No. 9 California Hosts Harvard and Sacramento State
March 17, 2010
BERKELEY - The Golden Bears return to action after more than ten days away from the court to host Harvard and Sacramento State in a pair of weekday matinee duals. Cal looks to regain the winning track after dropping two of its last three matches. The Bears opened the season with a six-match string of victories, but have since registered just a 3-3 record. Still, the Bears are 5-1 when playing in front of their home crowd this spring and look to better that mark against their two visitors this week. No. 2-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova leads Cal with 25 singles victories this season and is just a few wins ahead of No. 16-ranked junior Marina Cossou, who has posted a 21-6 record in singles matches this year. No. 50-ranked junior Mari Andersson holds an 11-1 record in dual matches and teams with Juricova to form the No. 6-ranked doubles team in the nation with 19-8 overall record (9-2 in duals).
THIS WEEK: The ninth-ranked California women's tennis team (9-3) hosts two weekday matches at the Hellman Tennis Complex this week. No. 51 Harvard (6-5) of the Ivy League visits Berkeley for a 1:30 p.m. PT match on Wednesday (March 17) before No. 45 Sacramento State returns to Berkeley for a noon PT bout on Friday (March 19). The Golden Bears defeated the Hornets, 6-1, in a dual at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on Jan. 30, to earn a spot at the 2010 National Team Indoor Championships. Both home matches will feature live streaming video and scoring via links at the CalBears.com women's tennis page.
BEAR TRACKER: Cal will provide live streaming video with on-screen scores of all home dual matches held at the Hellman Tennis Complex throughout the year. Please visit the women's tennis page at CalBears.com for on-court links.
QUICK HITS: Throughout the 2010 spring dual season, different Bears will appear on the CalBears.com women's tennis page for a special video segment called Quick Hits. To learn more about each individual player and the team, visit CalBears.com today.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Fans and media can purchase Cal women's tennis photos at GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of Cal Athletics. Follow @GBSports on Twitter to get instant notifications when new albums and galleries are posted to the website. Visit www.twitter.com/gbsports to follow.
ON COURT - NO. 51 HARVARD: The Crimson (6-5, 0-0 Ivy League) is on a three-match tour of California and will kick things off with its bout against Cal. Harvard has had mixed results this season as it began the year with four wins in five matches. Since, the Crimson has lost four matches in six outings. Last weekend, Harvard split road matches by defeating Central Florida, 6-1, before falling to South Florida, 5-2. Sophomore Holly Cao holds down the top court for the Crimson and is ranked No. 54 in singles. The Bears hold a perfect 7-0 record in head-to-head meetings with Harvard and last defeated the Crimson in a 6-1 decision in 2003.
ON COURT - NO. 45 SACRAMENTO STATE: The Hornets (9-4, 1-0 Big Sky) have won in five of its last six matches and have just two losses by greater than a 4-3 margin; one was their 6-1 loss to Cal on Jan. 30, in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend event at Berkeley, Calif. No. 21-ranked senior Katrina Zheltova occupies the top court for the Hornets and is 8-3 in all outings. Fellow senior Aileen Tsan is 8-3 on the year as well with freshman Rebeca Delgado leading all players with a 9-2 mark in dual matches. Zheltova and sophomore Clarisse Baca are the top doubles team for the Hornets with a 6-3 record in dual matches. The Bears own an unblemished 9-0 record against Sac State.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears split home matches as they defeated San Diego State in a 7-0 sweep before falling to No. 14-ranked rival Stanford, 5-2. Sophomore Jana Juricova earned her team-high 25th singles victory while junior Marina Cossou crossed the 20-win plateau with both of her singles wins.
BEARS IN THE RANKS: The Bears are ranked No. 9 as a team in the most recent (March 16) Campbell's/ITA (Intercollegiate Tennis Association) College Tennis Poll. Cal has three ranked singles players with second-ranked sophomore Jana Juricova at the top of that list. Junior Marina Cossou is No. 16 with junior Mari Andersson at No. 50. As the defending NCAA doubles champions, Andersson and Juricova hold the No. 6 ranking as a doubles team. Freshmen Tayler Davis and Annie Goransson earned their first collegiate rankings this week as the pair snagged the No. 79 spot in the national doubles rankings.
POWER OF THE PAC: Eight of the Pac-10's nine 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. UCLA leads all teams with the No. 6 ranking with Cal not far behind at No. 9. Stanford holds the No. 11 ranking with Arizona State at the No. 18 spot. Washington checks in at No. 20 with defending conference champion USC just one spot back at No. 21 to give the conference six teams in the top 25 alone. Arizona ranks No. 61 with Washington State at No. 70. Oregon received rankings for several weeks to begin the spring dual season but has fallen off recently. Last season, Cal represented the conference in the NCAA title match with four teams advancing as far as the round of 16. Two seasons ago, Cal and UCLA battled it out in the NCAA team championship match to give the conference full control of the national title. The conference also produced the 2009 NCAA doubles champion in Cal's own Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova. Juricova is also the defending ITA Indoor Championship singles title holder. The Pac-10 finished 2009 with 14 ITA All-American selections, three of which were given to Bears, Andersson (doubles) and Juricova (singles and doubles).
