No. 7 California Women's Tennis Takes On BYU

March 18, 2008


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Fri., Mar. 21 | 1:30 p.m.
Hellman Tennis Complex
Berkeley, Calif.
vs. No. 37 BYU

BEAR NOTES: The No. 7 California women's tennis team (10-3, 2-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 37 Brigham Young (8-6) at the Hellman Tennis Complex in a 1:30 p.m. match Friday, March 21. The Golden Bears will face the Cougars in what will be their final tune-up before a slate of Pac-10 Conference matches come up, with four out of six on the road. The Bears are in the middle of the slow part of the season schedule having last played on March 8, defeating Arizona, 6-1 and getting seven days off between BYU and their next opponents. Please check for updates and information.

LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears faced two Pacific-10 Conference foes in non-conference matches last week and claimed two victories; 5-2 over then No. 13-ranked Arizona State and 6-1 against then No. 63-ranked Arizona. The wins gave the Bears their third and fourth in a row and their eighth win in the last nine matches. Against the Sun Devils, Cal got out to a 3-0 lead by claiming the doubles point and getting quick wins from seniors Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano on singles courts No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. Fellow senior Cristina Visico clinched the match for the Bears when she dispatched of Arizona State's Laila Abdala 6-3, 6-3 on court three. Freshman Marina Cossou took the 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 30 Nadia Abdala to give Cal its fifth and final point of the day. Facing the Wildcats, the Bears got out to another good start by taking wins on all three doubles courts with no Cal duo giving up more than three games. In singles play, the Bears won all but one match, led by Cossou's clinching win on the top court over No. 62 Danielle Steinberg by a 6-4, 6-1 score. Cossou's win was her third straight over a top-65 opponent and fourth consecutive singles victory overall, earning her Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week honors. Cossou became the second Cal player to garner the award this season, joining teammate Kusano.

COSSOU NAMED PAC-10 WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman Marina Cossou was named the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of March 3-9 after she defeated three consecutive top-65 opponents in singles play. Cossou didn't drop a single set over the course of one of her most successful weeks, defeating No. 11-ranked Megan Moulton-Levy of William & Mary by a 6-2, 6-1 score; No. 30 Nadia Abdala of Arizona State, 6-3, 6-2; and No. 62 Danielle Steinberg of Arizona, 6-4, 6-1. Cossou also went 2-1 in doubles play, earning an 8-4 victory with partner junior Claire Ilcinkas against William & Mary. Paired with fellow freshman Rachael Dillon, Cossou helped the Bears get an impressive 8-1 win over Arizona's Orletsky and Toporowska. Cossou is Cal's second player to win conference player of the week honors this season, following senior Stephanie Kusano's selection for the week of Feb. 18-24.

HEAD COACH Amanda Augustus: As one of Cal's 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.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 37 BRIGHAM YOUNG: The Cougars are coming off a 5-1 upset win of then No. 33-ranked South Carolina to extend their season-high winning streak to four matches. BYU has won six of its last seven matches after opening the dual season with a 2-5 record. Cougar head coach Craig Manning is in his ninth season at the helm for the Cougars and has compiled a 135-74 record during his tenure in Provo, Utah. Thrice, Manning has earned the Mountain West Conference Women's Tennis Coach of the Year award, most recently in 2007 after guiding the Cougars to their third conference crown in four years. BYU is led by sophomore Kristina Doerr, who is ranked No. 80 and is 13-7 in singles play. Doerr holds a 15-3 record in doubles and is ranked No. 60 as part of a doubles team with senior Dolly Chang. Senior Anastasia Surkova is 9-5 in singles play and currently holds the No. 86 ranking. Surkova teams with senior Jenny Miccoli to form the Cougars' top doubles team, holding the No. 35 national ranking. The Bears hold the edge in the all-time series against the Cougars, taking victories in seven of the ten meetings. Cal last faced BYU in 2002 and won 4-0.

BEARS IN THE RANKINGS: The Golden Bears are currently ranked No. 7 in the latest ITA poll of NCAA Division I collegiate women's tennis teams. Cal opened the season holding 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. 15 ranking. She is joined by fellow senior Cristina Visico, who holds the No. 37 ranking. Junior Claire Ilcinkas is No. 64 and fellow junior classman Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 89. Freshman Marina Cossou entered the rankings for the first time in her career at the No. 52 spot on Feb. 20 and has since risen to No. 16. Cal's tandem of Babos and Stephanie Kusano is ranked No. 45 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.

FRENCH CONNECTION: Junior Claire Ilcinkas and freshman Marina Cossou have teamed up to create a formidable duo for the Golden Bears. The doubles team holds a 13-6 record, going 6-3 in dual matches. 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.

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.

KUSANO RECEIVES PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: 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.

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 currently shares the top mark on 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 21 wins against only five losses in her first season, playing predominantly on the top court. Taking court one for the first time against the College of William & Mary, Cossou dismissed another No. 11-ranked player as she defeated the Tribe's Megan Moulton-Levy with a 6-2, 6-1 win on March 5.

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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