Feb. 3, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 3 California women's tennis team focuses their sights on the first major team title of the new year, as they travel to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the nation's best. Action kicks off for the Bears Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. CT, when they take on No. 45 BYU.
A QUICK GLANCE AT THE BEARS' OPPONENTS: The Bears are 7-3 all-time against No. 45 BYU, with their last meeting coming back in 2002, where the Bears handed BYU a 4-0 loss, in the NCAA tournament. The Cougars enter this match licking their wounds after falling to Washington, 5-2, a week ago. BYU is led by their senior doubles pair of Lu Oswald and Rebecca Pike, who showed how dangerous they could be in doubles action. Oswald and Pike dropped Mugette Ahn and Erin Hoe of Washington 8-4, while teammates Sofia Holden and Olga Boulytcheva served up an 8-5 win over Saskia Nauenberg and Dinka Hadzic In their best appearance in the Team Indoor Championship, the Cougars finished in the quarterfinals (1989 and 1996) respectively. The Cougars hold an 8-10 overall record in their last six appearances. BYU earned its spot among the nations top 16 teams in November of 2003 when it defeated the Universities of Denver and Oklahoma in the ITA Central Regional Playoff 6-1 and 4-2. If the Bears were to get past the Cougars, Cal would then face the winner of No. 6 seed Southern California and Texas A&M. Cal is 21-24 all-time against the Trojans, but did knock the women of Troy out of the NCAA tournament a year ago with a 4-1 victory. Cal is a perfect 4-0 all-time against Texas A&M, with their last meeting also coming in last year's post-season. Back on May 10, 2003 Cal defeated the Aggies 4-0 in the NCAA Regionals.
CAL AT THE NATIONAL INDOORS: Cal is making it's tenth appearance at the national indoors in 15 years. Cal is an even 15-15 at the Indoor Championships with their best showing coming in 2000, where they finished as the runners-up. Last season Cal advanced to the semifinals as the No. 8 seed. The Bears defeated William & Mary 7-0, then defeated last season's top seed Stanford 4-3, before falling to eventual champion Duke in the semifinal 4-1.
THE PAC-10'S PRESENCE: The Pac-10 conference has continually shined nationally in tennis, and 2004 is no exception. This week's exclusive tournament features five Pac-10 schools, including four in the top six seeds. The Pac-10 participants are: Stanford, Cal, Washington, USC and UCLA.
PREVIOUSLY: Cal is coming off a successful weekend, which saw them run their dual meet record to 3-0 on the year. Cal hosted Sacramento State last Friday, defeating them 5-2. Raquel Kops-Jones led the way with a (6-3,6-3) win over No. 45 Margarita Kournakova of Sac State. The match was also highlighted by freshman Monica Wiesener who ended the day's action with her first collegiate dual meet win, defeating Ann Roslund, 6-4, 6-4. The Bears hosted St Mary's and Santa Clara in a double-header Saturday. The Bears made quick work of both teams, dropping both of their local foes, 7-0. That day the Bears were led by Catherine Lynch, whose tennis racket seemed to be on fire. After blanking her first opponent of the day 6-0, 6-0, Lynch put on an even stronger performance against Santa Clara's Kelly Leathers, upending her 6-1, 6-0.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The team enters this season ranked No. 3 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. They jump up one spot in the polls after ending last season ranked No. 4. In addition to the team ranking, five singles players and one doubles tandem also garnered national attention. Senior Raquel Kops-Jones enters the season ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the region, while freshman Sasha Podkolzina starts her collegiate career at No. 18 nationally and No. 3 in the region. Three other seniors also enter the season in the nation's Top-100. Jody Scheldt starts out at No. 60 (regionally No.10), Catherine Lynch is No. 83 (regionally No. 17) and Nicole Havlicek is No.100 (regionally No. 22). Fellow senior, Jieun Jacobs, has also been nationally ranked before. Last season, she claimed a No. 54 ranking, but in the fall was slowed by injury. Jacobs is back healthy, however, and is poised to regain national recognition. She enters this spring ranked No. 28 in the region. Kops-Jones and her new doubles partner, Pokolzina, enter the season ranked No. 7 nationally and No. 2 in the Northwestern area of the U.S. The teams of Schedt and Havlicek, and Lynch and Jacobs, are also ranked regionally in the Top-15.
COACHES CORNER: In her 25 years at Cal, 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, 54 All-Americans, 15 first team All-Pac-10 selections and three conference player of the year honorees. She currently boasts a 470-187 (.715) dual match record, making her the fourth active winningest coach in NCAA history. Brogan has received an impressive list of accolades. Her continued dedication to excellence earned her the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year award in 1990, in addition to three ITA Northwest Region Coach of the Year honors in 1988, 1991 and 1993. She has also been named conference coach of the year eight times during her career, six consecutive years from 1982-1987 ('82-86 NorPac, '87 Pac-10) and twice more in 1992 and '94 (Pac-10). A successful teaching professional in Los Gatos before taking Cal's head coaching job in 1978, Brogan has been a member of the ITA Board of Directors, ITA Operating Committee, NCAA Championship Tennis Committee and is the co-chair of the ITA Sport Science Committee. assignment in 1985 and in1995 as the U.S. women's head coach at the World University Games.