California Moves into NCAA Quarterfinals
ATHENS, Ga. - The ninth-seeded California women's tennis team (20-6) put together a 4-0 victory over No. 26 Georgia Tech (16-12) to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships for the third time in five years. The Golden Bears defeated the Yellow Jackets in the round of 16 at the McWhorter Courts of the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on Thursday, May 17, and will face top-seeded and No. 1-ranked UCLA in a quarterfinal dual set for 9 a.m. PT on Saturday, May 19.
This is the 20th time that Cal has advanced at least as far as the national quarterfinals. The Bears have made two trips to the championship match; each under the direction of Head Coach Amanda Augustus led her squad to the title match in her first two seasons on campus (2008-09).
"I think in doubles, at one and two, we got off to good starts," said Augustus. "We were ready, today. Georgia Tech is aggressive and they move around a lot at the net, but we were prepared for that. In both of those matches, we had some early breaks and just kept building on our successes. They made adjustments, but once we figured out what the strategy was, we were able to get the wins."
The Bears opened the day by capturing the doubles point for the 22nd time, this season, and for the third dual in a row, Cal's fifth-ranked team of junior Annie Goransson and sophomore Anett Schutting clinched the doubles point. This time, the duo earned their team-leading 32nd win of the year on an 8-4 victory over Lynn Blau and Elizabeth Kilborn at No. 2 doubles.
At the top court, Cal's 15th-ranked team of senior Jana Juricova and freshman Zsofi Susanyi had jumped out to a 6-2 lead against Georgia Tech's 23rd-ranked duo of Jillian O'Neill and Alex Anghelescu. At the same time, the Yellow Jackets on court three (Caroline Lilley and Muriel Wacker) had built a 6-2 gap over sophomore Alice Duranteau and freshman Cecilia Estlander.
Cal struck first, today, as Juricova and Susanyi put an 8-3 win in the books from the top court. Georgia Tech responded to get an 8-3 win of its own on court three before the Bears closed out the first point of the dual with a win at No. 2 doubles.
"I felt like we had a strong showing in singles matches," said Augustus. "A lot of the early games were close on the top three courts and it took a while for Zsofi [Susanyi] to break the serve of Lilley at court two. All of our first sets were all won around the same time, but once we had those three, it gave us the momentum we needed. Tayler [Davis] had a grind of a first set, but I think she would have gotten it done, and it was just beautiful to see Jana [Juricova] serve out the match from the top court."
Though she took some time to break Lilley's serve, 13th-ranked Susanyi was the first player off the courts for the Bears as she earned her 36th win in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over her opponent on court two. One court over, 30th-ranked Schutting stayed on pace and claimed her 36th win of the year as well when she finished off Kilborn, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 3 singles.
At court four, 48th-ranked junior Tayler Davis won her first set, 7-5, against Anghelescu, but only after each of the top three courts had finished their first sets. Down, 1-0, in the second, Davis' match was halted when the match was clinched. The Yellow Jackets had the upper hands on each of the bottom two courts where Blau had defeated 67th-ranked Goransson, 6-3, in the first set and was working on a 5-3 lead in the second. At No. 6 singles, Christina Ngo won her first set over Duranteau, 7-5, and was up, 3-2, in the second.
On the top court, eighth-ranked Juricova had a 6-2 win in the first set and was up 5-2 in the second set against No. 11 Jillian O'Neill. Up, 40-15, with the ball in hand, Juricova put an ace down the T to close out a 6-2, 6-2 win and clinch the dual victory for the Bears.
Cal will face top-seeded and No. 1-ranked UCLA (24-2) in the quarterfinals. The two teams will take the courts for a 9 a.m. PT dual (noon local) on Saturday, May 19, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Bruins have earned 4-0 victories against Eastern Kentucky, Long Beach State, and Rice, through their run in the NCAA championships. However, the last time Cal and UCLA met, the Bears claimed a 4-3 win on April 13 at the Hellman Tennis Complex. UCLA earned a 4-3 win of its own as the home team on Feb. 24 against a Cal lineup that was without Juricova. The last time the Bears and Bruins met in the NCAA championships was in the 2008 final; a 4-0 win for UCLA.
"I think it'll be interesting," said Augustus of the upcoming matchup. "We expect a battle, and we're familiar with each other, so it will be fun. There's not going to be any surprises. It'll just be about who is better able to adjust when we get going. They are well coached, and I think the doubles point will be key. It's tough to win against that team, and it's possible to win four singles, but it will be important to get off to a fast start."
Please visit NCAA.com for a complete bracket and more information on the 2012 championships.
No. 9 California 4, No. 26 Georgia Tech 0
2012 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships | Round of 16
Dan Magill Tennis Complex | Athens, Ga.
Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 6 a.m. PT
Records: California (20-6), Georgia Tech (16-12) |
1. No. 15 Juricova/Susanyi (CAL) def. No. 23 O'Neill/Anghelescu (GT); 8-3
2. No. 5 Goransson/Schutting (CAL) def. Blau/Kilborn (GT); 8-4
3. Lilley/Wacker (GT) def. Duranteau/Estlander (CAL); 8-3
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2* (California wins doubles point)
1. No. 8 Jana Juricova (CAL) def. No. 11 Jillian O'Neill (GT); 6-2, 6-2
2. No. 13 Zsofi Susanyi (CAL) def. Caroline Lilley (GT); 6-3, 6-0
3. No. 30 Anett Schutting (CAL) def. Elizabeth Kilborn (GT); 6-4, 6-1
4. No. 48 Tayler Davis (CAL) vs. Alex Anghelescu (GT); DNF
5. No. 67 Annie Goransson (CAL) vs. Lynn Blau (GT); DNF
6. Alice Duranteau (CAL) vs. Christina Ngo (GT); DNF
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*