Hoping to extend an impressive 11-game winning streak, No. 10 Cardinal women’s tennis (15-1, 7-0 Pac-12) journeys down the California coast to take on the No. 17 Pepperdine Waves (13-4) in their final non-conference matchup of the season.
Stanford sits atop the Pac-12, with only one loss to the nation’s best Florida Gators (20-1) staining their record. Yet despite the strong campaign thus far, the Cardinal still sit behind two past opponents – No. 5 Vanderbilt (15-5) and No. 8 Oklahoma State (16-4) – who both lost to the Cardinal in their head-to-head matchups.
A major reason for Stanford’s drop from their season-high No. 4 ranking has been a perceived lack of strength in schedule. Yet if the Cardinal just keep winning, they will ensure themselves a spot in the nation’s top 16, guaranteeing the Cardinal home field advantage come the NCAA postseason.
Pepperdine will be yet another test for the Cardinal. The Waves will enter into Wednesday’s match on their own eight-game winning streak, and they have earned national recognition after toppling Arizona State and UCLA earlier this season. However, if Stanford can continue its recent success, the Cardinal will definitely better their rankings headed into the final stretch of the season.
In Wednesday’s pivotal contest, Pepperdine’s top doubles duo senior Christine Maddox and junior Mayar Sherif – who are currently ranked sixth in the Oracle/ITA doubles rankings while going 17-6 overall – will most likely face off against the surging No. 32 Cardinal doubles pair senior Caroline Doyle and sophomore Melissa Lord, marching to 9-5 overall for the season.
In addition to doubles success on the season, Lord is currently 21-2 in her singles matches and sits at No. 19 in the singles rankings.
In the last matchup between the two teams, Stanford lost the match in a dramatic 4-3 finish, in which the two teams split all of the singles points and put the pressure on the doubles point that ultimately went to the Waves. This year, the Cardinal enter into Malibu with all members of the singles lineup ranked and riding high. A major reason for the Cardinal’s success in singles matches this season is freshman stud No. 5 Emily Arbuthnott, who is currently on a 16-match win streak.
The Cardinal’s 11-game win streak is the longest since the 2014 campaign, when the team won 13 in a row from Jan. 24 to March 30. However, beyond just the 11 consecutive victories this year, Stanford has either shut ite opponent out or only allowed one point in the last seven matches.
The Cardinal will take on their opponent at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu on Wednesday at noon, and live stats can be followed on gostanford.com.
Contact Julia Massaro at jmassaro ‘at’ stanford.edu.