No. 5 Golden Bears Fly North For Pac-10 Date With Ducks
April 8, 2008
Sat., April 11 | Noon
at No. 46 Oregon
Student Tennis Center
BEAR NOTES: Locked in a heated battle for the top spot in the Pac-10 Conference, the No. 5 California women's tennis team (14-4, 5-1 Pac-10) heads north for a conference match against No. 46 Oregon (10-10, 3-3, Pac-10) Saturday (April 12) at noon at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene, Ore. The Golden Bears moved up one spot in the latest ITA poll of NCAA Division I women's collegiate tennis teams after splitting home matches against No. 9 UCLA, a 4-3 loss and No. 8 USC, a 6-1 win. Cal currently shares the conference lead with No. 3 Stanford at 5-1 each and will face the Ducks this weekend and the Cardinal April 19 in its remaining conference matches. The last time the Bears faced the Ducks in Berkeley, they came away with a 7-0 sweep of the visitors and went on to win their next nine matches in a row; an 11-match winning streak overall. For more information, please visit CalBears.com
LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears split home matches against two top-ten teams as No. 9 UCLA and No. 8 USC came to visit the Hellman Tennis Complex. Not only did Cal split matches on the weekend, they also split the season series with each of the teams. The Bruins won the doubles point when the teams met in Los Angeles but lost the match 4-3 to the Bears. This time, the Bears snagged the doubles point only to fall to the same fate, bested on four out of the six singles courts to lose 4-3. Cal's No. 20-ranked senior duo of Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano teamed up to take out the No. 9-ranked team of Riza Zalameda and Tracy Lin on the top doubles court by an 8-6 score. In singles, No. 16 Babos would later defeat No. 11 Zalameda on the top court by coming from behind to win 3-9, 6-2, 7-6, taking the third set tiebreaker 7-4. Freshman No. 12 Marina Cossou also put up a strong win by defeating No. 43 Lin on the second court, but the three points weren't enough. Cal came out a little flat facing the Trojans the next day, falling on all three doubles courts but returned from a short break with a vengeance and took wins on all six singles courts. The last time the Bears played USC in Los Angeles, the Bears got the doubles point but ended up falling on all six courts. Cossou clinched the match for the Bears with her 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 win against No. 10 Amanda Fink on court two. In a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship, Babos notched her second singles win of the weekend, defeating No. 50 Lindsey Nelson on the top court by a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 count.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 46 OREGON: Entering the weekend, Cal holds a 15-0 record against Oregon. The last time the two teams met, Cal hosted a No. 26-ranked Duck team at the Hellman Tennis Complex but was not very hospitable, dismissing Oregon by a 7-0 count on March 9, 2007. The win was the second in a string of 11-consecutive wins for the Bears that took the team to 19-3 overall on the season. The Ducks opened the season by winning five of their first seven matches but have since only managed to hover near the .500-mark (10-10, 3-3 Pac-10), coming into their match with the Bears on a two-match losing streak. Oregon is led to the court by freshman No. 78 Celine Rolly, who occupies the top court for the Ducks. Rolly has amassed 15 singles wins as a frosh, four of those against top-60 opponents. Another freshman, Stephanie Macfarlane has broken the double-digit mark in singles wins, reaching 11. Oregon junior Carmen Seremeta prepped at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, Calif.
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 collegiate tandem ever to win back-to-back championships.
BEARS IN THE RANKINGS: The Golden Bears are currently ranked No. 5 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 have completed six seasons ranked No. 4, the team's highest final ranking. Amongst individuals, freshman Marina Cossou leads the pack with the nation's No. 12 ranking, her highest this season. Cossou entered the rankings for the first time in her career at the No. 52 spot and currently holds a 25-6 singles record. Three-time singles national champion Susie Babos is No. 16 and is joined by fellow senior Cristina Visico, who holds down the No. 34 spot. Junior Claire Ilcinkas is No. 91, and fellow junior classman Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 102. Although she is out with an injury, senior Marion Ravelojaona is ranked No. 111 on the strength of her wins in fall tournaments. Cal's tandem of Babos and Stephanie Kusano is ranked No. 20 among the nation's doubles teams, currently holding a 18-9 record together.
TWENTY-SOMETHINGS: Six Cal players have eclipsed the 20-win mark in singles play this season, led by freshman Marina Cossou and junior Bojana Bobusic who each have 25 victories. Junior Claire Ilcinkas has the team's best winning percentage with a 24-5 mark. Senior Susie Babos checks in with 23 singles wins, giving her 125 singles wins in her collegiate career. Fellow seniors Cristina Visico and Stephanie Kusano each have notched 22 singles wins on the year. Visico, too, is on the verge of a milestone, needing just one more win to reach the 100-win mark for her career.
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. Visico has occupied the third court in dual matches all year and has run up a 12-5 record, 22-10 overall.
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 25 singles wins against only 12 losses.
CLAIRE SAILING: Junior Claire Ilcinkas has quietly built up quite an impressive singles record, going 9-2 on court four and 4-0 on the fifth court for 13-2 in dual matches. Her 11-3 record in fall tournaments gives her an overall mark of 24-5, one of the best winning percentages on the team. At one point, Ilcinkas was riding a seven-match winning streak in the months of February and March, taking wins against ranked opponents on three occasions.
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 16-8 record, going 9-5 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 23 wins against only six 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 has since bested her performance by defeating a No. 10-ranked Amanda Fink of USC by a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 score.
COSSOU AND KUSANO RECEIVE PAC-10 HONORS: Freshman Marina Cossou and senior Stephanie Kusano were each selected as the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week this season. Cossou was picked for the week of March 3-9 and Kusano for Feb. 18-24. The honors mark the fifth and sixth time that a Cal player has earned such honors. Cossou was rewarded for her stellar play from the top court for the Bears, defeating three consecutive top-65 opponents in singles play, including a then No. 11-ranked Megan Moulton-Levy of William & Mary. Kusano went perfect during her week by earning six victories, three in singles and three in doubles. Her win against No. 31 Carolyn McVeigh of Stanford helped the Bears to a stunning upset of the No. 3 Cardinal.
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.