W. TENNIS: Ravelojaona's Finals Run Highlights Bears' Showing at Pac-10s

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It seemed there was only one thing to be said about the Cal women's tennis team's performance in the Pac-10 Championships at the Ojai Valley Tennis Club and Libbey Park in Ojai, Calif.

"There was a lot of good that came out of the weekend," coach Amanda Augustus said.

The four-day conference tournament, which began Thursday and ended Sunday, was split into two different brackets-Championship and Invitational.

Bears senior Marion Ravelojaona finished as the runner-up in the Invitational bracket in a match against UCLA's Carling Seguso. She fell in straight sets in the finals, 6-2, 7-5.

"Marion made it to the final of the Invitational," Augustus said. "That's been really good to see. It is always great to be in a final. She has been a little up and down this season, so she is kind of finding herself this week."

Ravelojaona started the tournament with a bye, followed by a victory over USC's Lyndsay Kinstler, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. On Friday her success persisted, as she wiped out Siobhan Cavan of Oregon 6-2, 7-6(3) in the quarterfinals.

On Saturday, Ravelojaona claimed another victory with a 6-4, 6-2 win over UCLA's Stephanie Wetmore in the semifinal. Seguso proved to be too much, though, as Cal's senior fell in straight sets.

While Ravelojaona was swept in the Invitational final, sophomore Marina Cossou also advanced well into the Championship bracket. Cossou reached the semifinals for Cal (17-4, 7-1 in the Pac-10), falling to Natasha Marks of Arizona, 6-2, 7-5, to end her run.

"This was a good tournament for Marina," Augustus said. "In the quarterfinals she had a great win over Yasmin Schnack of UCLA (4-6, 7-6, 6-4), who is ranked No. 14 in the country. We brought her here to get lots of matches and prepared for NCAA, so I think she accomplished that."

Since Cossou was out with a foot injury for over a month earlier this season, she has not yet had time to get into the groove of things since her return to singles two weeks ago.

"This is the most amount of matches she's played in a while," Augustus said. "She found her form and got better each match."

Seniors Claire Ilcinkas and Bojana Bobusic also played solid matches. They were not as lucky, however, against their Championship bracket opponents.

Bobusic made it to the quarterfinals, where she fell to Natasha Marks of Arizona, 6-2, 6-3. Ilcinkas fell in the second round to Stanford's No. 5 Hilary Barte, 6-4, 6-4.

"Everyone did a good job," Cossou said. "Claire had to play someone tough in the second round. Boj played very well. It was very good practice before NCAAs."

Given Ravelojaona's progress in the Invitational, Cossou's hard fight in the Championship bracket and the Bears' overall positive spirit, the weekend helped the coaching staff sort out any ambiguities.

Said Augustus: "Overall, it helped us as coaches so we can see how we play and where we're at, and see what we need to work on for the NCAA tournament."


Contact Lauren Bachelis at [email protected]

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