No. 2 Golden Bears Head to ITA National Team Indoor Championship
Feb. 12, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 2-ranked California women's tennis team (3-0) heads to Madison, Wisc. as the second-seeded team in the 23rd annual ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship, hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the A.C. Nielson Tennis Stadium. The Golden Bears will face No. 12-ranked Clemson (5-1) in the first round at 1:30 p.m. (PT) Friday, Feb. 13. Quarterfinals are set for Saturday, Feb. 14 with a round of consolation matches and semifinals are set for Sunday, Feb. 15 with a second round of consolation matches. The championship match will take place on Monday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. PT. Please visit www.itatennis.com for more information on the annual indoor tournament.
CAL AT THE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Bears are making their fourth consecutive appearance at the indoor championship and have won their opening match in six of their last eight visits to Wisconsin. Cal ranks sixth among all teams for most wins at the championship with 22. The Bears are also only one of 11 teams that can claim they have made it to the final of the championship, earning runner-up status in 2000. Stanford leads all participants with 64 victories and nine team championships (out of 22). The last two championships have been claimed by Georgia Tech (also won the NCAA title in 2007). Prior to that, Stanford won three times in a row, each time emerging as the NCAA champion months later.
THE INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD: In addition to the host No. 68 Badgers and defending champion No. 7 Georgia Tech, this year's 16-team field includes: No. 4 Baylor, No. 2 California, No. 12 Clemson, No. 8 Duke, No. 10 Florida, No. 13 Fresno State, No. 6 Georgia, No. 15 Miami, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 1 Northwestern, No. 14 Notre Dame, No. 9 USC, No. 5 Stanford and No. 3 UCLA. 12 of the 15 No.1 seeds from the Kick-Off Weekend have advanced to the National Team Indoors for a chance to capture the crown.
LAST WEEK: Cal took a trip to Southern California and came home with a 6-1 victory over San Diego State. After surrendering the doubles point to the Aztecs, the Bears clinched the match when senior Marion Ravelojaona won her singles match on court five over Olivia Colman, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Cal won all six of its singles matches. Senior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Stephany Chang teamed up for the doubles win on court three, but the No. 7-ranked duo of sophomore Marina Cossou and senior Claire Ilcinkas dropped an 8-5 match on the top court. Sophomore Mari Andersson and Ravelojaona fought for a tiebreaker but fell 7-5 to give the Aztecs the early 1-0 lead. No. 30-ranked Ilcinkas took a 6-1, 6-3 win over Milana Yusupov on court three to knot things up at one-all before Chang came off next when she took a 6-2, 7-5 win over Roxanne Ellison on court six to give the Bears a 2-1 lead. No. 13-ranked Cossou put Cal on the brink of a victory with her 7-5, 6-1 win on the top court over No. 93-ranked Julia Trunk. Ravelojaona put things away next on court five. The Bears finished things off with two more singles wins as No. 15-ranked Bobusic walked away with a three-set win on court four over Esther Cadua, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Andersson finished last but came away with a 0-6, 6-3, 7-6 win against Holly Bagshaw on court two. Andersson won her tiebreaker, 7-5.
ON COURT - NO. 12 CLEMSON: The Tigers are a familiar foe for the Bears, who have faced this ACC team twice in tournaments in the last two years. In 2008, Cal defeated Clemson, 4-2, in the first round of the ITA Indoor Team Championships. In 2007, the Bears posted a 4-0 victory over the Tigers in the NCAA round of 16. Overall, Cal has emerged victorious in all five meetings against Clemson. Junior Ani Mijacika leads the Tigers with an 18-3 singles record and boasts the number-four national singles ranking. The Croatian native has won three straight matches over top-10 ranked opponents and is the reigning ACC Player of the Week. No. 10-ranked freshman Josipa Bek, 102nd-ranked senior Federica van Adrichem, No. 111-ranked freshman Keri Wong and No. 117 senior Alexandra Luc round out the Tigers' ranked players. Clemson also has two ranked doubles teams in No. 13 Mijacika and van Adrichem and No. 35 Ina Hadziselimovic and Wong. Head coach Nancy Harris is in her 11th season at Clemson and holds a 174-104 record there. The Tigers got wins over Boise State and Auburn in ITA Kick-Off Weekend play and are 5-1 on the year. Clemson's only loss was a 4-3 decision to sixth-ranked Georgia on Feb. 7. The Tigers are making their fifth appearance (fourth in the last five years) at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Golden Bears are ranked No. 2 as a team in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Associate (ITA) poll. Cal has four ranked singles players led by 13th-ranked sophomore Marina Cossou. Senior Bojana Bobusic isn't far behind, holding the No. 15 spot and fellow senior Claire Ilcinkas is ranked No. 30. Freshman Jana Juricova is ranked No. 52. The Bears also boast one of the top-10 ranked doubles teams in the country as Cossou and Ilcinkas team up to hold down the No. 7 ranking.
FALL 2008 REVIEW: The Bears were highly successful in fall individual tournaments in 2008. Senior Bojana Bobusic advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Singles Championship match and earned an automatic berth to the ITA National Indoor Championships along with All-Americans sophomore Marina Cossou and senior Claire Ilcinkas. Freshman Jana Juricova put her name on the map as she posted a team-best 17-2 overall singles record. She won the Saint Mary's Invitational singles title and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational singles title and joined forces with Rachael Dillon to win the doubles championship at the Saint Mary's Invitational as well. Senior Marion Ravelojaona returned from a leg injury a year ago to claim the Cal Nike Invitational Blue Flight singles championship in the early fall.
HEAD COACH Amanda Augustus: In just her first season at the helm for the Golden Bears, head coach Amanda Augustus led Cal to a program-best finish as the NCAA championship runner up in 2008. Augustus recorded a 21-6 overall record and helped Cal to a third place finish in the Pac-10 with a 6-2 conference mark. The Bears completed the season with the No. 3 ranking, which was also the highest finish in Cal history. In just two seasons as a collegiate head coach, Augustus has solidified a 41-14 overall record and proven that her squads will be ones to be reckoned with, producing four ITA All-American selections in her first season at Cal and pushing the Bears to heights not reached before.