By Amita Gondi
The No. 4 Stanford women’s tennis team will take on the No. 9 Texas Longhorns this Saturday at noon in a home dual match at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. Last week, Stanford cruised past No. 6 Vanderbilt 6-1 at home in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA championship.
The Cardinal, a squad that returns its entire singles and doubles lineups from last year’s national championship team, is arguably the deepest team in the country and boasts eight top-100 singles players and four top-40 doubles teams.
The Cardinal and Longhorns last went face to face three weekends ago in the quarterfinals of the ITA Division 1 National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle’s Nordstrom Tennis Center, where the Cardinal won a hard-fought 4-3 decision.
The Cardinal, whose top three doubles teams were all featured among the Top 31 in the Oracle/ITA national rankings, took a 1-0 lead by claiming the opening doubles match. Stanford’s top doubles team, No. 10 duo of seniors Kimberly Yee and Caroline Lampl, broke a 2-2 tie and won the final four games en route to a 6-2 decision against the Longhorns’ sophomore duo of Bojana Markovic and Fernanda Labraña, while the No. 31 tandem of senior Melissa Lord and freshman Niluka Madurawe rallied from a 5-4 deficit to win the final three games and post a 7-5 victory against Poluta/Spasojevic.
Stanford will look to depend on recently named Pac-12 Player of the Week, senior Melissa Lord. Lord grabbed one of the five singles victories in the Cardinal’s win last weekend, handily defeating Vanderbilt’s No. 9 Christina Rosca 6-1, 6-3. Ranked No. 49 in the nation, Lord is 11-7 overall and 4-2 in duals while playing all of her matches at the No. 2 spot in the Cardinal lineup. A member of two NCAA championship teams (2016, 2018), Lord has racked up 84 career singles victories and ended last season at the No. 25 spot nationally.
The Longhorns most recently recorded a 6-1 road victory over No. 45 Rice (6-4) on Sunday afternoon at the George R. Brown Tennis Center in Houston. Texas (5-2) won all six singles matches after dropping the day’s opening doubles point and will look to maintain its winning momentum going into this pivotal away game at Stanford.
The stats promise for a big clash between two top-10 tennis titans. Now let us just hope that Northern California’s forecasted downpour this weekend does not play spoilsport this Saturday. Live scoring will be available at GoStanford.com.
Contact Amita Gondi at agondi ‘at’ stanford.edu.