April 12, 1999
BEARS TRAVEL TO SOUTHERN CAL FOR LAST MATCHES: California's seventh-ranked women's tennis team (15-3, 5-1 Pac-10) descends once more to the southern part of the state this weekend to face No. 14 USC (17-7, 6-0) on Friday, April 16 and No. 4 UCLA (17-5, 5-1) the next day. The Bears scored victories when hosting both schools earlier in the season, but the matches did not count toward league standings. In addition to erasing the memory of its last southern California trip, in which the team suffered two upsets, Cal needs these two wins for a chance at the Pac-10 title. The Bears biggest challenge will be defeating UCLA, whose record and ranking have improved since the teams' last pairing. The Bruins top threats are No. 13 Christina Popescu and the No. 6 doubles tandem of Popescu and No. 18 singles Annica Cooper. The matches will be Cal's last of the regular season before the team travels to the Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, Calif., April 22-25.
STANFORD DISAPPOINTMENT FOLLOWED BY TWO WINS: No. 7 Cal suffered a setback in its drive toward the conference crown last Tuesday, as the Bears fell, 5-1, to the No. 5 Cardinal in Berkeley. The defeat came after a historic Cal victory over Stanford earlier in the season. Bears Claire Curran prevented a Cardinal sweep with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory in the No. 5 match. The Bears recovered quickly, though, and scored wins versus No. 15 Arizona State and No. 45 Arizona over the weekend. At Arizona State, Cal spit the singles with the Sun Devils, 3-3, then took the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches to clinch the win, 5-4. With the momentum from Friday, the Bears stormed into Tucson to grab all but one of its singles matches against the Wildcats, closing the match early at 5-1. Cal swept both schools when they visited Berkeley in March.
AUGUSTUS, LA'O SCORE PERFECT WEEKEND: Cal No. 1 Amanda Augustus overturned her .500 dual match record this weekend with strong performances in Arizona. Augustus defeated the top players from both schools each for a second time this season, improving her record to 10-8 for the season. Francesca La'O, who has had a winning season (13-3), was the only other player to earn wins in both matches.
CAL FALLS TO NO. 7: After a four-month reign as the nation's No. 4, the Bears fell to No. 7 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll released April 6. The lower ranking was due in part to Cal's upset losses to No. 37 San Diego and No. 12 Pepperdine during the last ranking period. However the Bears have earned four April wins since then, which will be included in the April 20 rankings. Despite falling in the team rankings, Cal still retains five singles in the Top 100, with Amanda Augustus even improving her standing four spots to No. 28. Anita Kurimay is still the team's top-ranked player at No. 17, Amy Jensen makes the Top 50 at No. 48, Karoline Borgersen is No. 59 and Francesca La'O holds the No. 65 spot. Bears top doubles tandem Augustus/Jensen still holds the No. 4 spot, while Curran/Kurimay fall seven slots to No. 30. Cal's other two previously ranked doubles teams, Borgersen/Lee and La'O/Mayes, did not make the Top 50.
THE COACHES: In her 21st season as the Bears head coach, Jan Brogan has compiled a dual match record of 391-156 (.715) that makes her both the most successful coach in Cal history and the most successful active female tennis coach in the nation. Assistant coach Kathy Toon enters her 9th season with the Bears, and Melissa Gurney joins Cal this year as a volunteer assistant.