No. 8 Cal Resumes Pac-10 Play on the Road at No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC
March 26, 2009
THIS WEEK: The No. 8-ranked California women's tennis team (11-3, 2-0 Pac-10) will tangle with the top teams in the Pac-10 as it resumes conference play on the road at No. 10 USC (13-2, 1-0 Pac-10) and No. 9 UCLA (13-3, 1-0 Pac-10) this week in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears will face the Women of Troy on Friday, March 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the David X. Marks Tennis Stadium before taking on the Bruins in a rematch of last year's NCAA championship match on Saturday, March 28 at noon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. Live scores and video will be available for each match at www.usctrojans.com and www.uclabruins.com.
LAST WEEK: The Bears suffered their first defeat at home this season as they split matches. Cal defeated No. 42-ranked Denver, 5-2, to spoil former Cal standout Amy Jensen's homecoming as a head coach before narrowly falling to No. 18-ranked Fresno State by a 4-3 count. No. 22-ranked senior Bojana Bobusic ran her singles winning streak to eight matches as she claimed Pac-10 women's tennis player of the week honors; the third time for Cal this season. She improved to 27-7 overall and notched an impressive 13-1 mark in dual matches with her three-set win over Fresno State's Tinesta Rowe. No. 21-ranked sophomore Marina Cossou returned from a layoff due to injury to play in two doubles matches and one singles match. With Cossou back with fellow senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson nursing the flu, Bobusic teamed up with freshman Jana Juricova for their first matches together since the fall and went 2-0 including an 8-5 win over the top-ranked team of Anastasia Petukhova and Renata Kucerkova of Fresno State. The Bears claimed the doubles point for the 10th time this season against the Bulldogs.
BOBUSIC NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior Bojana Bobusic was named the Pac-10's women's tennis player of the week for the week of March 16-22 as she emerged from play with a perfect record in all four of her matches. She became the third Cal player to win the honors this season as she helped the Bears to a 5-2 win over No. 42 Denver and a narrow 4-3 loss to No. 18-ranked Fresno State. Bobusic ran her singles record to 27-7 overall with a 13-1 mark in dual matches as she defeated Denver's Ute Schnoy at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-2. She then took out Fresno State's Tinesta Rowe at No. 4 singles, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-5 for her eighth straight singles victory. In doubles play, she teamed up with freshman Jana Juricova for just their fifth and sixth matches together (first since the fall) and got two big wins to help Cal win the doubles point for the 10th time this year. The duo claimed an 8-2 win over Julia Bauregger and Mallory Voelker of Denver on the top court in their first match. Then in their second match, they fought out an 8-5 win over top-ranked Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. This was Bobusic's first such honor and the ninth all-time for the Cal women.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 8 as a team in the most recent (March 24) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has five ranked singles players with 17th-ranked freshman Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Sophomore Marina Cossou is No. 21 and senior Bojana Bobusic is No. 22. Claire Ilcinkas holds the No. 38 ranking to give the Bears four in the top 40 alone. Sophomore Mari Andersson is ranked No. 75 to complete the list and gives the Bears five among the top 75 singles players in the nation. Cal's arsenal also includes two of the top 10 doubles teams in the country as Andersson and Juricova combine for the No. 7 ranking; and Cossou and Ilcinkas become the No. 9-ranked doubles team.
ON COURT - NO. 10 USC: The Women of Troy (13-2, 1-0 Pac-10) have won their last five matches since dropping a 4-3 decision to rival UCLA on March 4. USC has also won nine of its last 10 matches heading into the weekend. The Trojans improved their road record to 4-2 with two wins last week. USC took out No. 57-ranked Pepperdine, 6-1, before claiming a 5-2 win at No. 51 San Diego. USC is led by No. 13-ranked sophomore Maria Sanchez, who has a team-high 22 singles wins including a 5-2 mark at the top singles court. Two other Trojans have eclipsed the 20-win plateau this season with No. 26-ranked senior Amanda Fink (21-7) holding a 12-1 mark in dual matches and No. 58-ranked junior Gabriela Niculescu (21-5) leading the team with a 13-1 dual-match record. No. 25-ranked junior Sarah Fansler is also 5-2 on the top singles court and has a 17-9 record in all singles duals. No. 62-ranked freshman Alison Ramos is 11-4 duals and has already amassed a 19-9 record in all singles matches. Fink and Niculescu are ranked No. 10 in and are 13-5 in doubles with an 11-5 mark on the top court. Niculescu teams with Sanchez for the No. 22 ranking as the two posted a 7-1 record in the fall. No. 53-ranked Fansler and sophomore Lyndsay Kintsler round out USC's three ranked doubles teams with a 9-7 record, 8-6 in duals. Cal and USC split 6-1 matches last year with the home team winning each time. The Trojans lead the all-time series by a 31-24 count.
