No. 23 Bulldogs Upset No. 11 Cal, Advance To Round of 16
May 13, 2006
By Curtis Webb
By Curtis Webb
BERKELEY, Calif. - Tinesta Rowe had not played singles in over a month--neither had she won since March 4--but the freshman from Jamaica was victorious in three sets to clinch a thrilling 4-3 upset of No. 11 Cal and sending the 23rd-ranked Fresno State women's tennis team to the next round of the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs advanced to the sweet sixteen for the third time in program history and earned their 20th win of the year. Fresno State (20-6) beat Cal for the third straight time, ending the Golden Bears season with a record of 17-8.
"I'm so proud of my team," said head coach Simon Thibodeau. "They battled until the end. Tinesta kept her composure and really stepped up for the team. It is great to reach the round of 16, especially with five freshman. This team is a very select group of women. We've reached our goal, but now we want more!"
The Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. Cal's 8th-ranked combo of Suzi Babos and Zsuzsanna Fodor defeated Lucia Sainz and Katharina Winterhalter 8-5, giving the Golden Bears an edge. But on court No. 2, Tinesta Rowe and Magdalena Tokarska pulled out a 8-6 victory over Bobusic and Kosano. Finally, Melanie Gloria and Jacqueline Haskett clinched the doubles point with an impressive 8-2 win on court No. 3.
Cal struck back with two wins on courts No. 3 and 4. Stephanie Kusano and Marion Ravelojaona won for the Bears, giving Cal a 2-1 edge.
Freshman Melanie Gloria, ranked 23rd in the country, defeated 3rd-ranked Zsuzanna Fodor in convincing fashion. Gloria, the WAC Player of the Year dominated Fodor, the Pac-10's singles champion, tying up the team score at two.
Then Winterhalter got one of the biggest victories of her four-year career when she beat 27th-ranked Babos in straight sets to put the 'Dogs ahead 3-2. But Cal fought back with a win at No. 5 singles. Cristina Visico beat Haskett in three sets to even the score at three.
Winterhalter's win was the 103rd of her career, passing Liesl Fichtbauer to become second all-time in Fresno State history for career singles victories.
Fresno State heads to Stanford for the round of 16 on May 18. The Bulldogs will face seventh-seeded Miami at noon at the Taube Tennis Center.
NCAA Women's Tennis
No. 23 Fresno State def. No. 11 Cal, 4-3
Doubles (Fresno State wins doubles point)
Records: Fresno State (20-6); Cal (17-8)