No. 7 Golden Bears Hit The Road To Face No. 15 Arizona State and Arizona

March 27, 2008


Complete March 27 California Women's Tennis Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Fri., Mar. 28 | 1:30 p.m.

at Arizona
LaNelle Robson Tennis Center
Tucson, Ariz.

Sat., Mar. 29 | 12 p.m.
at No. 15 Arizona State
Whiteman Tennis Center
Tempe, Ariz.

BEAR NOTES: The No. 7 California women's tennis team (11-3, 2-0 Pac-10) resumes Pac-10 Conference play this weekend as it goes on the road to take on Arizona (7-10, 0-1) and No. 15 Arizona State (11-3, 1-0). The Golden Bears will face a reeling Wildcat team Friday, March 28, 1:30 p.m. from the LaNelle Robson Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona has lost its last four matches, two by 7-0 sweeps coming into the weekend. Cal will then travel to Tempe, Ariz. to take on the Sun Devils in a Saturday, March 29, noon match at the Whiteman Tennis Center. The Devils are riding a three-match winning streak since losing back-to-back matches when they visited the Bay Area. Please check for information and updates.

LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears blanked visiting No. 37 BYU, getting a 7-0 win on Friday. With the win, Cal ran its streak of victories to five straight, and has now won nine of its last ten matches. Doubles courts two and three stomped out Cougar hopes for the doubles point with 8-3 victories each. Freshman Marina Cossou and junior Claire Ilcinkas teamed up on court two to clinch the point for Cal with a win over then No. 60-ranked duo of Dolly Chang and Kristina Doerr. Cal's top doubles team of seniors Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano took out No. 35 Jennifer Miccoli and Anastasia Surkova on court one with an 8-7 win, 7-4 in the tiebreaker. In singles, No. 64 Ilcinkas got a 6-1, 6-0 win over Elizaveta Ezhova to give Cal the 2-0 lead in the match. Senior No. 37 Cristina Visico finished next on court three with a 6-1, 6-2 win against Chie Hayasaka to put the Bears within a point of clinching the match. No. 15 Babos took out No. 86 Surkova on court one next to reach her 20th singles victory of the year, earning the win for Cal.

HOLDING COURT - ARIZONA: Cal got a 6-1 win over the visiting Wildcats on March 8 to run their all-time series advantage to 45-10. The Cats have lost their last four matches, two by 6-1 scores and two by 7-0 scores. Last time, the Bears won on all three doubles courts to claim the doubles point. On the top singles court, freshman Marina Cossou took a 6-4, 6-1 win over then No. 62-ranked Danielle Steinberg for her third consecutive win against a top-65 opponent and clinched the match for the Bears. Steinberg is now ranked No. 55 and has run her singles record to 15-9. Steinberg is also 9-6 in doubles play when she teams up with fellow junior Claire Reitsch. Freshman Jane Huh and sophomores Katie Orletsky and Natalia Toporowska have all eclipsed the 10-singles wins marks for the Cats this season. Toporowska earned Arizona's only point the last time the Bears and Wildcats met in Berkeley, defeating then No. 32-ranked Cristina Visico on court three in a third-set tiebreaker.

HOLDING COURT - NO. 15 ARIZONA STATE: The Bears claimed a 5-2 win over the Sun Devils on March 7 when the Devils paid a visit to Berkeley. The Cal victory put the all-time series record at 34-13 in favor of the Bears. Last time, the first and second doubles courts completed play to a split with Cal winning on court one and ASU winning on court two. Cal's duo of seniors Cristina Visico and Daron Moore went the distance against Ashlee Brown and Kelcy McKenna on court three, holding the Devils to four points in the tiebreaker to win 9-8. Freshman Marina Cossou defeated No. 30 Nadia Abdala on the top court and senior Susie Babos got a win against No. 74 McKenna on court two but it was No. 32 Visico's court three win over Laila Abdala that sealed the victory for the Bears. Since the last meeting, Nadia Abdala has fallen to No. 35 but McKenna has risen to No. 40 among singles players. Nadia and Laila Abdala combine to form the No. 43-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 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.

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.

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 22 singles wins against only 11 losses.

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 14-6 record, going 7-3 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.

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.

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.

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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