No. 4 Cal Hosts Fresno State, UC Davis and Saint Mary's
January 21, 1999
Friday, Jan. 22
Hellman Tennis Center
Sunday, Jan. 24
UC Davis/St. Mary's
Hellman Tennis Center
9 a.m./2 p.m.
1999 SEASON GETS UNDERWAY: The No. 4-ranked California women's tennis team opens the '99 dual match season with a thee home contests this week. Cal officially kicks off the season on Friday, Jan. 22, at 1:30 p.m. versus Fresno State. The Bears then host UC Davis and Saint Mary's in a double header on Saturday, Jan. 23. Cal is scheduled to face the Aggies at 9 a.m. and Gaels at 2 p.m.
CAL IN THE RANKINGS: The California women's tennis team enters the 1999 dual match season with a No. 4 national ranking. The Golden Bears, who made their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance last spring, ended the 1998 season ranked No. 6 with an 18-6 dual match record.
BEARS HAVE MOST INDIVIDUALS RANKED: Individually, Cal has more players ranked among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's collegiate Top 100, eight, than any team in the nation. Cal's highest ranked player is No. 20 Francesca La'O. Also among the ITA's Top 50 are 1998 ITA Northwest Regional singles champ Anita Kurimay (31) and Amy Jensen (T39). However, Cal's top singles player is clearly 1998 All-American Amanda Augustus, who opened the fall with a preseason No. 4 ITA singles ranking, but slipped to No. 32 after getting out to a slow start during the fall. Cal also has four doubles tandems currently ranked on the ITA charts: No. 6 Augustus/Jensen; No. 12 Curran/Kurimay; No. 34 Borgersen/Lee; and No. 43 La'O/Mayes.
DEEP AND EXPERIENCED: Cal returns all but one starter and nine of 10 players for the 1999 season. The Bears only loss was current No. 37-ranked Esther Knox, who transferred to Georgia over the summer. However, Cal did pick up a gem of a replacement when Pepperdine-transfer Karoline Borgersen decided to enroll at Cal. In all, Cal has three seniors, four juniors, and three sophomores (two of which are academically juniors).
HONOR ROLL: Among Cal's 10-player roster, the Bears boast three singles All-Americans and four doubles All-Americans. Amanda Augustus earned her first singles All-America honor last season and is a three-time doubles All-American. A 1997 singles All-American, Amy Jensen turned the trick on the doubles side last season when she teamed with Augustus to win the 1998 NCAA doubles crown. Francesca La'O earned singles All-America accolades in 1997 and doubles honors with Augustus in '96. Claire Curran was a doubles All-American as a freshman in 1997, also with Augustus.
MOVTIVATED FOR '99: Despite posting an 18-6 dual match record and finishing with a No. 6 national ranking, the 1998 season still left a bitter taste in the mouths of many of Cal players. With one of the nation's most talented tennis teams, Cal entered the '98 campaign with the goal of at least reaching the NCAA Team final. However, the Bears were upset, 5-4, by William & Mary in the Round of 16. It was only the 2nd time Cal had failed to at least reach the NCAA quarterfinals since 1984 (Cal fell in the regional final in 1996).
DEFENDING NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPS: Cal boasts one of the nation's best collegiate doubles tandems in Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen. Last year, Augustus and Jensen became the first unseeded doubles duo to capture the NCAA Championship, defeating then-No.1 Dawn Buth and Stephanie Nickitas of Florida in the final. The twosome opened the 1998-99 campaign with a preseason No. 2 national ranking, but have since slipped four slots to No. 6. Augustus and Jensen also played in last year's U.S. Open Main Draw, falling to Mary Joe Fernandez and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.
AUGUSTUS/JENSEN CAPTURE REGIONAL TITLE: During the fall, Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen won four straight matches to capture the 1998 ITA Northwest Regional title at Stanford. The victories improved the tandem's record to 6-1 on the year.
KURIMAY NAMED ITA PLAYER OF THE MONTH: California's Anita Kurimay was selected by the ITA as its National Player of the Month for November. Kurimay won the singles title at the Nov. 5-8 ITA Northwest Regional Championships. A sophomore from Budapest, Hungary, Kurimay posted a perfect 6-0 mark during the month of November, including wins over Top-50 ranked players Marissa Irvin of Stanford and Cal teammate Karoline Borgersen. So far this season, Kurimay's overall record is a stellar 11-3. The victories catapulted Kurimay all the way from a No. 91 preseason ranking to No. 31 in the Dec. 8 ITA poll.