No. 8 Golden Bears Tangle Up With Trojans And Bruins In Los Angeles

Feb. 26, 2008


Complete Feb. 26 California Women's Tennis Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Fri., Feb. 29 | 1:30 p.m.
Marks Tennis Stadium
Los Angeles, Calif.
at No. 11T USC

Sat., Mar. 1 | 12 p.m.
Los Angeles Tennis Center
Los Angeles, Calif.
at No. 11T UCLA

BEAR NOTES: The No. 8 California women's tennis team (6-2, 2-0 Pac-10) heads south this weekend to take on USC (8-2, 0-0) and UCLA (8-2, 0-0). Both of the southern California schools have identical records and are each ranked No. 11 in this week's ITA poll. The Golden Bears will face the Trojans on Friday, Feb. 29 at the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium in a 1:30 p.m. start. Next, the Bruins will host Cal at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on Saturday, Mar. 1 at 12 noon. Neither match will count towards Pac-10 standings as the teams will face each other again in early April. Please check for up-to-date statistics and news.

LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears faced its first Pac-10 Conference opponent when it hosted No. 3 Stanford last Wednesday. Strong play in doubles gave Cal the decided advantage heading into the six singles matches. The French duo of freshman Marina Cososu and junior Claire Ilcinkas got an 8-2 victory on court two before No. 53-ranked seniors Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano clinched the doubles point. In singles play, only Cossou would fall on court two to No. 9 Jessica Nguyen. The Bears took singles points on all of the other courts to overpower the Cardinal by a 6-1 score, earning the upset and the first victory against Stanford since 2003. A day after trouncing the Cardinal, the Bears boarded a plane to head for the Pacific Northwest to take on the Washington schools in the first of this season's Pac-10 matches. The Bears wasted no time going to work on the Cougars, taking a 6-1 win over No. 44 Washington State in Pullman, Wash. Cal took care of business, winning on all three doubles courts. In singles play, senior Cristina Visico overcame a lost first set to win 6-0, 6-2 in the second and third against Ekaterina Kamendova to clinch the match for the Bears. Heading to Seattle, Wash. the next day, the Bears found themselves in a battle for the doubles point after splitting on courts two and three with the Huskies. However, Babos and Kusano stepped up to take an 8-5 win on court one against Joyce Ardies and Tara Simpson to secure the doubles point. In singles play, No. 43 Washington quickly tied the score up as last week's Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week freshman Venise Chan took a 6-0, 6-1 win against Babos. But the Bears fought back and won the next four points with Kusano's win against Kelsey Anonsen on the fifth court clinching the match for the team.

KUSANO NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Stephanie Kusano was named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 18-24 as she earned six victories without a loss in both singles and doubles play. Kusano's win against No. 31 Carolyn McVeigh of Stanford helped the Bears to a stunning upset of No. 3 Stanford. To date, she is 7-1 in dual match singles play and is riding a five-match winning streak during which she has dropped only one set. The honor was a first for the senior and is the fifth such distinction for a Cal women's tennis player. The last Bear to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors was current volunteer assistant coach Zsuzsanna Fodor.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 11 USC: Just like the Bears, the Trojans' only two losses came at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships where they fell to North Carolina and Georgia. USC comes into the weekend tied for the 11th ranking and with an 8-2 record having bounced back from those losses with three consecutive wins against San Diego State, Arizona and Arizona State. Cal will be facing USC for the 54th time this weekend and is currently behind in the all-time series, with 23 wins against 30 losses. The last time the two teams met, the Trojans prevailed in Los Angeles with a 4-3 victory. The Bears however, were able to win last seasons' match at home by a 5-2 score, splitting the season series. The Trojans are led by junior No. 17 Amanda Fink who has a team-high 19 wins and only four losses. Fink also has accumulated 19 wins in doubles play when teaming with sophomore Gabriela Niculescu. The duo is ranked No. 5 in the latest ITA poll. Also ranked amongst singles players for the Trojans are senior No. 68 Lindsey Nelson and No. 97 Niculescu. USC also has a second nationally ranked doubles team in Nelson and freshman Maria Sanchez, who currently hold the No. 39 spot.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 11 UCLA: The Bruins (8-2) are coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Arizona State in the desert. UCLA was swept in doubles play for the first time this year and was only able to gain three points on the singles courts, falling to the Sun Devils. UCLA's only other loss this season came at the hands of a then No. 5-ranked North Carolina team at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Cal is 25-32 all-time against the Bruins and split last season's matches, taking a 7-0 win in Berkeley but falling 4-3 in Los Angeles. The Bruins are led by senior No. 10 Riza Zalameda, who has a 15-6 singles record. However, senior Elizabeth Lumpkin leads the team with 22 singles wins and freshman No. 27 Andrea Remynse is right behind her with 21 wins. Also ranked is sophomore No. 40 Yasmin Schnack. UCLA has had to shuffle its doubles teams around due to injuries but has four different pairings holding rankings in the latest ITA poll. The highest of those rankings combines Zalameda and Schnack at No. 18. Zalameda is also No. 30 when teamed with freshman Tracy Lin. Lumpkin and sophomore Stephanie Wetmore are No. 49 when on the court together.

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. 8 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. 7 ranking. She is joined by senior Cristina Visico, who holds the No. 41 ranking. Junior Claire Ilcinkas is No. 83 and fellow classman Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 87. Freshman Marina Cossou also broke the singles rankings for the first time in her career with the No. 52 spot. Cal's tandem of Babos and senior Stephanie Kusano is ranked No. 53 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 an 11-5 record, going 4-2 in dual matches so far. Together in the fall, 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 singles 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. Bobusic is currently on a four match winning streak and leads the team with 21 singles wins.

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. Cossou has continued her impressive play in dual matches so far, notching 17 wins against only four losses in her first season, playing predominantly on court two.

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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