April 6, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 11 California women's tennis team welcomes Arizona and Arizona State to the Bay Area this weekend. The Bears (14-6, 5-4) look to get back on track after dropping three of their last four contests.
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE BEARS' OPPONENTS: Arizona enters the week ranked No. 37 by the ITA, with a record of 5-10 overall. The Wildcats are coming off a 6-1 victory over Washington State last weekend. UA is led by No. 17 Dianne Hollands, who played inspired tennis against the Cougars, defeating Lorena Arias, 6-0, 6-1. Arizona State is currently No. 41 nationally, after falling to Washington, 4-1. The Wildcats top player, No. 88 Joslynn Burkett has also been wavering of late, losing to the Huskie's Dea Sumantri, 6-3, 6-3 over the weekend.
UNSUNG HAVLICEK: Nicole Havlicek has not received the type of attention a 24-8 record should command, thus far in 2004. But those close to the program understand how valuable she is. With a 17-3 dual match record, including a dominating 12-1 record on court No. 4, Havlicek has been key in the Bears success. Currently she has won eight of her last nine matches.
HAVLICEK/SCHELDT CLICKING: Nicole Havlicek and Jody Scheldt have come together to become the Bears most consistent doubles team. With a 17-5 record the two are looking to make a possible NCAA push. The duo has also won 10 of their last 13 matches. They are currently ranked No. 40 in doubles competition.
RANKED BEARS: Singles - No. 4 Kops-Jones, No. 31 Podkolzina, No. 120 Jieun Jacobs; Doubles - No. 14 Kops -Jones/Jacobs, No. 40 Havlicek/Scheldt.
A SHU IN: Sophomore Jessica Shu's opportunities have been few and far between since coming to Cal in the fall of 2002. Despite being overshadowed by a stellar senior class that has posted a 37-12 record in dual match competition over the past two seasons, Shu has still found ways to contribute. After an encouraging 11-6 singles record as a freshman, Shu entered the season still the odd person out of the six person lineup. But injuries to Raquel Kops-Jones, Jody Scheldt and Sasha Podkolzina have given Shu a chance to shine. The lone Cal sophomore is 10-6 in singles action and has been a valuable partner in doubles play. The San Francisco native is 6-2 in dual meet action including two wins last weekend against USC and UCLA.
THE CHASE FOR ITA SUPREMACY: Former No. 1 Raquel Kops-Jones was pushed out of the ITA's top spot, a position she held for the past month and now resides at No. 4. Currently Florida's Alexis Gordon holds the No. 1 ranking, followed by Megan Bradley (Miami) and Cristelle Grier (Northwestern). Kops-Jones has already defeated Gordon and Bradley in head to head competition at the ITA All-American Tournament in October. After moving to No. 1 on March 9, Kops-Jones went 4-1 with her only loss coming against All-American Amber Lui of Stanford on March 31. The senior has missed four matches over the past three weeks, due to a nagging lower back injury and has been less than 100% all season. During her absence, Kops-Jones missed golden opportunities to compete against top competitors like Dea Sumantri of Washington, which would have boosted her total ITA score. As of April 6, the Fresno native has a calculated ITA average of 54.74, which is 8.62 points behind the leader.
ITA Poll as of March 9, 2004 ITA Poll as of April 6, 2004 1) 50.34 Raquel Kops-Jones, California 1) 63.36 Alexis, Gordon Florida 2) 48.80 Alexis Gordon, Florida 2) 57.95 Megan, Bradley Miami 3) 48.37 Cristelle Grier, Northwestern 3) 57.92 Cristelle Grier, Northwestern 9) 33.80 Megan Bradley, Miami 4) 54.74 Raquel Kops-Jones, California
BROGAN'S LEGACY: 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