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Cal women move on

Daily Planet Wire Services
Monday May 14, 2001

The No. 7-ranked California Golden Bears (16-6), struggled early, yet managed to pull off a tough 4-1 victory over the No. 20-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (16-7), Sunday at the Hellman Tennis Courts. 

The Bears got off to a sluggish start, losing the first doubles match at court No. 2, where Jieun Jacobs and Nicole Havlicek fell, 8-3, to UNC’s Marlene Mejia and Julie Rotondi. Cal evened the score when the duo of Christina Fusano and Catherine Lynch downed UNC’s tandem of Courtney Zalinski and Elina Bairos, 8-4, on the No. 3 court.  

All eyes were on the No. 1 court, where Anita Kurimay and Raquel Kops-Jones traded points the entire match with UNC’s Kendrick Bunn and Kate Pinchbeck. Neither team led by more than a point the entire match, before UNC took an 8-7 lead. Kops-Jones struggled with her serve as numerous double-faults hampered the duo’s chances to take an advantage. UNC’s duo would take the final game, and the first team point of the afternoon, defeating Cal, 9-7.  

Needing three singles victories to clinch the match, UNC gave the Bears a scare as singles competition got underway. The Tar Heels won the first set on three of six courts, forcing Cal to step up their level of play. Cal would find comfort in wins at courts No’s. 5 and 6, as Sekita Grant would tally the first point for the Bears with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 6, before Catherine Lynch tallied a 7-5, 6-2 victory at the No. 5 court.  

With a 2-1 lead, the Bears began to turn the tables. The three singles players who lost their first set at courts No.’s 2 through 4 began to make comebacks. At No. 3, Raquel Kops-Jones fought back from a 5-7 loss in the first set, to take the next two, 6-1, 6-2. The Bears would win the final point and take the match from UNC when Jieun Jacobs came back from a 6-7(6) first set loss, to defeat defeat UNC’s Kristin Koenig in the final two stanzas, 6-3, 6-1.  

Cal will travel to Stone Mountain, Georgia, where Georgia State University will host the final rounds of the NCAA championships, May 17-20.In addition to the team competition, Kurimay, Fusano and Kops-Jones will play for the singles title. 

Cal’s doubles team of Kurimay and Kops-Jones will also compete in the doubles portion of the championships. They will have big shoes to fill, as the Bears have produced the last three NCAA doubles champions.