May 15, 2008
TULSA, Okla. -
The No. 8 California women's tennis team (19-5, 6-2 Pac-10) defeated No. 9 Duke (19-5, 9-2 ACC), 4-3, in the Round of 16 at the 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Tournament today at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Golden Bears will advance to the NCAA quarterfinal for the 16th time in school history to face top-seeded No. 1 Northwestern (28-1, 10-0 Big-10) in a rematch at noon on Saturday (May 17). Match time is local to Tulsa, Okla. and subject to change.
Head coach Amanda Augustus said, "We knew it was going to be a really tough fight against Duke. We are close in the rankings, and had similar records this year. Although we didn't know quite what to expect, we knew it would be a battle. I'm really happy that even after missing out on the doubles point, we were able to fight through and win four out of the six singles matches."
No. 20-ranked senior Susie Babos sealed the match for the Bears with her 7-4 victory in the second set tiebreaker over Duke's No. 125 Tara Iyer. Babos won the first set, 6-3 but struggled with Iyer in the second, allowing the Devils to force the tiebreaker. Behind the count 6-3 in the tiebreaker, Iyer put up one more point before Babos closed out the match to put Cal into the NCAA Championship Quarterfinal for the second straight year.
After the match, Babos said, "I actually didn't know we were down 3-1 until the very end. Looking around, hearing all the girls cheering off court, it did not feel like we were down. It felt like we were in position to win the whole thing."
The Bears found themselves down 3-1 to the Blue Devils with the completion of three singles matches. Cal lost the doubles point with defeats on courts one and three, suspending court two in a seven-all tie. In singles play, senior No. 35 Cristina Visico fell in a 6-1, 6-3 loss to No. 24 Reka Zsilinszka on the third court while fellow senior Stephanie Kusano dropped a 6-4, 7-5 decision to Amanda Granson.
The Bears however did get on the board with a court six win from junior No. 92 Bojana Bobusic, who defeated Jessi Robinson by a 6-1, 6-0 score. Trailing by two points in the match, junior No. 40 Claire Ilcinkas kept the Bears competitive when she took a three-set 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win on court No. 4 over Melissa Mang. Freshman No. 4 Marina Cossou knotted the match up at three points each when she got a 7-5, 7-6 win on court two against top-Devil, sophomore No. 21 Ellah Nze. Cossou took a 7-3 win in the second set tiebreaker to set Babos up for the clincher.
The Bears will face No. 1 Northwestern in a rematch of a Feb. 8 match in which the Wildcats took a 4-0 victory against Cal at the ITA National Indoor Championships. The Bears are 4-2 all-time against Northwestern. For complete scores and live video, please visit University of Tulsa's 2008 NCAA Tennis Tournament Central Page
No. 8 California 4, No. 9 Duke 3
May 15, 2008 | Michael D. Case Tennis Center | Tulsa, Okla.
NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship - Round of 16
1. No. 7 Granson/Mang (DUKE) def. No. 12 Babos/Kusano (CAL) 8-6
2. Cossou/Ilcinkas (CAL) vs. Iyer/Robinson (DUKE) 7-7 DNF
3. Nze/Zsilinszka (DUKE) def. No. 54 Bobusic/Visico (CAL) 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 3* (Duke wins doubles point)
1. No. 20 Susie Babos (CAL) def. No. 125 Tara Iyer (DUKE) 6-3, 7-6(4)
2. No. 4 Marina Cossou (CAL) def. No. 21 Ellah Nze (DUKE) 7-5, 7-6(3)
3. No. 24 Reka Zsilinszka (DUKE) def. No. 35 Cristina Visico (CAL) 6-1, 6-3
4. No. 40 Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) def. Melissa Mang (DUKE) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
5. Amanda Granson (DUKE) def. Stephanie Kusano (CAL) 6-4, 7-5
6. No. 92 Bojana Bobusic (CAL) vs. Jessi Robinson (DUKE) 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 3, 5, 4, 2, 1*