May 28, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Cal's Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen defeated the nation's No. 2 doubles team of Duke's Vanessa Webb and Karen Goldstein, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, in the NCAA doubles semifinals today at Notre Dame. This is the first Cal tandem in school history to reach the NCAA doubles final. Augustus and Jensen have won eight of their past nine matches since April 10 and have a sparkling 27-6 overall record.
"I think that we played really well," said Augustus. "We started off a little slow but when you play different teams, it takes awhile to figure out what works against them and what doesn't. In the second set, we mixed it up a bit and went back to our original gameplan. We didn't expect the second set to go like it did. We just wanted to keep it close and hold serve and hopefully break them. Once we got it going, we knew that if we just fought hard, things would probably go our way."
Nationally ranked No. 12, Augustus and Jensen are unseeded in the tournament. They are the fifth unseeded doubles team in the 17-year history of the tournament to earn a spot in the finals. The last unseeded doubles tandem to advance to an NCAA final was Marie-Laure Bougnoi and Pascale Piquemal (Mississippi) in 1994.
The Bears are enjoying a real Cinderella run through the doubles draw; besides today's upset victory, the duo also knocked off fourth-nationally ranked and No. 3 seed, Cristina Moros and Sandy Sureephong of Texas in a thrilling 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 quarterfinal marathon and No. 5-8 seed Nicola Kaiwai and Dorothee Durz of Wake Forest, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round.
The last Pac-10 team to win an NCAA doubles championship was UCLA's Keri Phebus and Susie Starnett of UCLA in 1994.
The Bears will be looking to claim the school's first-ever NCAA tennis title when they play No. 1 seed and third-ranked Dawn Buth and Stephanie Nickitas of Florida in the NCAA doubles championship tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. (EDT). The Gators beat William & Mary's Lauren Nikolaus, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the final. Buth and Nickitas are 28-3 this season and are aiming for an unprecedented third straight NCAA doubles title. No doubles team (male or female) in NCAA history has captured three titles.
"I don't know what to expect," said Augustus on playing Buth and Nickitas. "We've never played them during the regular season in a college match. We are just going to try to play our best game and see what we can do. It took a lot of work to get to the finals and we weren't playing well before the tournament, so I am really, really happy to be playing tomorrow."
The NCAA doubles champions will also be awarded an automatic berth into the U.S. Open in June.
AUGUSTUS/ JENSEN'S PATH TO THE NCAA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP