No. 9 Cal Stuns No. 1 Northwestern, 4-2, for Return Trip to NCAA Semifinal

May 17, 2009


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The No. 9-ranked California women's tennis team (21-4, 7-1 Pac-10) claimed their 10th consecutive victory in a stunning 4-2 win over top-ranked and top-seeded Northwestern (28-2, 10-0 Big Ten) today in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The Golden Bears will return to the NCAA semifinal for the third consecutive year to face No. 5 Notre Dame (28-4, 15-2 Big East) in a 2 p.m. PT match tomorrow (May 18).

In one of the longest matches of the year, Cal fought off a hard charge by the Wildcats to notch just the second loss on the Northwestern schedule. No. 26-ranked sophomore Marina Cossou sealed the victory for the Bears when she completed a come-from-behind win over No. 20 Georgia Rose, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, at the second court.

Northwestern opened up the day with the first doubles win as Elena Chernyakova and Samantha Murray put away an 8-4 win against senior Bojana Bobusic and freshman Stephany Chang at court three. The Bears responded in kind as No. 7-ranked sophomore Mari Andersson and freshman Jana Juricova took out the 24th-ranked duo of Lauren Lui and Rose at the top court, 8-6. In as dramatic a finish as possible, No. 35-ranked senior Claire Ilcinkas and Cossou pulled off the 7-5 tiebreaker win at No. 2 doubles over the 29th-ranked team of Maria Mosolova and Keri Robison. The two teams traded punches straight through the tiebreaker until the Bears went up 6-5 after breaking the Wildcat serve. Ilcinkas poached a shot from Mosolova and slammed it to the court to seal the doubles point for Cal.

The Bears continued to press as singles matches began with No. 11-ranked Juricova coming through with an impressive 6-4, 6-1 upset of the top-ranked singles player in the nation, Mosolova, at the top court. Cal's 2-0 lead was short-lived however, as Keri Robison rebounded after losing her first set to Chang at court six to post a 0-6, 6-2, 6-1 win to nab Northwestern's first point of the day.

After enduring a hard-fought three-setter at court five, the Wildcats emerged with a two-all tie. No. 117-ranked Nazlie Ghazal brushed aside a 6-1 loss in the first set to claim the second in a 6-4 win. With No. 32 Bobusic up 5-4 and with match-point in hand, Ghazal replied with a rally to send the third set into a tiebreaker. There, Ghazal once again came from behind to come away with a 7-4 win.

The Bears went ahead once more with a 3-2 lead when No. 41-ranked Andersson finished off No. 47 Murray at court three, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, to stem the tide after dropping her middle stanza. Cossou's clinching victory came next at court two. No. 5 Notre Dame owns a 1-0 record against the Bears, having defeated Cal in a 5-4 decision at the 1996 ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

No. 9 California 4, No. 1 Northwestern 22009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship QuarterfinalGeorge P. Mitchell Tennis Center | College Station, TexasSunday, May 17, 2009Doubles1. No. 7 Andersson/Juricova (CAL) def. No. 24 Lui/Rose (NU) 8-62. No. 35 Cossou/Ilcinkas (CAL) def. No. 29 Mosolova/Robison (NU) 9-8(5)3. Chernyakova/Murray (NU) def. Bobusic/Chang (CAL) 8-4Order of finish: 3, 1, 2* (California wins doubles point)Singles1. No. 11 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. No. 1 Maria Mosolova (NU) 6-4, 6-12. No. 26 Marina Cossou (CAL) def. No. 20 Georgia Rose (NU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-33. No. 41 Mari Andersson (CAL) def. No. 47 Samantha Murray (NU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-34. No. 54 Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) vs. No. 119 Lauren Lui (NU) DNF5. No. 117 Nazlie Ghazal (NU) def. No. 32 Bojana Bobusic (CAL) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6(4)6. Keri Robison (NU) def. Stephany Chang (CAL) 0-6, 6-2, 6-1Order of finish: 1, 6, 5, 3, 2*

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