Bears Ride Early Momentum of Doubles Point to Commanding Win at Arizona State

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The No. 8 Cal women's tennis team has always been a team of fighters when it comes to matches against Arizona State.

And after the Bears won their eighth straight meeting between the two teams yesterday afternoon at the Whiteman Tennis Center in Tempe, Ariz., Cal now holds an overall record of 36-13 in the series.

No. 23-ranked senior Bojana Bobusic secured the Bears' 10th win of the season as she claimed a three-set victory over Ashlee Brown on the fourth singles court, 6-0, 6-7, 6-0.

Cal defeated the No. 14 Sun Devils by an overall score of 5-2.

Unlike last year against Arizona State, Cal (10-2, 2-0 in the Pac-10) was able to steal the early lead by capturing the doubles point.

"I think winning the doubles point was pretty important," senior Claire Ilcinkas said. "I remember last year we lost the doubles point against them and it made a big difference because they get momentum from winning doubles."

Bobusic and Ilcinkas teamed up to clinch the doubles point on the second court, taking out the No. 50-ranked Abdala sisters, Laila and Nadia, 8-6.

"Claire and I started off really well," Bobusic said. "Then we were up 7-2 and we let them get back in the match, but we did a good job of closing out and winning the doubles point for the team."

Cal freshman Jana Juricova destroyed her opponent on the top singles court as she claimed a 6-0, 6-1 win against No. 3-ranked Kelcy McKenna.

The Bears then extended their lead to 3-1 when Ilcinkas took a 6-4, 6-2 victory on court three for her 20th singles win of the year.

"We need to work on being aggressive when we lead because we were up on a few courts and let them come back," Ilcinkas said. "We could have easily lost it but we managed to win. When we were ahead we were able to close it right away, which would have allowed us to be more confident."

Cal coach Amanda Augustus thinks the hard-fought struggle until the last point is key for the future of the Bears.

"We're still working on not letting momentum change too much," Augustus said. "We had some chances where we were up and let them get back in, like in doubles. The flow of the team match is very important. We need to keep concentration so we don't give the other team too many opportunities."

Overall, Augustus was pleased with Cal's determination and resilience.

"ASU is a really well-coached team," Augustus said. "They play well on their home courts and compete really hard. It was a good test for us today. I am proud of how the girls did and happy with the results."


Contact Lauren Bachelis at [email protected]

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