The surging No. 1 Stanford women’s tennis team brought its record up to 4-0 this weekend as it traveled to No. 17 Texas (3-1) and No. 22 Rice (2-2) for its first road matches of the season, beating the Longhorns 6-1 before wrapping up the trip with a 5-2 victory over the Owls.
On Friday in Austin, the Cardinal faced its highest-ranked opponent of the season but had little trouble overcoming the Longhorns, which were coming off of a 4-1 victory over Rice in their previous dual match.
The Cardinal went up 1-0 in the Penick-Allison Tennis Center in Austin, Tex. after winning the first two doubles matches of the day. The 15th-ranked doubles pair of senior Kristie Ahn and freshman Carol Zhao beat Texas’ 21st-ranked duo of Breaunna Addison and Pippa Horn 6-2, followed by a victory for Stanford’s 16th-ranked pair of junior Ellen Tsay and freshman Taylor Davidson. Texas held match point over the Cardinal in the third doubles matchup, but the game was suspended after Stanford had clinched the doubles point through its other two wins.
On the singles side, Stanford fared equally well, winning five matches to Texas’ one. The single loss was Stanford’s first of the season, delivered at the hands of 77th-ranked Ratnika Batra, who beat 34th-ranked freshman Caroline Doyle 6-2, 6-3 at the number four position.
The sixth-ranked Ahn remained undefeated on the season as she led the Cardinal in singles on the number one court, beating the 22nd-ranked Addison 6-4, 6-3 in one of her closer matches of the season. Sophomore Krista Hardebeck and the 40th-ranked Zhao racked up two more wins before the 94th-ranked Tsay secured the dual match with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Pippa Horn. Playing at the number six position, the 41st-ranked Davidson earned the fifth singles win and maintained her perfect record to close out the dual.
The following day, Stanford closed out its first road trip in Houston at Rice’s Jake Hess Stadium in front of a crowd of 650. Rice was coming off of its first loss of the season against Texas while facing the highest-ranked women’s team to play in its stadium since 1995 in the Cardinal.
Stanford started off with yet another doubles victory – its fourth of the season after the Ahn/Zhao and Davidson/Tsay duos won 6-3 and 6-1, respectively.
Playing their second singles matches in as many days, Doyle and Davidson each won their matches in straight sets, before Rice’s Dominique Harmath came through for the Owls when she beat Hardebeck 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-5) on court two. Soon thereafter, Zhao secured the dual victory with a 7-6, 6-1 win. Though Rice earned another point as Tsay fell to the Owls’ Katherine Ip on court five, Kristie Ahn won at the number one position to finish the dual.
Stanford’s victory increased its all-time record against Rice to 3-0. The teams last faced in the NCAA Regional Finals last year in Palo Alto, in which Stanford won 4-0 before going on to win the national championship.
The Cardinal will now look toward its match against St. Mary’s College of California at home on Saturday, where it will attempt to maintain a perfect record against the 2-1 Gaels.
The dual match begins at noon at the Taube Family Tennis Center.
Contact Fiona Noonan at fnoonan ‘at’ stanford.edu.