Cal, Kusano Top Baylor Women, 4-3

Texan Stephanie Kusano helped secure the doubles point, leading the Cal Bears to a huge semifinal win over Baylor, 4-3.

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Fifth-seeded Baylor Bears finish season at 32-3, the most successful season in program history.

TULSA, Okla. – The fifth-seeded Baylor women’s tennis team lost in the NCAA Tournament’s semifinals on Sunday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. The Bears were defeated by the California Golden Bears, 4-3, snapping a 15-match win streak.

Baylor finished its most successful season in program history at 32-3 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

After losing the doubles point, Baylor took Cal down to the last match in singles before the contest was decided. Cal leapt out to a 2-0 lead when No. 40 Claire Ilcinkas downed 99th-ranked Jana Bielikova on court four in straight sets. Baylor would counter with two wins at courts one and three, respectively, when Zuzana Zemenova, ranked No. 25, upset 20th-ranked Susie Babos in straight sets (7-5, 6-1) and No. 18 Lenka Broosova downed No. 35 Cristina Visico, 6-3, 6-2. Broosova’s victory marked her 19th straight singles win and raised her season record to 49-4. In addition, she finished the season undefeated at the No. 3 spot at 20-0.

After a Baylor loss at court six, Jelena Stanivuk, who had lost the first set (6-4) regrouped and took the final two sets (6-3, 6-2) on court five to even the match at 3-3. In the final match on the court, Taylor Ormond, ranked No. 43, had won the first set on court two over fourth-ranked Marina Cossou, 6-4, however Cossou countered with a 6-1 second-set victory. In the final set with the match tied at 1-1, Ormond began suffering leg cramps and eventually lost the third set 6-2.

“We had a great year; we accomplished things this program has never done before. I am so thankful that the Lord blessed us with this team. We’re going to come back and win this tournament some day; I have faith in this group. What hurt us is that I thought we were passive in some singles matches. Cal had three seniors out there and we basically were a very young team,” said head coach Joey Scrivano.
 
Zemenova, Broosova and Ormond will begin competition in the NCAA Singles Championships on Wednesday, May 21 while Zemenova and Broosova will begin doubles competition on May 22.

NCAA Championship Semifinals
Michael D. Case Tennis Center
May 19, 2008 at Tulsa, Okla.
#8 California 4, #5 Baylor 3
Singles
1. #25 Zuzana Zemenova (BU) def. #20 Susie Babos (CAL) 7-5, 6-1
2. #4 Marina Cossou (CAL) def. #43 Taylor Ormond (BU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. #18 Lenka Broosova (BU) def. #35 Cristina Visico (CAL) 6-3, 6-2
4. #40 Claire Ilcinkas (CAL) def. #99 Jana Bielikova (BU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Jelena Stanivuk (BU) def. Stephanie Kusano (CAL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
6. #92 Bojana Bobusic (CAL) def. Karolina Filipiak (BU) 6-3, 6-4

Doubles
1. #12 Babos/Kusano (CAL) def. #6 Broosova/Zemenova (BU) 8-4
2. Cossou/Ilcinkas (CAL) def. Ormond/Stanivuk (BU) 8-5
3. Susana Chmelarova/Filipiak (BU) vs. #54 Bobusic/Visico (CAL) DNF

Match Notes: California 21-5; National ranking #8 Baylor 32-3; National ranking #5 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,1,3,6,5,2)

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