May 19, 2008
TULSA, Okla. -
California women's tennis freshman Marina Cossou held fast her No. 4 singles ranking by defeating No. 43 Taylor Ormond of No. 5 Baylor (32-3, 11-0 Big 12) to put the Golden Bears into the 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship Final. Cossou's win clinched a 4-3 victory for Cal, putting the Bears (21-5, 6-2 Pac-10) into the NCAA final for the first time in program history.
Although the championship final is unfamiliar territory for Cal, a familiar foe awaits in No. 7 UCLA (22-5, 7-1 Pac-10). The Bruins defeated No. 6 Florida, 4-2, in the other semifinal today. After splitting dual matches this season, with each road team winning once, the Bruins and the Bears will clash for a third time, Tuesday (May 20) in a noon Pacific match to decide the 2008 NCAA Champion at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Breaking a losing trend in doubles play, the Bears took the first lead in the match by claiming victories on the first and second courts. First, Cal's No. 12-ranked duo of seniors Susie Babos and Stephanie Kusano took out No. 6 Lenka Broosova and Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor by an 8-4 score on the first court. Then Cossou and junior Claire Ilcinkas put away Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk, 8-5, on the second court to give Cal the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.
It was Ilcinkas who extended the Bears' lead to two with her 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 99 Jana Bielikova on court four but the Baylor Bears fought back with wins on the top court and court three. In a match-up of NCAA Singles Champions, Zemenova (2005) defeated Babos (2006), 7-5, 6-1, on the top court to put Baylor on the board. Lenka Broosova then took out senior Cristina Visico by a 6-3, 6-2 count on court three to knot things up.
Junior No. 92 Bojana Bobusic put Cal ahead once more with her 6-3, 6-4 victory on court six against Karolina Filipiak but once again, Baylor answered back as Jelena Stanivuk took out Kusano in a three-setter, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to put the match at a three-all stand still.
With Cossou serving, up 5-2 in the third set, Ormond forced deuce to keep Baylor's hopes alive. Cossou hit Ormond into two straight plays in which she overshot the baseline to claim the victory, putting the Bears from Berkeley into their first NCAA championship in school history.
For complete scores and results from the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, please visit University of Tulsa's NCAA Tennis Tournament Central Page.
No. 8 California 4, No. 5 Baylor 3
May 19, 2008 | Michael D. Case Tennis Center | Tulsa, Okla.
NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship - Semifinal
1. No. 12 Babos/Kusano (CAL) def. No. 6 Broosova/Zemenova (BU) 8-4
2. Cossou/Ilcinkas (CAL) def. Ormond/Stanivuk (BU) 8-5
3. No. 54 Bobusic/Visico (CAL) vs. Chmelarova/Filipiak (BU) 6-5 Cal DNF
Order of finish: 1, 2* (California wins doubles point)
1. No. 25 Zuzana Zemenova (BU) def. No. 20 Susie Babos (CAL) 7-5, 6-1
2. No. 4 Marina Cossou (CAL) def. No. 43 Taylor Ormond (BU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. Lenka Broosova (BU) def. No. 35 Cristina Visico (CAL) 6-3, 6-2
4. No. 40 Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) def. No. 99 Jana Bielikova (BU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) def. Stephanie Kusano (CAL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. No. 92 Bojana Bobusic (CAL) def. Karolina Filipiak (BU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 4, 1, 3, 6, 5, 2*
POST MATCH QUOTES
California Head Coach Amanda Augustus
On the match...
"I think the doubles was probably the best doubles we've played all tournament. At one and two we were kind of waiting, we've been working on our doubles on our days off and the majority of practice. We just haven't felt like we've been sharp. I felt we were setting up well, but making the wrong decision when it came to finishing off the point. So I was really happy to see, especially at one, they played very solid. They had very few unforced errors, but then at the same time they really opened up the court and were aggressive with their volleys. I think that really set the tone and definitely looking at how it panned out we needed that doubles point."
"I was a little surprised by some of the matchups. Marina is amazing, she has been a rock all year for a freshman. She's had an unbelievable season, so I knew that when it came down to her I wasn't really that worried. It was an unbelievable match."
California Player Marina Cossou
On the match...
"I'm very happy. My teammates are happy because they got his far. The other match was very tight. It was a big win for us and we are ready for tomorrow."
Baylor Head Coach Joey Scrivano
On the match...
"I felt like we came out very slow in the doubles and played a little too passive. I've got to give credit to Cal, they hit some big shots on some big points. When we started coming back in doubles, Cal did a great job of just making the incredible shots. We started off slow, but we did a good job in singles to come out and win some first sets and get control in some matches. In other matches, we just continued to play passive and let Cal get a nice lead on us."
On fighting back in the match...
"We dug ourselves into a big hole on a lot of courts in the singles. I'm proud of my team for fighting and trying to find a way to win. Unfortunately it was not enough and it was a little too late for us."
POST MATCH NOTES
California improved to 21-5 on the season . . . the Bears have appeared in 27 straight NCAA Tournaments, but will be playing in their first-ever national championship match . . . California's run through the tournament has seen the Bears defeat Army 4-0, LSU 4-0, #9 Duke 4-3, #1 Northwestern 4-2 and #5 Baylor 4-3 . . . Baylor completed its season record at 33-2 . . . the Bears had a 16-match winning streak snapped.
WOMEN'S SEMIFINAL NOTE
Of the four semifinalists - Baylor, California, Florida and UCLA - only UCLA has been to the championships match before. The Bruins have made five previous appearances in the championship match.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
The California Bears and UCLA Bruins split the season series this year, 1-1, as each team won on the other's home court . . . UCLA leads the overall series 33-25 . . . it will be the seventh time that the women's championship match will be an all PAC-10 final (Stanford vs. UCLA four times; Stanford vs. USC two times) . . . the national champion is guaranteed to be a first-time champion . . . with two PAC-10 teams in the finals it will be the 18th time in 27 years of women's sports under the NCAA umbrella that the NCAA Tennis Champion has come from the PAC-10 Conference.
Notes and quotes courtesy of Tulsa Sports Information. NCAA is a trademark of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.