Oct. 27, 2003
STANFORD, Calif. - Sasha Podkolzina came to Cal under great fanfare but has been slowed in the early going, which has resulted in a late start for the former under-18 national champion. But in her first competition of the year, Podkolzina won her first five singles matches before falling in the final, giving Cal fans a glimpse of her limitless potential.
Podkolzina faced No. 3 seed Daria Panova of Oregon in the final. Podkolzina came out just as she had all weekend winning the first frame 6-4. The second set was a battle for both competitors in the 90-degree heat of the South Bay, but Panova was able to pull away 7-5. In the rubber frame Panova proved too strong, handing the young Cal freshman her first collegiate loss, 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
In doubles action, Podkolzina paired with Raquel-Kops Jones to try and redeem her earlier misfortunes, but it was just not Cal's day. Stanford's top doubles duo of Lauren Barnikow and Erin Burdette was able to defeat Podkolzina and Kops-Jones, 8-5.
Kops-Jones and Podkolzina will now prepare for the second major championship of the year, the ITA Indoor Championships, held this Thursday through next Sunday, Nov. 9, in Dallas.