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W. Tennis: Cardinal sweeps four dual matches in eight days

 

After a two-week break for finals, the No. 6 Stanford women’s tennis team got right back into action with four dual matches in eight days. The Cardinal (14-0, 6-0 Pac-12) showed no signs of rust, though, winning all four dual matches without dropping a single team point.

Stanford’s first match after the break, a March 25 matchup with No. 38 Washington State, was canceled due to rain, so the Cardinal did not get underway until March 28, when the squad traveled to Las Vegas to take on No. 51 UNLV.

The extra layoff was not an issue, though, as Stanford swept the three doubles matches against the Lady Rebels, losing just six games in total. Singles was similarly dominated by the Cardinal, as Stanford dropped just one set en route to a 7-0 win. The lower courts of doubles particularly favored Stanford, as the Cardinal lost only 20 games in eight sets on courts three through six. Including doubles, Stanford’s junior Stacey Tan, freshman Ellen Tsay, senior Veronica Li and junior Natalie Dillon won 65 games and lost just 22.

Sophomore Nicole Gibbs (above) has not lost a set since the finals break as the Stanford women's tennis team has swept all four of its foes in the past week and a half.

After dismantling UNLV, the Cardinal returned to conference play, hosting the Arizona schools over the weekend. The results were similar, as Stanford rolled over No. 27 Arizona State 7-0 before beating No. 28 Arizona 4-0.

Against the Sun Devils, Stanford again lost just one set en route to the sweep. In singles, Arizona State reached five games in just two of the 10 sets on the way to its first shutout loss of the season. Injuries also played a role, as the Sun Devils were forced to forfeit the third doubles match and the sixth singles match.

The Cardinal had similar success against the Wildcats before rain ended the match early. The threat of bad weather caused the singles matches to go before the doubles matches, and when sophomore Nicole Gibbs finished off her match on court one to give Stanford a 4-0 lead, the match was called. Junior Mallory Burdette, Tsay and Li also won in straight sets, while Tan and Dillon did not complete their matches.

Stanford ran its shutout streak to six consecutive matches with an easy 7-0 win over Cal Poly on Wednesday afternoon. The Mustangs (7-7) are just the fourth unranked team Stanford has faced this year, and they were no match for the Cardinal at Taube Family Tennis Center. Stanford won every set and needed just one tiebreaker to dispatch Cal Poly.

In doubles, Stanford took care of business on all three courts, winning 8-3, 8-3 and 8-4. Head coach Lele Forood changed up the singles lineup, giving Tan a break and allowing sophomore Amelia Herring to secure her first win in a singles dual match. Gibbs and Burdette had no trouble on the top two courts, as each won by an identical 6-1, 6-1 score. Herring closed out the sweep with a 7-6, 6-4 win on court six.

The Cardinal will look to continue its shutout streak against another unranked opponent in its final nonconference match of the season when Stanford hosts Santa Clara this Saturday at 9:30 a.m.