April 25, 2012
OJAI, Calif. - The California women's tennis team (17-6, 8-2 Pac-12) will play in the first-ever Pac-12 Championships, this weekend, at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club and Libbey Park. The Golden Bears will fill a bracket made up of the top players from the 11 Pac-12 schools in conjunction with the 112th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament.
Though the Pac-12 men will play an eight-team single-elimination tournament, the women will play in a 32-player singles draw made up of three players from each of the top ten schools and two players from the 11th-place team, based on the regular-season standings. There will also be a 16-team doubles draw featuring one team from each of the 11 schools and five additional teams selected by the draw committee. The first two rounds will be played at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, with semifinals and finals set to be played at nearby Libbey Park. The singles championship match is set for 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 29, and will be followed immediately by the doubles championship match.
On the doubles side, the Bears have claimed seven titles including the last one by Mari Andersson and senior Jana Juricova. Alissa Finerman and Tifany Silveria won the doubles championships in 1988. Keirsten Alley and Pam Nelson claimed back-to-back crowns in 1993 and 1994 before current head coach Amanda Augustus teamed with Claire Curran to bring home the 1997 championship. Christina Fusano and Kops-Jones won the 2002 and 2003 titles.
The Pac-12 Championships will keep with tradition as the featured event at this year's Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1,600 of the best college, junior, and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has always been played at the same site and interrupted only five times. Players of the caliber of Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, and the Bryan twins have all played in the historic tournament.
Seven Cal players have won more than 20 singles matches with two Bears up above the 30-win plateau. Cal's lineup features five ranked singles players topped by Juricova who is ranked No. 7 with a 24-5 overall record. Freshman Zsofi Susanyi is a couple of spots behind Juricova at No. 14 and shares the team lead with a 32-6 singles record. Junior Tayler Davis holds the No. 55 ranking and notched her 25th win of the year last weekend.
No. 83-ranked junior Annie Goransson also has a 32-6 record and shares team-high honors with Susanyi. Goransson is on an incredible 13-match winning streak since March 2 and is 19-2 in dual matches. The last ranked Cal player is sophomore Anett Schutting who is 29-9 this year with a 17-6 mark in duals. The Bears round out the singles courts with freshman Cecilia Estlander who is on a seven-match winning streak.
In doubles, Cal's team of Goransson and Schutting is ranked No. 5 in the country. They went undefeated in Pac-12 dual matches (9-0) and produced an 18-3 mark in all duals. The Bear pair leads the team with a 27-4 mark and is on a 12-match winning streak that dates back to March 3.
27 Pac-12 women occupy spots in the ITA's top-125 singles rankings through April 24. The Pac-12 leads all conferences with nine players ranked in the top 25. In doubles, 11 Pac-12 tandems are ranked in the top 90.
RANKED PAC-12 SINGLES PLAYERS
RANKED PAC-12 DOUBLES TEAMS