May 30, 2002
BERKELEY, Calif. - Teaming together for the first time all season, sophomore Raquel Kops-Jones and junior Christina Fusano battled through some of the nation's top tandems and won the Pac-10 double championship April 28 in Ojai. The Cal duo took the crown with an 8-6 win over UCLA's Megan Bradley and Lauren Fisher, and finished 2002 with a No. 14 national ranking, despite only playing seven matches together.
In addition, sophomore Nicole Havlicek reached the invitational singles final before losing to USC's Tiffany Brymer, 6-1, 6-4.
Overall, the Bears faced stiff competition throughout 2002, but the team completed the year with a No. 13 national team ranking, propelling them into the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive season. In the NCAA Round of 16, the squad lost a hard-fought match to Georgia, 4-1.
Kops-Jones emerged as the No. 1 player for the Bears on both the singles and doubles courts this season, finishing ranked 23rd in singles and twice ranked in doubles, with Fusano and No. 30 with Jody Scheldt. In addition to her Pac-10 doubles title with Fusano, Kops-Jones also competed with Scheldt for the NCAA doubles championship. Kops-Jones also was selected to the NCAA Singles Championship for the second consecutive season, where she lost in the first round. Fusano, the team captain, has once again turned in a top-notch performance for the Bears, splicing together a 17-4 record in dual matches to lead the team in dual match victories. Ranked No.48, she competed in the first round of the NCAA Championships. Another pleasant surprise for Cal has been sophomore Catherine Lynch. Known for her tremendous work ethic, she spent some time at the top spot when the Arizona schools visited Berkeley in early April. Lynch split her two matches at the No. 1 court and ranks second on the team in dual wins, boasting a 13-5 record. The 47th-ranked Lynch had to withdraw from the NCAA Championships due to a stress fracture in her leg.
Jieun Jacobs made an early jump from the lower singles courts to the second spot and was impressive, compiling an 8-4 record there, finishing the regular season with a singles ranking of No. 73. She also spent much of her time on the No. 2 doubles court with Fusano, and the pair finished the 2002 regular season with a 9-8 dual record. Jacobs also leads the Bears in overall singles wins in 2002 entering the NCAA tournament with 30. Havlicek returned as a key role player for Cal and showed herself as a force to be reckoned with at the No. 5 singles courts, where she won four of five matches.
The squad has been bolstered by the additions of Scheldt, who transferred from the University of Iowa, and freshman Carla Arguelles (United Kingdom). Scheldt immediately joined Kops-Jones at the top doubles court and the pair was instrumental in key upset wins against Fresno State (3/16) and Washington (3/30). The pair will also compete at the NCAA championships. Arguelles, who battled injuries throughout the season, was a force at the No. 3 doubles court, posting an 8-3 record with partner Havlicek. Emerging for the Bears this season was walk-on sophomore Kristen Case, daughter of former tennis professional Ross Case. Case saw her first dual meet action this season, compiling a 3-3 record in singles.