April 15, 2008
LAST WEEK: The Golden Bears went on the road for a match against No. 46 Oregon and came away with their 17th all-time victory over the Ducks in as many tries. Senior Cristina Visico won her 100th singles match as a Bear, defeating Anna Powaska on court three, 6-3, 6-3 but it was freshman then No. 12-ranked Marina Cossou who clinched the 15th win of the year for Cal with her 6-2, 6-3 win against No. 78 Celine Rolly on the top court. Cal took control of the match early on, winning the doubles point in convincing fashion as courts two and three each took 8-3 victories against their Duck counterparts. Junior No. 91 Claire Ilcinkas notched her 25th singles win of the season to kick things off in singles play, dropping Stephanie MacFarlane, 6-1, 6-1 on court four. Freshman Rachael Dillon finished up next on court six by defeating Claudia Hirt, 6-2, 6-0 to set Cossou up for the clincher. Junior No. 102 Bojana Bobusic pushed the score to 5-0 in favor of the Bears with her 6-2, 6-2 win over Ana Cecilia Olivos on court five.
BEARS IN THE RANKINGS: The Golden Bears are currently tied for the No. 6 ranking in the latest ITA poll of NCAA Division I collegiate women's tennis teams. Cal also opened the season holding the No. 6 ranking. The Bears finished 2007 with the No. 5 ranking and have completed six seasons ranked No. 4, the team's highest final ranking. Amongst individuals, freshman Marina Cossou leads the pack with the nation's No. 6 ranking, her highest this season. Cossou entered the rankings for the first time in her career at the No. 52 spot and currently holds a 26-6 singles record. Three-time singles national champion Susie Babos is No. 18 and is joined by fellow senior Cristina Visico, who holds down the No. 38 spot. Junior Claire Ilcinkas is No. 70, and fellow junior classman Bojana Bobusic is ranked No. 104. Although she is out with an injury, senior Marion Ravelojaona is ranked No. 113 on the strength of her wins in fall tournaments. Cal's tandem of Babos and Stephanie Kusano is ranked No. 18 among the nation's doubles teams, currently holding an 18-10 record together.
HEAD COACH Amanda Augustus: As one of Cal tennis' most successful players, Amanda Augustus returned to her alma mater in July of 2007 to succeed her college coach, Jan Brogan, who announced her retirement after 29 years at the helm. Augustus came to the Bears from Michigan where she guided her team to a 17-8 overall record in 2006-07. The Wolverines reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament, completing its season with a No. 22 national ranking. A four-time All-American at Cal from 1996-99, Augustus played professionally on the Women's Tennis Association tour for several years before turning her efforts to coaching. As a player for the Bears, she earned All-Pac-10 honors each of her four years, including first-team recognition as a sophomore, junior and senior. She teamed with Amy Jensen to capture the NCAA doubles titles in both 1998 and 1999 to become the first collegiate tandem ever to win back-to-back championships.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 43 SACRAMENTO STATE: The Bears have never lost to Sacramento State in seven tries, last defeating the Hornets in a 7-0 sweep to open the 2007 dual season. The eighth meeting between the schools is more intriguing, however as the Hornets come into Berkeley on Senior Day and currently carry a 19-5 overall record with a clean 8-0 standing in Big Sky Conference matches. The Hornets are led by sophomore Katrina Zheltova on the top court. Zheltova has posted an 18-9 overall record in singles matches this year and currently holds the No. 48-ranking. She has also picked up 14 wins in doubles competition. Junior Karina Jarlkaganova leads the team with 23 singles wins overall. Although Sacramento State comes into the weekend hobbled slightly by a 7-0 loss to Stanford, prior to the defeat, the Hornets had run off eight consecutive dual match wins, one 7-0 sweep and seven 6-1 decisions.
HOLDING COURT - NO. 4 STANFORD: The Bears are looking to sweep Stanford after getting the 6-1 win at home on Feb. 20. Last season, Cal lost twice to the Cardinal, 6-1 at Stanford and 4-3 in Berkeley. Overall, Stanford owns the upper hand in the all-time series, leading 58-8. Stanford comes into the weekend on the heels of a 7-0 sweep of Sacramento State and on a six-match winning streak including 7-0 sweeps in three of those wins. The Cardinal is led by No. 7-ranked freshman, Hilary Barte on the top court. Barte has compiled a 24-5 overall singles record including a mark of 18-3 in dual matches and comes into the weekend riding a 15-match winning streak. Junior Jessica Nguyen faced Cal senior Cristina Visico in the ITA Northwest Regional Championship match last fall and comes into this weekend's match with a 27-9 singles record and the nation's No. 14 ranking. Nguyen has also posted 22 victories in doubles play this season. Cardinal senior Whitney Deason is No. 58, freshman Carolyn McVeigh is No. 78, senior Celia Durkin is No. 98 and sophomore Lindsey Burdette is No. 100, giving Stanford a total of six ranked singles players. In addition, Barte and Burdette hold the No. 12 ranking among doubles teams and Deason and Nguyen are No. 45 in the latest ITA polls.
TWENTY-SOMETHINGS: Six Cal players have eclipsed the 20-win mark in singles play this season, led by freshman Marina Cossou and junior Bojana Bobusic who each have 26 victories. Junior Claire Ilcinkas has the team's best winning percentage with a 25-5 mark. Senior Susie Babos checks in with 23 singles wins, giving her 125 singles wins in her collegiate career. Fellow seniors Cristina Visico and Stephanie Kusano each have notched 22 singles wins on the year. Visico reached a milestone in her collegiate career when she defeated Anna Powaska of Oregon to earn her 100th career singles victory.
