Bears Bring the Heat to Sweep Arizona Schools

Photo: <b>Freshman Jana Juricova</b> defeated No. 3 Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State for the second time in less than three weeks on Friday, conceding just three games in a straight-sets win.
Tim Maloney/Photo
Freshman Jana Juricova defeated No. 3 Kelcy McKenna of Arizona State for the second time in less than three weeks on Friday, conceding just three games in a straight-sets win.

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On Friday, for only the sixth time this year, the No. 8 Cal women's tennis team lost the doubles point of a dual match.

And for the fourth time out of those six, the Bears proved that an early 1-0 deficit is nothing that can't be overcome.

Cal's pairing of Bojana Bobusic and Stephany Chang fell 8-6 in the deciding doubles match, but Bobusic bounced back in singles, earning her 30th singles win of the year and clinching the Bears' 5-2 victory over No. 21 Arizona State at Hellman Tennis Complex.

Cal (14-4, 5-1 in the Pac-10) then blew out visiting Arizona, 7-0, on Saturday.

"We didn't come out the best in doubles (against ASU), but in singles we definitely stepped up a notch and got in control of those matches early," coach Amanda Augustus said. "We played them just a few weeks ago, and we learned a lot from those matches."

Down 1-0, the Bears proceeded to sweep the top four singles courts, with each Cal player winning in straight sets.

Senior Claire Ilcinkas captured the Bears' first point, defeating Ashlee Brown, 6-2, 6-1, on the fourth court.

"Winning the doubles point is always good because it gives us momentum, and we only need to win three singles," Ilcinkas said. "However, we have a good depth in our lineup and even when we lose the doubles point we can still win all singles."

Jana Juricova, meanwhile, continued her mastery of the Sun Devils' Kelcy McKenna, who is ranked No. 3 in the nation. Juricova recorded a 6-1, 6-2 win over McKenna on Friday, less than three weeks after dropping just one game in a rout of Arizona State's lauded sophomore.

As of Friday, Juricova was the only player to beat McKenna in singles since Jan. 17.

"Jana has been doing great," Augustus said. "She is very talented, and she has done such a great job of being a rock for us up there. It is not an easy spot to play in the No. 1, especially with Marina (Cossou) being out for a while in singles. She has done a tremendous job and I am really proud of her."

Juricova won both of her singles and doubles matches this weekend, teaming with freshman Mari Andersson to record doubles wins of 8-2 and 8-0 against the Sun Devils (10-6, 3-2) and Wildcats (10-7, 1-4), respectively.

And as a team, after losing the doubles point to ASU, Cal was not going to let it happen again on Saturday against Arizona. The Bears won all three doubles matches and beat the Wildcats without dropping a set.

"Sweeping Arizona with straight sets wins felt great," Ilcinkas said. "Everyone took care of their own court, and we had good energy and spirit, which made it fun."

With only three matches left in the regular season, the Bears appear to be hitting their stride at the right time.

"Everyone is on track now," Augustus said. "Everyone knows where we are in the season. We don't have that many matches left until the postseason starts. I am happy, and, it always feels good to get two Pac-10 wins at home."


Contact Lauren Bachelis at [email protected]

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