By Shan Reddy
Stanford’s women’s tennis team competed in the 2018 Riviera ITA Women’s All-American Championships last week. This marks the 34th year in a row that the Division I tournament has been held at the Riviera Tennis Club in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacific Palisades.
In addition to battling for the ITA All-American national title, players had the opportunity to qualify for the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Surprise, Arizona. Bids for the Oracle tournament in November were awarded to the tournament champions, runner-ups, quarterfinalists, consolation champions and consolation finalists in singles and doubles. Stanford last won the tournament in 2011, when Nicole Gibbs and Mallory Burdette took the doubles title.
At the end of the 2018 preseason, Stanford had two doubles teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation. The Cardinal’s duo of junior Emily Arbuthnott and sophomore Michaela Gordon ranked No. 3 and was named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year at the end of last season.
After Arbuthnott and Gordon fell to the unranked team of Nina Khmelnitckaia and Janet Koch from Kansas in the second round (8-5). Seniors Caroline Lampl and Kimberly Yee stepped up for the Cardinal, taking down top-10 teams from Clemson, Georgia and LSU in the first, second and quarterfinal rounds, respectively.
Lampl and Yee ranked No. 17 in the ITA preseason list, and were Stanford’s No. 2 team for all of the 2017-2018 season. The duo went on to take down No. 24 ranked Sofia Blanco and Lisa Marie Rioux from Oklahoma State (6-7(1), 6-3, 12-10) in a nailbiter Saturday to earn a spot in the tournament finals. The upset run ended there with a heartbreaking loss (6-3, 6-3) to Khmelnitckaia and Koch, the same team that took down Arbuthnott and Gordon back in the second round.
Meanwhile, Arbuthnott and Gordon worked their way through the consolation draw. The duo narrowly defeated Clemson’s Marie-Alexandre Leduc and Fernanda Navarro (8-7(4)) before crushing Duke’s Meible Chi and Kaitlyn McCarthy (8-3). In the consolation doubles finals, the pair handily took down Winthrop University’s Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor (8-3).
Both teams qualified for the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Arbuthnott and Gordon won their first tournament together there last season and will be looking to defend their title this November.
Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’ stanford.edu