Publication Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2005|
Top-ranked women move on in tennis
Top-ranked women move on in tennis
(May 18, 2005)
by Rick Eymer
Stanford junior women's tennis player Alice Barnes has the ability to check in on the scoreboard and still be able to concentrate on her own match.
"I can't do that," Stanford junior Amber Liu said. "But if I need to know what's going on I can ask her. She always seems to know what is going on."
Barnes, ranked 20th in the nation, had plenty to follow over the weekend as the top-ranked Cardinal (23-0) turned back their first two opponents - Army and Oregon - in the NCAA tournament by the score of 4-0 at Taube Tennis Center to reach the Round of 16 at the University of Georgia beginning Thursday.
Stanford meets Harvard (19-6) on Thursday at 9 a.m. Eastern time. The Crimson beat Tennessee, 4-1, to advance. Harvard reaches the round of 16 for the second time in three years, losing to Stanford, 4-0, in 2003.
Stanford has reached the round of 16 every year since the inception of the NCAA tournament in 1982.
The Crimson feature two players ranked among the top 100 in No. 50 Courtney Bergman and No. 88 Susanna Lingham.
Stanford, which has a 52-match winning streak, counters with seven players ranked among the top 61.
The Cardinal ended their home season with an 85-match home streak intact after beating the Ducks on Saturday.
Stanford took the early lead in doubles action as Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey defeated Daria Panova and Dominka Dieskova, 8-4. The Cardinal clinched the doubles point as Joanna Kao and Theresa Logar won their first match together with an 8-5 victory over Davina Mendiburu and Ester Bak.
"I thought we played solid doubles but Stanford grabbed the point and the momentum was in their favor," Oregon coach Nils Schyllander said. "The top half of our singles lineup played very tough with Stanford's top half but they have an extreme amount of depth."
In singles play, the Cardinal took wins on the back three courts to clinch the victory. Freshman Whitney Deason clinched the match at No. 5 singles following wins by Yelsey and Logar.
Against Army, Barnes and Erin Burdette got things rolling with a win at No. 2 doubles.
Yelsey and Logar won their singles matches before Liu clinched the win with a victory at No. 1 singles.
"The final result is not indicative of how competitive the matches were," Army coach Paul Peck said. "Overall it was a great experience."
Sam Warburg and KC Corkery will carry the Stanford mantle into the NCAA singles and doubles tournament in College Station, Texas, beginning Wednesday, May 25.
The Cardinal (14-11) finished their team season after losing to host Pepperdine, 4-2, on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Stanford opened play with a 4-0 victory over San Diego on Saturday, the 18th consecutive year Stanford has won at least its opening round match in the NCAA tournament.
"Pepperdine had a great year," Stanford coach John Whitlinger said. "We gave it our best shot but we were playing a great team. It was a great college tennis match."
Pepperdine coach Adam Steinberg reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in his 16 years of coaching.
"It's been a dream to get to the Sweet 16," Steinberg said. "I wouldn't want to take any other team. The guys have worked hard for this all year and they deserve it."
Stanford failed to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 2002, and the second time since 1993.
Warburg and James Wan earned Stanford's wins on Sunday, while Phil Sheng and Phil Kao lost in three sets. Eric McKean was leading his match in the third set when the Waves clinched.
Stanford finished the season with its most losses since ending the 1969 season with a 9-12 mark. No Stanford team has ever lost more than 12 matches in a year, and the Cardinal has suffered only two losing seasons since 1956.
Against San Diego, Stanford edged the Toreros in three hotly contested doubles matches to gain the momentum.
"It was a tight match," San Diego coach Tom Hagedorn said. "When you play other good teams it is going to come down to a couple of points. They battled and it was just good tennis."
Menlo School grad Ryan Seawell can add another accomplishment to his growing list of achievements. The sophomore outfielder hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in Stanford's 11-1 victory over visiting UCLA on Sunday.
It was Seawell's first career home run.
After taking two of three from UCLA over the weekend, rallying for a dramatic 3-2 win on Friday, and losing Saturday, 4-3, before Sunday's win, Stanford has seven more games (including Tuesday night's game against visiting St. Mary's) to impress the NCAA selection committee.
The fifth-place Cardinal (10-8, 29-19) are hoping to make the NCAA tournament for the 12th straight year, though hosting for a 10th consecutive season seems unlikely.
Jed Lowrie also drove in three runs and Adam Sorgi drove in two as the Cardinal look to make a late run against two of the top teams in the Pac-10.
Stanford hosts second-place Arizona in a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m., and then travel to third-place USC the following weekend.
The Cardinal were officially eliminated from title contention as conference leader Oregon State swept Washington and improved to 17-4 with three games to play.
"We're just not hitting the ball very well at all right now," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "We just need to try to win every game we can from here on out."
Stanford scored all of its runs on Friday night in the bottom of the ninth, ending a terrific pitching duel between Stanford's Jeff Gilmore (9-1) and UCLA's Hector Ambriz.
John Mayberry, Jr. singled home the tying run and then scored the winning run on John Hester's double. Lowrie drove in the first run of the inning.
Both pitchers went the distance, with Gilmore allowing seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts.
Matt Leva (4-2) picked up the win on Friday, allowing a run on two hits over 6 1-3 innings.
Stanford has lost 15 games by two runs or less.
The Stanford lightweight rowing team scored two first-place finishes in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships on Saturday at Lake Natoma in Rancho Cordova.
In Novice 8, Stanford, with a crew of Alex Esparza, Marisa Ouchi, Rachel Bosley, Anna Lee, Molly Tokaz, Tammy Guo, Kelly Marshall, Lindsey Merrihew, and Kelly Wood, finished in 7:24.6 to second-place Cal's 7:39.4.
In Varsity 8, fourth-ranked Stanford, with a crew of Maia Goodman, Meredith Coleman, Jennie Morawetz, Cady Kintner, Kate Vieh, Kristina Peterson, Olivia Prevost, Kate Hayes, and Amina Richardson, led from start to finish, winning in a time of 7:02.9.
The Stanford women finished fifth at the Pac-10 Conference championships and will wait for an NCAA bid.
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