Bears Trek to Desert to Face Wildcats, Devils





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For the Cal women's tennis team, records can be deceiving - the Bears are 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-10.

At first glance, this record might seem mediocre for a No. 2 team. But considering that the two losses are to the same team - which just happens to be No. 1 Stanford - Cal isn't biting its nails just yet.

"We learned a lot, especially about ourselves," team captain Jenny Lee said. "After Stanford, we were really open about our frustrations, but now we can move on from those feelings."

The Bears will try to put the losses behind them when they face Arizona and No. 10 Arizona State this weekend. Heading into the road matchups, the team is confident.

"I'm expecting a sweep of the Arizona schools to rebound from our losses to Stanford," Lee said.

Cal takes on the Wildcats (6-3, 1-3) at Robson Stadium Center at 1:30 p.m. today. The Bears will attempt to heal their wounds when they battle Arizona.

Cal owns a 30-10 overall lead in the series. In last year's matchup, the Bears swept the Wildcats at home, 9-0, and easily beat them in Tuscon, 5-1. Still, Cal coach Jan Brogan isn't expecting a cakewalk in the desert.

"They are stronger than last year," Brogan said. "They have a new coach that has really gotten the team together."

Furthermore, Arizona is traditionally tough at home because of the arid environment, which prompted the Bears to leave Berkeley a day early.

"The balls are a lot faster, so we always go the day before to get used to that," Brogan said.

The Wildcats will be especially vengeful after Cal's No. 1 doubles duo, Amy Jensen and Claire Curran, toppled Arizona's top doubles team, Lindsey Blau and Michelle Gough, in the finals of the Rolex Intercollegiate Indoor Championships last month, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.

With the win, the Bears captured their first-ever individual championship at the Rolex tournament.

This weekend's matchup won't necessarily be a repeat of that result. Jensen has battled illness this week, and Brogan is still unsure of whether her star will be ready to play.

Anita Kurimay will come off the injured list after a knee injury prevented her from playing against Stanford, prompting Brogan to juggle the lineup.

"Amy will not be playing in the No. 1 court," the coach said. "Instead we're moving up Anita to play our No. 1 spot. If Amy isn't playing, we will put Morisa (Yang) or Jenny into the singles lineup."

Last week, the Wildcats faced ASU and lost, 9-0. That result in mind, the Sun Devils (7-1, 3-1) will likely provide Cal with its tougher test of the weekend. The Bears head to ASU for a matchup with the Devils at 12 p.m. Saturday.

ASU boasts the 1999 ITA rookie of the year in No. 14 Allison Bradshaw.

"We can't take anything for granted," Lee said. "We have to stay tough every match."

In practice, Cal has been focusing on playing more aggressively in preparation for both Arizona schools.

"We've been working our intensity and using our changeup balls as a means of attacking our opponents," Lee said. "We want to push them behind the baseline, so they are automatically put in a defensive situation, allowing us to take on a more aggressive role."

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