May 15, 2000
THIS WEEK: Thu., May 18 vs. Vanderbilt
At Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center
BEARS TRAVEL TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP: After defeating both Pacific and Texas A&M, 5-0, last week in the first and second rounds of the NCAA regional tournament at Hellman Tennis Center, the Cal women's tennis team begins its quest for a national title this week at Pepperdine's Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. Up first for the No. 5 ranked Bears (19-6 overall, 6-2 in Pac-10) is the round of 16 on Thursday, May 18 (time TBA) will be No. 10 Vanderbilt (22-5, 9-2 SEC). If Cal defeats Vanderbilt, it will face the winner of the Wake Forest-Tennessee match in the quarterfinals Friday, May 19. The semifinal matches are played May 20 and the championship match is May 21 at 1 p.m.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP BACKGROUND: The Bears are one of 16 regional champions that have advanced to the national championship. Besides Cal-Vanderbilt, the other third-round match-ups are No. 1 Stanford-No. 14 Northwestern, No. 9 UCLA-No. 7 Texas, No. 3 Wake Forest-No. 18 Tennessee, No. 12 USC-No. 32 LSU, No. 17 South Alabama-No. 2 Georgia, No. 11 Arizona State-No. 6 Duke and No. 13 Notre Dame-No. 4 Florida.
CAL IN THE NCAA'S: Participating in the NCAA Tournament is familiar ground for the Bears as this is their 19th consecutive NCAA appearance and 15th consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16. In fact, since the inception of the women's championships in 1982, Cal has advanced or earned an automatic berth in the Sweet 16, 18 of 19 years. The Bears have also made 11 quarterfinal appearances since 1983 and three Final Four appearances since 1985. This includes last year's run to the semifinals where Cal was eliminated by eventual national champion Stanford. This season, the Bears are 6-5 against the NCAA Tournament field.
A QUICK SEASON IN REVIEW: The Bears opened the dual match season with six-consecutive victories, including back-to-back wins over then-No. 7 Duke and No. 9 Wake Forest. The Bears first loss of the year came at the hands of cross-bay rival Stanford in the final of the ITA Team Indoor Championships Feb. 20. Top-ranked Stanford continued to be a thorn in the side as the Cardinal defeated the Bears in all three meetings this year. Cal's other three losses came at a close margin of 5-4 and all at the hands of teams then ranked in the Top 10: No. 10 ASU, No. 4 Pepperdine and No. 8 UCLA. The Bears rounded out the regular season 17-6 overall and 6-2 in Pac-10 play, good enough for second in the conference.
A LOOK AT VANDERBILT: The Bears face No. 10 ranked Vanderbilt (22-5), which advanced to the Sweet 16 by defeating Alcorn State, 5-0, May 13 and Virginia Commonwealth, 6-0, May 14 at Vanderbilt's Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Tennis Center. Cal has a 1-1 all-time record against the Commodores, defeating Vanderbilt, 5-4, in the last meeting Feb. 20, 1998 at the ITA/Rolex National Team Indoors in Madison, WI. In the first meeting between the two schools, the Commodores won 5-4, Feb. 23, 1996 at the Team Indoors. Vanderbilt is led by No. 23 ranked Julie Ditty, who is 21-12 overall and 17-9 at the No. 1 spot in dual match competition.
