Feb. 20, 1998
MADISON, Wis. -- The seventh-ranked California women's tennis team survived a big scare from No. 16 Vanderbilt Friday night but came back to win, 5-4, and advanced to the Saturday's semifinals at the USTA/ITA Women's National Indoor Tennis Championship in Madison, Wis.
It will be the first time in Cal's eight appearances at the WNITC that the Bears have reached semis as the win improved Cal's dual match record to 8-0 on season, its best start since 1987 when Cal opened the with nine consecutive victories.
Cal found itself in a hole for the first time this season as Vanderbilt swept the Nos. 2-5 singles positions to take a 4-2 lead into doubles play. But the Bears rallied back to sweep all three doubles matches to eke out the 5-4 win.
Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen got the Bears rally started winning their ninth consecutive match at the No. 1 doubles slot with an 8-6 victory over Kristy Blumberg and Julie Ditty to pull Cal within a point of Vanderbilt at 3-4. The Bears then tied the match as the twosome of Esther Knox and Anita Kurimay bounced back from their losses in singles to take the No. 2 doubles contest with an 8-2 win over Staci Ryan and Kristen Radford.
With all matches completed and the contest on the line, Francesca La'O and Jenny Lee combined to finally clinch the match for Cal, winning a thrilling pressure packed set at No. 3 doubles, 9-7, over Sarah Brown and Callie Creighton.
The match started well for Cal as Augustus and Jensen got the Bears off to a fast start making quick work of their opponents at No. 1 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Augustus, who has now won 12 of her last 13 singles matches, dispatched Blumberg 6-4, 6-4, while Jensen took care of Ryan 6-0, 6-2 to give the Bears an early 2-0 advantage before Vanderbilt roared back to take the lead.
The California women's tennis team will look to advance to Sunday's WNITC final when they face the third-ranked Duke Blue Devils in Saturday's semifinals at 2:30 p.m. CST.
WOMEN'S INTERCOLLEGIATE TENNIS