ON COURT - NO. 9 UCLA: The Bruins (13-3, 1-0 Pac-10) are coming off a tough loss to No. 5-ranked Baylor in Waco, Texas. The loss snapped an eight-match winning streak that UCLA started after coming out of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a 1-2 record. UCLA has a 4-2 record in matches decided by a single point this season. The Bruins are led by No. 16-ranked junior Yasmin Schnack. Schnack has a 20-5 record in all singles matches with a team-high 12-1 mark in duals. She is 6-1 at the top court and undefeated at 6-0 at No. 2 singles. No. 45-ranked sophomore Andrea Remynse ranks second on the team with a 16-9 record and is 7-5 in dual matches. No. 80-ranked sophomore Maya Johansson has 15-singles wins this year along with freshman Nina Pantic (15-6), and freshman Carling Seguso (15-8). Seguso is 11-4 in dual matches with a 6-2 mark on the fifth court. Remynse and Schnack are ranked No. 2 in doubles with an 18-1 mark on the season and a 14-1 record in dual doubles matches at the top court. Senior Ashley Joelson and Schnack combine to form the No. 33-ranked doubles team and Seguso and junior Stephanie Wetmore are ranked No. 46 with a 10-0 record in dual matches (5-0 at No. 2 and 5-0 at No. 3 doubles). Cal and UCLA split 4-3 matches last year with the road team winning each time. UCLA leads the all-time series by a 34-26 count.
POWER OF THE PAC: Eight out nine of the Pac-10's women's tennis teams hold rankings in the latest Campbell's/ITA College Tennis Poll of NCAA Division I Women's Tennis teams--making the Pac-10 one of the toughest leagues in collegiate women's tennis. Cal leads the way with the No. 8 ranking; followed closely by No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 USC. Stanford checks in next at No. 11 with Arizona State at No. 20 to give the conference five teams in the top-25 alone. Washington holds the No. 36 spot with Oregon at No. 57 and Arizona at No. 62. Washington State cracked the rankings for the first time on March 17 at No. 74 but has since fallen off. Last year, Cal and UCLA battled it out in the NCAA team championship match to give the conference full control of the national title. Three Pac-10 teams made the NCAA quarterfinals and four made it as far as the round of 16. The conference also produced two NCAA singles championship quarterfinalists and the doubles national champion among its 10 ITA All-Americans. Four of those All-American were Bears including currently active senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Marina Cossou as well as Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano.
BEARS TAKE WEEKLY HONORS: Three Bears have won Pac-10 women's tennis player of the week this season to give Cal nine such honors all time; the most of any Pac-10 team. Sophomore Mari Andersson won the award for the week of Feb. 9-15 and freshman Jana Juricova took home honors for the week of March 9-15. Senior Bojana Bobusic claimed the prize for the week of March 16-22 to make it the first time in school history that Cal has had three winners in the same season.
INDOOR HONORS: Senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson were each named to the 2009 ITA National Team Indoor Championship All-Tournament Team. Andersson held the third-court position while Ilcinkas took fourth-court honors. The two each went 3-0 in singles matches at the annual team tournament and picked up two wins each with their doubles partners as the Bears advanced to the semifinal match for the first time since 2004. The pair was joined by four other singles players and three doubles teams on the all-tournament team. Representing the top court was Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, who was also named the tournament's most outstanding player. Court two honors belonged to Duke's Ellah Nze. On court five, Georgia had Naoko Ueshima while Shannon Matthews of Notre Dame rounded out the singles players on court six. All three doubles teams came from Northwestern: Georgia Rose and Lauren Lui on the top court, Maria Mosolova and Keri Robison on court two and Samantha Murray and Elena Chernyakova on court three. Ilcinkas and Andersson became the first two Bears to receive all-tournament honors at the Indoor Championships.
CAL AT THE ITA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Bears made their fourth consecutive appearance at the indoor championship and advanced to the semifinal for the first time since 2004. Cal has now won its opening match in seven of its last nine visits to Madison, Wis. for the annual tournament. The Bears rank sixth among all teams for most wins at the championship with 24 and are only one of 11 teams that can claim they have made it to the final of the championship, earning runner-up status in 2000. In the second year of its existence, senior Claire Ilcinkas and sophomore Mari Andersson earned honors on the Indoor Championship All-Tournament Team; Ilcinkas on the fourth singles court and Andersson on the third.
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.
JENSEN RETURNS TO BERKELEY: A four-time All-American selection and two-time All-Conference selection while at Cal, Denver head coach Amy Jensen returned to face her alma mater as a head coach for the first time when the Denver Pioneers invaded Hellman Tennis Complex on March 19. The Bears emerged with a 5-2 victory. Jensen won the 1998 and 1999 NCAA doubles championship with Cal head coach Amanda Augustus and retained the title one more year as she won the 2000 crown with Claire Curran. Jensen served as Cal's assistant and associate head coach from 2001-2006 under the guidance of Jan Brogan. In her second season as head coach of the Pioneers, Jensen guided Denver to its finest season in school history with a 23-3 record, Sun Belt Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2007, Jensen led the Pioneers to a 14-9 record and third place finish at the Sun Belt Conference championship. While at Cal, she posted a career record of 105-52 in singles and a remarkable 94-29 record in doubles. She had a career high singles ranking of No. 9 and finished with a national doubles ranking of No. 2 for three consecutive years. Jensen graduated from Cal in May 2002 with a pre-med degree in integrative biology.
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 48-16 (.750) 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. As a player, Augustus earned All-American honors six times (twice for doubles, four times for singles) and All-Pac-10 honors in each of her four years. She teamed with Amy Jensen to capture the NCAA title in both 1998 and 1999 and became the first tandem to win back-to-back doubles championships.