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Women’s tennis survives TCU scare, moves on to NCAA round of 16
Sophomore Caroline Lampl delivered the clinching point in the duel against TCU to send the Cardinal to the NCAA Round of 16. With the win, Lampl remains undefeated in the postseason. (SYLER PERALTA-RAMOS/The Stanford Daily).

Women’s tennis survives TCU scare, moves on to NCAA round of 16

After cruising to an easy sweep in a forfeit-ridden game against Idaho (16-8) on Saturday, sixth-ranked Stanford women’s tennis (23-2) punched its ticket to Athens, Georgia thanks to a hard-fought comeback 4-2 win against the TCU Horned Frogs (14-10).

The Cardinal’s weekend started with a shutout of an Idaho team, who had to forfeit one doubles and one singles match, traveling with only five of the six players required to play a dual. The forfeit on court 3 combined with a 6-3 win on Court 1 from freshman Emily Arbuthnott and senior Taylor Davidson booked the doubles point for the Cardinal.

At the start of the singles, the Cardinal boasted a 2-0 lead thanks to a default at the No. 6 spot, which allowed freshman Emma Higuchi to sit out the dual. Stanford added one more after Idaho’s Maria Tavares retired mid-game to Caroline Lampl. At the time of the forfeit, the Cardinal sophomore was leading 6-0, 2-0.

Arbuthnott provided the Cardinal’s final point thanks to a straight-set 6-2, 6-0 win on Court 5. As the other games were halted, the remaining Cardinal players were all within a few games of victory.

The following day, the Cardinal started fast as they claimed the doubles point. Sophomore Melissa Lord and senior Caroline Doyle got things started with a 6-2 win on Court 2, and Arbuthnott and Davidson added one more after the Horned Frogs took Court 3.

TCU’s response, however, was quick, as the Horned Frogs claimed the first set on every court except Court 6. All Cardinal players were facing deficits, and it looked like the returning champions would be upset.

“Looking at the scoreboard, it was really scary to see that,” said Lord.

“I got really sad all of the sudden,” added Lampl. “But eventually that’s what motivated me to win.”

Arbuthnott was the first one to fall. Unable to climb back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set, the freshman dropped her match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. After being the only Cardinal to win her first set, Higuchi rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Meanwhile, on Court 1, Doyle was battling in a knotted second set. The senior, despite coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the first, was edged 7-5 in the opening set. Although Doyle was able to force a tie-breaker in the second set, she eventually fell 7-5, 7-6 to give TCU its second point.

As things were tied two apiece, the Cardinal looked to bounce back and came back in all the remaining singles matches. Lord bounced back from a 3-6 first set and had taken the second 6-4. The Connecticut native was ahead 3-0 in the decisive set of her game. Next to her, Davidson had fought her way back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set, managing to tie the score at four-all. On Court 4, Lampl, who had fallen a couple of points short in the first set, had won her second set 6-3.

Lord was the first of the three to break through, completing her comeback win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Lord’s fifth success in a three-setter put the Cardinal one point away from victory.

After Lord added a point to the scoreboard, both Davidson and Lampl looked really close to clinching the dual. At the No. 3 spot, the senior had saved four match points and won six points in a row to climb back from a 2-6 deficit in a second set tie-breaker and was leading 3-0 in the third. On Court 4, Lampl was leading 4-1 in the final set.

Lampl was eventually the one to clinch, completing her comeback thanks to a 6-2 third set win.

“Every single person on our team wants it even more than we did last year, so I think I mentality really pushed us today,” said Lampl after her clinching victory.

The Cardinal next travel to Athens, Georgia as they get ready to face Michigan next Friday.


Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.