No. 9 Golden Bears Selected to Host NCAA First and Second Rounds

April 28, 2009

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The No. 9-ranked California women's tennis team (17-4, 7-1 Pac-10) has been selected to host first and second round matches in the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships. The Golden Bears received the No. 8 seed in their 28th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA championship tournament and are riding a six-match winning streak into a matchup against unseeded Northeast Conference champion Long Island (10-7, 3-0 NEC). The Blackbirds are on an eight-match winning streak entering the postseason. Cal and LIU will face off at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 8, at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

In the other first-round match, No. 31 Texas (16-7, 10-1 Big 12) will take on No. 41 Pepperdine (13-11) at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 8. The Longhorns took a second-place conference finish and are making their 27th-consecutive appearance in the tournament after advancing to the round of 16 a year ago. The Waves won their 22nd West Coast Conference crown to earn an automatic postseason bid.

The winners of each match will play in the second round match scheduled for Saturday, May 9, at noon. Sunday, May 10, will serve as a make-up day in the event of weather-induced postponement. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for seniors, students with valid identification and youth (K-12). Single-day tickets will only be sold at the gate.

The Bears completed league play in second place and will be one of six Pac-10 teams in the 2009 NCAA tournament. Last year, Cal also received the eighth seed and defeated Army and Louisiana State in first and second round matches. In the round of 16 in Tulsa, Okla., the Bears took out Duke before upsetting top-seeded and top-ranked Northwestern in the quarterfinals, 4-2. After defeating No. 5-ranked Baylor in the national semifinal to advance further than any Cal squad in history, the Bears finished as the national runner-up to NCAA champion, UCLA.

Cal will carry five players ranked in the top 60 into this year's team competition including No. 10-ranked freshman Jana Juricova. Sophomore Marina Cossou holds the No. 28 singles ranking with senior Bojana Bobusic sitting tight at No. 30. Sophomore Mari Andersson is ranked No. 35 and senior Claire Ilcinkas checks in at No. 54. The Bears also have four doubles teams ranked in the top 90 in the nation including No. 5 Andersson and Juricova and No. 26 Cossou and Ilcinkas. Entries into the NCAA singles and doubles championship will be announced tomorrow (April 29).

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