No. 9 Golden Bears Host No. 3 Stanford

Feb. 19, 2008


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vs. No. 3 Stanford
Wednesday, Feb. 20 | 1:30 p.m.
Hellman Tennis Complex
Berkeley, Calif.

at No. 46 Washington State
Friday, Feb. 22 | 11 a.m.
Simmelink Courts
Pullman, Wash.

at No. 48 Washington
Saturday, Feb. 23 | 12 p.m.
Nordstrom Tennis Center
Seattle, Wash.

BEAR NOTES: The No. 9 California women's tennis team (3-2) hosts rival No. 3 Stanford (4-1) in a 1:30 p.m. match at Hellman Tennis Complex on Wednesday before heading to the Pacific Northwest for its first Pac-10 matches. The Golden Bears will meet No. 46 Washington State (7-1) on Friday (Feb. 22) at 11 a.m. from the Simmelink Courts in Pullman, Wash. before making the trip to Seattle, Wash. to tangle with No. 48 Washington (8-1) in a Saturday (Feb. 23) match at noon on the courts of the Nordstrom Tennis Center. Cal is coming off a make-up match against UC Davis in which it swept all courts to take a 7-0 win against the Aggies. The first meeting between the two teams was initially postponed due to inclement weather conditions.

LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears were able to make up a rained-out match when it faced UC Davis on Saturday morning at Hellman Tennis Complex, the first home match of the season for Cal. After suffering two straight losses at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships (4-0 to No. 3 Northwestern and 7-0 to No. 9 Miami), the Bears wasted no time getting comfortable with their familiar surroundings and took out their frustrations on the visiting Aggies. After junior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Rachael Dillon teamed up on court three to take a quick 8-1 win, the No. 36-ranked duo of seniors Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano clinched the doubles point for the Bears with an 8-3 win over Robin Guier and Randi Schuler on the first court. Cal didn't let up in singles play with No. 10 Babos taking a 6-1, 6-1 win against Schuler to start things off. No. 31 Bobusic was right behind her teammate with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Anita Athavale. Junior Claire Ilcinkas notched her fourth win without a loss in dual play when she defeated Kaitlin Callan in a 6-1, 6-1 rout, clinching the win for Cal. Seniors No. 54 Cristina Visico and Kusano each got 6-0, 6-0 wins on courts three and six before freshman Marina Cossou tallied the Bears' seventh point of the day by taking a 6-3, 6-3 win against Guier on court two. With the win, Cal got back on the winning track heading into a big week against rival Stanford and its first Pac-10 matches on the road in the Pacific Northwest.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 3 STANFORD: The Golden Bears will be facing rival Stanford (4-1) for the 66th time when the teams take the court this week. The Cardinal hold a 58-7 lead in the all-time series between the schools and have won 12 consecutive matches dating back to 2003. Cal faced a top-ranked Stanford team three times last season (once in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships) and surrendered a 4-3 win to the Cardinal in the Pac-10 match last April. Stanford is led by junior No. 21 Jessica Nguyen and her team-high 13 singles wins this season. Nguyen won the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship, defeating Cal senior No. 54 Cristina Visico in the final match. Stanford is coming off a 6-1 win against No. 50 St. Mary's after suffering its first loss of the season against No. 4 Georgia Tech at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. The Cardinal also hold wins over No. 11 Baylor and No. 9 Miami this season. When teamed with senior Whitney Deason, Nguyen holds a perfect 9-0 record in doubles matches, playing on courts two and three.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 46 WASHINGTON STATE: The Golden Bears hold an 11-1 edge in the all-time series against the Cougars (7-1), most recently claiming a 6-0 win last season at home. Washington State has compiled an impressive 7-0 record at home this season with the only loss coming at the hands of a No. 41 Denver team on the road. The Cougars will host Boise State on Feb. 20 before the two bay area schools make their visit to the Pacific Northwest. Washington State is led by senior No. 91 Ekaterina Burduli and her team-high 18 singles wins against only three losses this season. Burduli also has an 11-6 record in doubles play when she gets on the court with freshman Ekaterina Kamendova, who is second on the team with 12 singles wins on the year. Freshman Jessica Gomez holds a 10-4 record in singles play for the Cougars.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 48 WASHINGTON: The Huskies (8-1) and the Bears have tangled on the court 22 times with Cal emerging victorious in 19 of those meetings. Last year, the Bears took a 7-0 sweep of Washington at Hellman Tennis Complex in an early April match. Freshman Venise Chan was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week earlier this week after posting impressive performances against Purdue and Illinois. Chan has accumulated 15 wins in her first season with only two losses. Chan's record as a doubles player is no less impressive, already notching her 12th win this season. The Huskies are led to the court by senior Tara Simpson who also has 15 singles wins. Washington assistant coach Damon Coupe served as Cal's associate head coach last season and had a hand in helping legendary Golden Bear coach Jan Brogan guide the team to a final four appearance in the NCAA Championships.

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 are currently ranked No. 9 in the latest ITA poll of NCAA Division I collegiate women's tennis teams. Cal opened the season with the No. 6 ranking. The Bears 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.

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.

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