Current ITA Rankings:
3. Wake Forest
1. Marissa Irvin, Stanford
2. Sarah Walker, UCLA
3. Laura Granville, Stanford
4. Kristina Kraszewski, Washington
5. Aarthi Venkatesan, Georgia
6. Adria Engel, Waker Forest
7. Zuzana Lesenarova, San Diego
8. Whitney Laiho, Florida
9. Lauren Kalvaria, Stanford
10. Esther Knox, Georgia
11. Bruna Bolosio, LSU
12. Megan Miller, Duke
13. Janet Walker, Texas
14. Amy Jensen, California
15. Alison Bradshaw, Arizona State
16. Ivona Mihailova, Mississippi
17. Jewel Peterson, USC
18. Anita Kurimay, California
19. Chin Bee Khoo, Arkansas
20. Jahnavi Parekh, Baylor
61. Karoline Borgersen, California
69. Claire Curran, California
1. Lesenarova/Valykova, USD
2. Catlin/Grey, Georgia
3. Colosio/Mores, LSU
4. Ashley/Irvin, Stanford
5. Curran/Jensen, California
6. Senoglu/Palencia, Pepperdine
7. Borgersen/Kurimay, California
8. Dvorakova/Zoldakova, TCU
9. Walker/Basica, UCLA
10. Blau/Gough, Arizona
BEARS ALSO QUALIFY INDIVIDUALS: In addition to their team tournament appearance, the Bears also have two singles players and two doubles teams set to participate in the individual portion of the NCAA Tournament. In singles, senior Amy Jensen will be making her second consecutive appearance while junior Anita Kurimay earned her first-ever invitation. Senior Claire Curran was named as an alternate. In doubles, Jensen will try to become the first woman ever to three-peat as NCAA doubles champion with partner Claire Curran, while Kurimay and her partner, senior Karoline Borgersen, will be seeing NCAA action for the first time.
BEARS DO IT WITH DOUBLES: It is rare to find one doubles team capable of winning a national title, but to find two on one team is simply amazing. With the doubles teams of Curran/Jensen and Borgersen/Kurimay ranked fifth and seventh in the nation, Cal is the only school to have two teams ranked in the Top 10. Although Borgersen and Kurimay sport the team's best record at 21-6, it was their fellow teammates Curran and Jensen who captured the prestigious ITA Rolex Indoor crown in February, the Bears first ever title at the tournament. For their efforts, the duo was named ITA Doubles Team of the Month for February and was ranked the nation's top doubles duo during the month of February. As a team, the Bears are 44-17 in doubles during dual match play.
FRESHMEN MAKING IMPACT: As freshmen on one of the top teams in the nation, one would think Christina Fusano and Morisa Yang would be spending their inaugural campaign taking a backseat to their elder teammates. But as both Yang and Fusano have proven, they take a backseat to no one. Penciled into the lineup at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, both have played huge parts in the Bears success during the 2000 season. Yang, despite some early up and downs, has settled into the lineup, winning nine of her last 14 matches. Fusano, perhaps the Bears most consistent player, posts the third-best record on the team at 27-10. After going 9-4 at No. 5 and 6-1 at No. 6, the frosh leads the team in win percentage at .730.
JENSEN TO LEAVE BEARS IN STYLE: Senior Amy Jensen will leave the Golden Bear program this year as perhaps the most decorated player ever to don a Cal uniform. In her three years as a Bear the native of Brisbane, Australia, has captured two NCAA doubles titles, an ITA Rolex Indoors crown, has been named an All-American three times, and been a two-time US Open qualifier, all en route to amassing 103 career singles victories. Her three grand-slam titles ties her for a national record, while her 29-14 record is tops for wins on the Bears squad this season.
KURIMAY, BORGERSEN TOPS IN DUAL MATCH PLAY: With 19 wins apiece in dual match play, junior Anita Kurimay and senior Karoline Borgersen are large reason for the Bears recent success. Kurimay, ranked a season-high 18th in the nation, has split time at both Nos. 1 and 2 this year, proving to be effective in both spots. Having gone 11-4 at No. 1 and 8-1 at No. 2, her 19-5 dual match record is tops on the team. Borgersen, who checks in at a season-high 61st in the nation, has also been impressive this year, going 19-6 overall at the Nos. 3 and 4 spots. The senior has gone 7-3 at No. 3 and 13-3 at No. 4.
BROGAN WINNINGEST COACH IN CAL HISTORY: In the midst of her 22nd season at the helm of the Cal program, coach Jan Brogan is the most successful coach in Cal tennis history. With a 415-163 career record, Brogan reached a career milestone this season when on Feb. 16 the Bears defeated Wisconsin, 6-1, for her 400th career victory.