THREE'S SWEET: Senior Susie Babos captured her third singles national championship in the fall by winning the 2007 Riviera All-American Championship title, successfully defending her 2006 crown. Babos became only the fourth player in the history of the All-American Championship to win back-to-back titles, joining San Diego's Zuzana Lesenarova (1998-99), Stanford's Sandra Birch (1989-90) and Mississippi's Paloma Collantes (1991-92). Babos defeated Clemson's No. 21 Ani Mijacika 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in the championship final. Babos also won the NCAA Singles Championship crown in the spring of 2006 defeating USC's No. 18 Lindsey Nelson in a 6-4, 6-1 match.
ZUMA ZUMA ZUMA: Senior Cristina Visico earned the nickname "Zuma" for zooming around the court with her quickness and speed. The Southern California native kick-started her senior campaign with a run to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final. En route to her appearance in the final match, Visico defeated No. 49 Katsiaryna Zheltova of Sacramento State and No. 47 Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State. Visico's five wins at the Northwest Regional earned her automatic entry to the ITA National Indoor Championships, a first for the senior. Visico has occupied the third court in dual matches all year and has run up a 13-5 record, 23-10 overall.
FROM DOWN UNDER TO THE TOP: Junior Bojana Bobusic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, but hails from Perth, Australia. The powerful baseline player led all Bears with 16 singles wins in individual tournament play. Her success put her into the Cal Invitational final where she faced off against fellow junior Claire Ilcinkas. Stringing five wins together, Bobusic advanced to the singles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship. Bobusic currently shares the top mark on the team with 26 singles wins against only 12 losses.
CLAIRE SAILING: Junior Claire Ilcinkas has quietly built up quite an impressive singles record, going 10-2 on court four and 4-0 on the fifth court for a 14-2 record in dual matches. Her 11-3 record in fall tournaments gives her an overall mark of 25-5, the best winning percentage on the team. At one point, Ilcinkas was riding a seven-match winning streak in the months of February and March, taking wins against ranked opponents on three occasions.
FRENCH CONNECTION: Junior Claire Ilcinkas and freshman Marina Cossou have teamed up to create a formidable duo for the Golden Bears. The doubles team currently holds a 17-8 record, going 10-5 in dual matches so far. Together in the fall, the two advanced to the doubles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championships and went to the semifinal at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Ilcinkas hails from Paris, France and Cossou from Azereix, a small town in the south of France.
FRESH PERSPECTIVE: With a heavily senior team, freshman Marina Cossou brings some new blood to the squad. Cossou earned 11 victories in individual tournament play including a 7-6(5), 6-4 upset win over No. 11 Anastasia Petukhova of Fresno State at the Cal Winter Invitational. In the fall, Cossou strung together five victories to capture the ASU Thunderbird Invitational singles title. Cossou has continued her impressive play in dual matches so far, notching 26 wins against only six losses in her first season, playing predominantly on the top court. Taking court one for the first time against the College of William & Mary, Cossou dismissed another No. 11-ranked player as she defeated the Tribe's Megan Moulton-Levy with a 6-2, 6-1 win on March 5. Cossou has since bested her performance by defeating a No. 10-ranked Amanda Fink of USC by a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 score.
COSSOU AND KUSANO RECEIVE PAC-10 HONORS: Freshman Marina Cossou and senior Stephanie Kusano were each selected as the Pac-10 Women's Tennis Player of the Week this season. Cossou was picked for the week of March 3-9 and Kusano for Feb. 18-24. The honors mark the fifth and sixth time that a Cal player has earned such honors. Cossou was rewarded for her stellar play from the top court for the Bears, defeating three consecutive top-65 opponents in singles play, including a then No. 11-ranked Megan Moulton-Levy of William & Mary. Kusano went perfect during her week by earning six victories, three in singles and three in doubles. Her win against No. 31 Carolyn McVeigh of Stanford helped the Bears to a stunning upset of the No. 3 Cardinal.
FALL 2007 TOURNAMENTS: The Golden Bears enjoyed a successful fall individual tournament season, going 71-38 in singles play and emerging with a 22-17 doubles record. Senior Susie Babos entered the fall ranked No. 4 nationally and claimed her second consecutive All-American Championship crown. Senior Cristina Visico advanced to the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship singles final and freshman Marina Cossou won the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational. Junior Bojana Bobusic racked up a team-high 14 singles wins and advanced to the Cal Invitational singles final and the singles semifinal at the Wilson/ITA Northwest Regional Championship. Fellow junior Claire Ilcinkas won the Cal Invitational Blue Flight title and held a 9-2 record coming out of the fall.
2006-07 SEASON RECAP: The Golden Bears completed the 2006-07 dual campaign with a flurry of postseason victories to advance to the national semifinal match at the NCAA Championships, falling to eventual NCAA Champion Georgia Tech. Cal finished with a No. 5 ranking after posting a 23-7 overall record, going 5-3 in Pac-10 Conference play, tied for fourth place with Arizona State. At one point, the Bears ripped off an 11-match winning streak that included victories over No. 9 Northwestern, No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 19 Arizona State. As a junior, Susie Babos earned her second All-American honors in both singles and doubles along with senior Zsuzsanna Fodor. Babos and Fodor were also each selected to the All-Pac-10 first team and named the 2007 Pac-10 Doubles Team of the Year. Freshman Nina Henkel was selected as an All-American in singles and also received All-Pac-10 second team honors.