nation's No. 10 ranking. She is joined by two other seniors in the rankings with No. 52 Marion Ravelojaona and No. 54 Cristina Visico. Junior Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 31, her highest career individual ranking. Cal's tandem of Babos and senior Stephanie Kusano is ranked No. 36 amongst the nation's doubles teams.
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 nine-consecutive matches.
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.