April 20, 2004
Cal Competes in Pac-10 Individual Championships: The No. 13 California women's tennis team travels to Ojai, Calif., this week to decide the league's singles and doubles champions in the Pac-10 Individual Championships. The Golden Bears (16-8 overall, 4-4 Pac-10) finished the regular season alone in fifth place in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference.
The Bears lost their final two matches of the regular season on the road at No. 5 USC, 5-2, and at No. 8 UCLA, 4-3. Prior to that, Cal had won three consecutive matches and eight of its previous 11.
Pac-10 Individual Championships Format: Thirty-two players from the nine schools that sponsor women's tennis will compete for the singles championship. Sixteen doubles teams will compete for the doubles title. On opening day, matches will be held at the Ojai Valley Inn Tennis Center. On Friday through Sunday, matches will be held at Libbey Park. Match play begins at 8 a.m., with two rounds of singles held Thursday. On Friday, one round of singles and two rounds of doubles will be played. Semifinal and final matches will be held Saturday and Sunday at times yet to be determined.
Last year, the Cal doubles tandem of Raquel Kops-Jones and Christina Fusano won the Pac-10 doubles title as a precursor to capturing the 2003 NCAA crown. In singles competition, Kops-Jones advanced to the final, but ultimately lost the championship to Oregon's Daria Panova, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Dominant Victories and Narrow Margins of Defeat: The Golden Bears have collected 16 dual-match victories this season, and only one would be considered by a narrow margin. Fifteen of Cal's 16 dual-match victories this season have been by 5-2 scores or better. In fact, 10 of the victories have been by scores of 6-1 or better, and five have been 7-0 shutouts. Considering final team scores alone, the only close victory for the Bears this season was at Pepperdine, 4-3, on March 20. Conversely, three of the eight matches Cal has lost this season have been by a single point, including last weekend's 4-3 loss at No. 8 UCLA.
Cal's Superb Seniors Lead Team: Cal's five seniors, Raquel Kops-Jones (22-6), Jieun Jacobs (18-12), Nicole Havlicek (27-9), Jody Scheldt (15-11), and Catherine Lynch (23-13), together have amassed 105 match victories overall in singles play this season. In doubles competition, the senior duo of Kops-Jones and Jacobs is 14-4 overall and has lost only once since the beginning of March. The senior team of Havlicek and Scheldt, playing the No. 2 doubles spot, is 21-5 overall.
Havlicek's Stellar Play No Longer a Secret: Although unranked in the latest ITA rankings, Cal senior Nicole Havlicek has put together an impressive record this season. In singles competition, she owns a 27-9 overall record, including an outstanding 19-5 mark in dual matches. Since the beginning of March, Havlicek has won 11 of 14 matches, and her record may have been even more impressive had she not retired due to injury in her loss to Arizona's Kelly Perry on April 10. Despite losing the final two matches of the regular season as a team, Havlicek won all four of her singles and doubles matches (teaming with fellow senior Jody Scheldt) this past weekend at USC and at UCLA.
Bears in the Rankings: With a 22-6 overall record and 15-5 dual-match record in singles competition, Raquel Kops-Jones is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation. She is the highest-ranked Golden Bear in the latest ITA individual rankings (as of April 20):
Singles Doubles No. 3 Raquel Kops-Jones No. 13 Raquel Kops-Jones / Jieun Jacobs No. 37 Sasha Podkolzina No. 38 Nicole Havlicek / Jody Scheldt No. 87 Jieun Jacobs No. 45 Raquel Kops-Jones / Sasha Podkolzina
Brogan's Legacy: In her 26 years at Cal, head coach 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, 53 All-Americans, 15 first team All-Pac-10 selections and three conference player-of-the-year honorees. She is the winningest collegiate female tennis coach of all-time, currently boasting a 486-195 (.714) career dual-match record.