Feb. 5, 2002
ONE DOWN, TWENTY MORE TO GO: The Cal women's tennis team opened its season last Thursday, cruising to a quick 7-0 victory over the visiting Santa Clara Broncos. Three Bears made their debut for Cal, and each put a victory under their belt. Before the match, Cal jumped from No. 13 to No. 12 in the ITA polls, despite the fact that it had yet to compete during the 2002 season. The ITA preseason poll is determined largely by how a team competes in the fall.
WINNING STREAK: Thursday's 7-0 win over the visiting Santa Clara Broncos marked the team's 24th-consecutive win over a non-Pac-10 opponent at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley. The last time that a non-conference opponent defeated the Bears at home came on March 8, 1996, when Cal was up-ended by No. 10 Pepperdine by a 5-4 score. During the 2002 campaign, there will be four more challengers to this impressive streak (Nevada, San Diego, San Diego State and Fresno State).
THE FIRST TIME: Three Cal women donned the blue and gold for the first time at Hellman Tennis Complex, as well as competing in their first dual match for the Bears. Sophomores Kristin Case and Jody Scheldt, as well as freshman Rio Del Rosario all saw time in the team's first match of the season. Case, who is in her second season with the team, had compiled a 6-6 singles record with the team entering the season, all in tournaments. On Thursday, Case defeated Patti Ruiz in a pair of 6-2 sets. Scheldt, a transfer from the University of Iowa, opened in the No. 1 doubles court with Raquel Kops-Jones, winning by an 8-4 count. Del Rosario, who partnered with Case on the No. 3 court, also defeated her opponent by a 6-4, 6-4 score at the sixth spot in singles.
ABOUT NEVADA: The Wolfpack has opened the 2002 campaign with a 1-2 record, sandwiching a 5-2 win over Weber State with losses to UNLV (0-7 score) and New Mexico State (1-6 score). Featured this season for the Wolfpack is Tjasa Jezernik, who has opened the season 2-1 on the No. 1 court in singles, and 3-0 in the top spot in doubles. Her doubles partner, Biljana Trpeska, has also compiled a record of 1-2 on the No. 3 court.
LAST WEEK AGAINST SANTA CLARA: Cal opened up its season Thursday at Hellman Tennis Complex in top form, throttling the visiting Santa Clara Broncos (2-2). When the smoke cleared, the Bear women had taken the day by a resounding 7-0 score. Cal only allowed three sets to get away from them on the day, winning 14. Kops-Jones was in top form for the Bears, dropping a 6-2, 6-4 decision on Christine Limbers, whose propensity for making noise as she hit the ball made her famous among the few Bear faithful who turned out to watch the match. Jones also paired with new doubles partner Scheldt, defeating the team of Kaloi and Limbers by an 8-4 score. Team captain Christina Fusano, who had a strong fall, turned in a strong performance on the second court, winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4.
INSIDE THE RANKINGS: The team entered this season ranked No. 13 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and jumped up to the 12th spot the day before its first match. In addition to the team ranking, four singles players and two doubles tandems also garnered national attention. The 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Kops-Jones, enters the season ranked No. 28 overall, while Fusano is No. 44 and sophomore Catherine Lynch is No. 49. The trio is expected to hold down the top half of the singles lineup this season. Sophomore Jieun Jacobs also claimed the No. 99 rank. Kops-Jones, who was also an All-American in doubles last season, and freshman Carla Arguelles took the 21st spot. Fusano and Havlicek checked in at No. 43.