Jan. 27, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 3 California women's tennis team kicks off the home portion of their 2004 schedule with a weekend trio of NorCal teams. The Bears open Friday against Sacramento State at noon, then play a double-header on Saturday with St. Mary's at 10 a.m. and Santa Clara at 2 p.m.
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE BEARS' OPPONENTS: Friday's match against the Hornets should prove to be more competitive than one might imagine. Cal is 4-0 all-time against Sac State, but haven't recorded a victory over the team from the state's capitol since 1977. The Hornet's stung the Bears in the fall. Playing without Kops -Jones and Podkolzina, Sac State took six of 10 total singles matches over the Bears in three tournaments. In doubles competition, Sac State downed the Bears two of three times in the fall. The Hornets are led by No. 45 Margarita Kamaukhova, who only faced one Cal player this fall, in Jassica Shu. Kamaukhova handed Shu her third defeat of the season (6-2,7-5). Anna Erickson won the award for most appearances against the Bears this fall. She face three different Bears for a total of four matches, going 1-3, with two loses against Nicole Havlicek, (6-2,6-2) and (6-0, 6-4). St. Mary's comes to Hellman Saturday morning in search of there first ever victory over the Bears, as well. The Bears are 2-0 in dual meets against the Gaels. The last meeting between the two teams came in 1996 where the Bears won 9-0. St. Mary's has no nationally ranked players, but the Gaels are very familiar with the Bears through the St. Mary Tennis Tournament. Cal's Kristen Case and Jessica Shu participated in the event this fall. Out of a field of 128 Shu reached the round of 32 and Case advanced to the round of 16. Together the two won three matches n a row, making the tourney's quarterfinal. Santa Clara has the most experience of the three opponents against the Bears. Cal has played the Broncos 21 times in their history, winning all 21 meetings. The two teams last met in 2002, where the Bears won 7-0. Santa Clara is coming off a loss to Cal Poly last weekend, 5-2. The Broncos are led by Janalle Kaloi who won her match last weekend over Samantha Waller, (6-3, 7-6).
JACOB'S AIRLINES: Jieun Jacobs seems to be healthier than ever after soaring to a Flight II victory at the Pac-10 Indoors. Jacobs went the distance, playing 11 of the possible twelve sets in the four round tournament. After defeating Jude DeVera of ASU, Jacobs faced the Flight's No. 1 seed Saskia Nauenberg of Washington, handling her in come-from-behind fashion (4-6, 6-3, 6-2). In the semifinal, Jacobs defeated another Washington athlete in Dinka Hadzic in another come-from-behind effort (3-6, 7-6, 6-3). Jacobs finished a Washington sweep, in the final, by upending her third Husky in a row, Erin Hoe, to capture the Flight II title (7-5, 6-3).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The team enters this season ranked No. 3 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. They jump up one spot in the polls after ending last season ranked No. 4. In addition to the team ranking, five singles players and one doubles tandem also garnered national attention. Senior Raquel Kops-Jones enters the season ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the region, while freshman Sasha Podkolzina starts her collegiate career at No. 18 nationally and No. 3 in the region. Three other seniors also enter the season in the nation's Top-100. Jody Scheldt starts out at No. 60 (regionally No.10), Catherine Lynch is No. 83 (regionally No. 17) and Nicole Havlicek is No.100 (regionally No. 22). Fellow senior, Jieun Jacobs, has also been nationally ranked before. Last season, she claimed a No. 54 ranking, but in the fall was slowed by injury. Jacobs is back healthy, however, and is poised to regain national recognition. She enters this spring ranked No. 28 in the region. Kops-Jones and her new doubles partner, Pokolzina, enter the season ranked No. 7 nationally and No. 2 in the Northwestern area of the U.S. The teams of Schedt and Havlicek, and Lynch and Jacobs, are also ranked regionally in the Top-15.
IN THE FALL: The team got off to a quick start in the fall at the Bulldog Classic, in Fresno. Scheldt advanced to the final round, defeating Vlatka Jovanovic of Fresno State (6-3, 3-6, 6-2), to secure the Championship. She later teamed with Catherine Lynch to finish as runners-up in doubles. In early October, Kops-Jones made her first appearance of the fall in grand fashion by winning the ITA All-American title, defeating Bay Area rival Erin Burdette of Stanford (6-3, 6-2). At the end of October Podkolzina made her presence felt iin the collegiate tennis world, winning five straight matches at the ITA Regional Championships - claiming runner-up honors in that event. She also teamed with defending NCAA doubles champion Kops-Jones to win their first four matches at Regionals. They, too, ended runners-up. Scheldt came back to dazzle again in early November, blazing through the competition at the ASU Invitation before an injury forced her to retire in the finals leading, 6-2, 1-0. The injury forced Schedt to forfeit the match and consequently the championship, but it did cap off a fall season, full of strong tennis by the Bears. Scheldt led the team with 10 victories, Havlicek and Podkolzina both went 6-3, while Kops-Jones ended at 5-1. In doubles the duo of Scheldt and Havlicek paced the Bears with a record of 6-1, and captured the ASU Invitational Championship. The team of Kops-Jones and Podkolzina, despite limited practice together, went 5-1 with their only loss coming to the Barnikow/Burdette pair across the Bay at Stanford.
COACHES CORNER: In her 25 years at Cal, Jan Brogan has molded the Golden Bear program into one of the best in the country, guiding the Bears to 22 NCAA appearances, three AIAW showings and 18 Top 10 finishes since 1982. Brogan has also produced four national champion doubles teams, 54 All-Americans, 15 first team All-Pac-10 selections and three conference player of the year honorees. She currently boasts a 470-187 (.715) dual match record, making her the fourth active winningest coach in NCAA history. Brogan has received an impressive list of accolades. Her continued dedication to excellence earned her the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year award in 1990, in addition to three ITA Northwest Region Coach of the Year honors in 1988, 1991 and 1993. She has also been named conference coach of the year eight times during her career, six consecutive years from 1982-1987 ('82-86 NorPac, '87 Pac-10) and twice more in 1992 and '94 (Pac-10). A successful teaching professional in Los Gatos before taking Cal's head coaching job in 1978, Brogan has been a member of the ITA Board of Directors, ITA Operating Committee, NCAA Championship Tennis Committee and is the co-chair of the ITA Sport Science Committee. assignment in 1985 and in1995 as the U.S. women's head coach at the World University Games