Bears Remain Cool Against Ever-Persistent Sun Devils

Photo: Marina Cossou was one of four Cal players that endured a three-set match against the Sun Devils in Monday's win. Cossou also earned the first point of the day in doubles play.
Eddie Rosenbaum/Photo
Marina Cossou was one of four Cal players that endured a three-set match against the Sun Devils in Monday's win. Cossou also earned the first point of the day in doubles play.

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A true testament to how tough Arizona State proved to be for the Cal women's tennis team lies in just how many three-set matches were played on Monday afternoon.

The Bears (7-1) played a total of four three-set matches against the Sun Devils (3-2) and were victorious in each of them, a feat that coach Amanda Augustus was most impressed with.

"I enjoyed seeing us fight through all the three-set matches," she said. "I don't think we've had that many all season, but we knew we were in for a fight (against ASU). When it comes down to three sets, we want to be the tougher team, and today we proved we can do that."

The singles round was highlighted by the matches on the top three courts, as Jana Juricova, Marina Cossou and Mari Andersson each met stiff competition against ASU.

Juricova defeated Nadia Abdala in straight sets, but the senior Sun Devil gave her all she could handle.

The 6-foot-2 Abdala held an early 4-2 lead in the first set against Cal's sophomore. Juricova, however, proved why she's ranked No. 2 in the country as she answered Abdala each time and eventually clinched the match on an impressive forehand winner down the baseline.

Andersson and Cossou each earned hard-fought victories as well against quality opponents. Cossou defeated Kelcy McKenna, a former All-American Championship titleholder, while Andersson won her match against Micaela Hein, who received All-American honors in doubles competition.

Both players won in three sets, and it was Cossou who clinched for Cal.

"I've played (McKenna) before and I know her game, so I knew it was going to be tough," Cossou said. "In the third set, I think all of us were able to pick our games and get a win for the team."

Freshman Nelly Radeva earned her first win of the dual season in three sets as well.

"I was just nervous and I was playing tight all day," Radeva said. "The match turned for me though in the third set. I just wanted to win, and it means a lot to beat ASU."

In doubles play, the Bears were strong once again, as they won two out of three in the opening doubles round.

The duo of Juricova and Andersson remain undefeated in the dual season, as they were victorious 8-5 against Arizona State's team of Hein and Abdala.

Cossou and senior Kasia Siwosz were dominating again on Court 2, as they easily handled the Sun Devils' team of McKenna and Ashlee Brown.

Cossou and Siwosz, who just began playing together at the start of the dual season, are 6-0 in doubles play after Monday's win.

"(Cossou and Siwosz) just keep on winning, and that's always good to see; they've been surprising," Augustus said. "(Andersson and Juricova) are also learning to finish matches, so that bodes well for us, too."


Contact Jeff Carillo at [email protected]

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