ZHELTOVA UPSETS FORMER NCAA CHAMP, BUT NO. 43 WOMEN'S TENNIS FALLS 6-1 TO NO. 6 CAL
BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophomore Katrina Zheltova defeated 2006 NCAA singles champion Susie Babos at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 6-4, but the No. 43 Hornets dropped a 6-1 decision to the No. 6 California Golden Bears on Friday, April 18 at Hellman Tennis Center.
With the loss, the Hornets fall to 19-6 overall, while the Golden Bears improve to 16-4.
In doubles action, the Hornets fought hard at all three positions, but dropped the doubles point and all three matches to the Bears. The most hotly contested battle took place at the No. 1 position, where Zheltova and freshman Melissa Valenzuela fell to the No. 45 ranked tandem of Babos and Stephanie Kusano by a score of 8-4.
On the singles side of the ledger, California took the first three clashes to finish, clinching the match, but the Hornets continued to fight hard, as shown in the next match to finish at No. 1 singles. Zheltova, who entered the week ranked No. 48 in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, upset the No. 18 ranked Susie Babos in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Babos, who has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation this year, was the 2006 NCAA singles champion, as well as the winner of the last two Riviera/ITA All-American singles championships. Zheltova and Babos had one prior meeting in their respective careers, which took place in Zheltova's first-ever collegiate dual meet last season, with Babos pulling out a 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) victory. The victory marked the second time this season that Zheltova has beaten a top-20 opponent, with the first occurance coming on Jan. 16 when she beat Katie Rybakova of Florida State, who was then ranked No. 16 in the country, by a score of 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
The final two singles affairs to finish saw Valenzuela fall to No. 38 Cristina Visico, 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 singles, and junior Joyce Martinez Gutierrez drop a tough 6-3, 6-4 decision to Stephanie Kusano at the No.6 position.
The Hornets will now move on to postseason action, as they host the Big Sky Tennis Championship, April 25-27 at the Rio Del Oro Racquet Club. Both the men and the women have earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament, securing byes into the semifinal round. The women will face the lowest remaining seed at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 26.
#6 Cal 6, #43 Sacramento State 1
4/18/2008 at Berkeley, Calif.
(Hellman Tennis Center)
1. #48 Katrina Zheltova (SAC) def. #18 Susie Babos (CAL) 6-4, 6-4
2. #6 Marina Cossou (CAL) def. Anastassia Lyssenko (SAC) 6-3, 6-2
3. #38 Cristina Visico (CAL) def. Melissa Valenzuela (SAC) 6-1, 6-4
4. #70 Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) def. Luba Schifris (SAC) 6-0, retired
5. #104 Bojana Bobusic (CAL) def. Karina Jarlkaganova (SAC) 6-4, 6-2
6. Stephanie Kusano (CAL) def. Joyce Martinez Gutierrez (SAC) 6-3, 6-4
1. #45 Susie Babos/Stephanie Kusano (CAL) def. Katrina Zheltova/Melissa Valenzuela (SAC) 8-4
2. Marina Cossou/Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) def. Luba Schifris/Karina Jarlkaganova (SAC) 8-2
3. Cristina Visico/Bojana Bobusic (CAL) def. Aileen Tsan/Anastassia Lyssenko (SAC) 8-4
Sacramento State 19-6; National ranking #43
Cal 16-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,2,5,1,3,6)