Stanford women’s tennis rings in the New Year ranked No. 2 behind the Florida Gators, the same team it lost the NCAA title to last May after entering the postseason as the overwhelming favorite. Its slip from the top spot is not the only difference from last year–the Card graduated half of last spring’s national championship doubles pair, Hilary Barte, as well as Carolyn McVeigh and Jennifer Yen–but returns seven players and adds one freshman. Roster updates aside, the Cardinal is ready for a fresh start and a new mentality–“No regrets.”
The Bank of the West (BotW) Classic, hosted at Stanford’s Taube Family Tennis Stadium, puts some of Stanford’s finest on display against the world’s top professional female tennis players.
After suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the team portion of the NCAA National Championship Tuesday night, senior Hilary Barte, freshman Nicole Gibbs and sophomore Stacey Tan are moving forward and focusing their attention on a quest for an NCAA individual title. Each successfully survived the round of 32 on Thursday and will appear in the round of 16 today. Barte and sophomore Mallory Burdette also coasted into the doubles round of 16 with their victory over Michaela Kissell and Dominica Zaprazna of Marshall.
Florida’s Lauren Embree shocked Stanford sophomore Mallory Burdette at No. 2 singles in a third-set tiebreaker to capture the decisive match in Florida’s 4-3 victory over the Cardinal. Embree downed Burdette 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) and won a roller-coaster third set after trailing 4-0.
As the Stanford women’s tennis team heads into its 30th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament this weekend, the 2010 NCAA title isn’t the only thing it will be defending. The No. 2 Cardinal will look to extend its NCAA-record home winning streak to an eye-popping 180 consecutive matches when the first and second rounds of the NCAAs commence this weekend at the Taube Family Tennis Center.
Seven Stanford tennis players were chosen to represent the Cardinal in the singles and doubles brackets of the NCAA tournament on Wednesday.
After the first day of action in the Pac-10 women’s singles tournament and invitational, the Cardinal is in good position to bring home the title. Stanford has four players in the quarterfinals of the singles tournament and one representative in the quarterfinals of the invitational.