JURICOVA NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Jana Juricova was named Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 8-14, after she led the Bears to a pair of victories over No. 9 Georgia Tech, 5-2, and No. 12 UCLA, 4-3, at the 2010 ITA National Team Indoor Championships. Juricova suffered just her first defeat in nine matches but lost to the top-ranked player in the nation in Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi, 7-6(7), 7-5. She then rebounded to defeat fifth-ranked Yasmin Schnack of UCLA, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 12-ranked Maria Mosolova of Northwesterm, 6-3, 6-1. In doubles, Juricova teamed with junior Mari Andersson and maintained their perfect record in dual matches by defeating the Georgia Tech duo of Falconi and Sasha Krupina, 8-5, upsetting UCLA's No. 10-ranked tandem of Andrea Remynse and Schnack, 8-1, and beating Northwestern's team of Elena Chernyakova and Lauren Lui, 8-4. This is the second career weekly honor for Juricova and the conference leading 10th overall Pac-10 Player of the Week selection for the California women's tennis team. Juricova joins Zsuzsanna Fodor as the only other two-time selection from Cal.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: The Bears are a truly diverse group with players hailing from five different countries. Junior Mari Andersson and freshman Annie Goransson each come from Sweden; sophomore Jana Juricova is from the Slovak Republic; junior Marina Cossou is a native of France; and senior Kasia Siwosz is from Poland. Sophomores Stephany Chang and Catalina Visico, and freshmen Tayler Davis and Nelly Radeva are each from California.
ALWAYS A BEAR: Senior transfer Kasia Siwosz arrived in Berkeley by way of Waco, Texas, where she was a member of Baylor's women's tennis team. She went from being a Lady Bear to a Golden Bear. Prior to her time with Baylor, she was a Tiger All-American at Cowley College, where she claimed junior college national titles in both singles and doubles.
FAMILY TIES: Sophomore Catalina Visico is the younger sister of former Cal tennis standout Cristina Visico (2004-08). While she prefers to be called Catie, Catalina has forged her own identity with the Bears as a vocal leader and an integral part of the team. The elder Visico was a 2008 All-Pac-10 Honorable mention and completed her career at Cal with over 100 singles victories and 40 doubles wins.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE?: Sophomore Stephany Chang and freshman Tayler Davis each hail from the South Bay's Silicon Valley city of San Jose. Chang attended Laurel Springs High School while Davis prepped at Archbishop Mitty High School.
HOW SWEDE IT IS: Junior Mari Andersson (Bastad, Sweden) and freshman Annie Goransson (Hollviken, Sweden) each hail from the Nordic country of Sweden. In fact, both players prepped at Bastad Gymnasium, and have faced each other in several youth and junior tournaments.
CAL AT THE ITA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Cal has won 26 matches at the indoor championships, the sixth highest total. The Bears advanced to the championship match in 2000, where they fell to rival Stanford. In 2010, the Bears advanced to the semifinal match for the second consecutive year. In 2009, Cal knocked off two-time defending champion Georgia Tech in the quarterfinal before falling to runner-up Georgia. Only 11 different teams have made appearances in the final match with just six different teams able to claim at least one championship for their schools. Stanford's nine titles are the most; followed by Florida's six; and Georgia with three. Georgia Tech won back-to-back crowns in 2007-08 before Northwestern accomplished the same feat with titles in 2009 and 2010; and Duke holds one title.
FALL 2009 REVIEW: The Bears were highly successful in fall individual tournaments in 2009. Sophomore Jana Juricova earned the most notable of achievements as she claimed Cal's first ITA Indoor Championship singles crown on Oct. 26. Juricova completed an incredible streak of 10-straight set victories over ranked opponents as she defeated No. 8 Irina Falconi of Georgia Tech in the singles final, 6-4, 7-6(4). Juricova also advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final before bowing out to Washington's Denise Dy. Juricova was joined in the singles quarterfinal at the regional championships by both juniors Mari Andersson and Marina Cossou. Senior transfer Kasia Siwosz breezed her way to the Saint Mary's Invitational singles title without dropping a single set. Cossou made it all the way to the Gold Flight final at the Cal Nike Invitational before falling to No. 11-ranked Yasmin Schnaak of UCLA and freshman Tayler Davis made an appearance in the Blue Flight final before falling to USC's Christala Andrews. As a doubles team, Andersson and Juricova advanced to the Northwest Regional championship match before being taken out by the No. 3-ranked team of Hillary Barte and Lindsay Burdette of Stanford; and Davis and Siwosz claimed the Blue Flight crown at the Cal Nike Invitational.
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