Women's Tennis Reaches NCAA Finals For The Third Consecutive Year
May 20, 2001
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Top-ranked Stanford University (29-0) qualified for the NCAA Women's Tennis Finals for the third consecutive year, and fifth time in the last six years, with a 4-1 win over fifth-ranked Florida (24-3) on Sunday morning at the Lincoln Tennis Center. The Cardinal will now be shooting for its record 11th NCAA Team Championship, and seventh undefeated season in program history.
In Monday's 9:00 a.m. (ET) championship, the top-seeded Cardinal will take on sixth-ranked and sixth-seeded Vanderbilt (25-4). The Commodores, who will be making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Finals, upset defending NCAA Champion Georgia (23-5) 4-2 in the semifinals.
This will be the second meeting of the season between Stanford and Vanderbilt. In the first match-up, the Cardinal recorded a 5-1 win in the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championships on February 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.
'We really didn't know what to expect (from Florida) because we haven't played them in two years,' Stanford head coach Lele Forood said. In the last meeting between the schools, Stanford prevailed 5-1 in the 1999 NCAA Finals. 'Doubles was a war. They were very competitive. It's hard to tell how a team will react after losing the doubles point. Sometime they come out demoralized and sometimes they come out with fire. Florida definitely came out firing after losing doubles and really played well.'
Stanford clinched the doubles point at No. 2 as second-ranked Laura Granville (Chicago, IL/The Latin School) and Gabriela Lastra (Reno, NV/Reno HS) outlasted Stephanie Hazlett and Julia Scaringe 9-7. The Cardinal also received a key win at No. 1 as top-ranked Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, NJ/Woodbridge HS) and Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, FL/Boca Raton Prep) beat fourth-ranked Whitney Laiho and Jessica Lehnhoff 8-4.
The Cardinal then received a big lift at the top of the singles lineup as both Granville and Kalvaria defeated top 15 opposition in straight sets. At No. 1, defending NCAA Singles Champion Granville improved to 40-1 on the season with a 6-0, 7-6 victory over the seventh-ranked Laiho. Kalvaria, meanwhile, increased her singles winning streak to 23 matches with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over the 13th-ranked Lehnhoff.
Freshman Emilia Anderson (Cincinnati, OH/Anderson HS) later clinched the win by defeating Annika Bengtssson 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6. The victory marked the second time Anderson has clinched a dual in the 2001 NCAA Tournament (Boston University).
#1 Stanford 4, #5 Florida 1
#1 - #1 Laura Granville (S) d. #7 Whitney Laiho, 6-0, 7-6
#2 - #9 Lauren Kalvaria (S) d. #13 Jessica Lehnhoff, 6-2, 6-3
#3 - #17 Gabriela Lastra (S) v. #46 Lindsay Dawaf (F), suspended
#4 - Stephanie Hazlett (F) d. Lauren Barnikow, 6-2, 6-4
#5 - #50 Keiko Tokuda (S) v. #81 Julia Scaringe (F), suspended
#6 - Emilia Anderson (S) d. Annika Bengtsson, 6-4, 6-2* (clinched match)
Doubles (Stanford wins point)
#1 - #1 Lauren Barnikow/Lauren Kalvaria (S) d. #4 Whitney Laiho/Jessica Lehnhoff, 8-4
#2 - #2 Laura Granville/Gabriela Lastra (S) d. Stephanie Hazlett/Julia Scaringe, 9-7
#3 - Sarah Pestieau/Keiko Tokuda (S) v. Lindsay Dawaf/Annika Bengtsson, suspended
Records - #1 Stanford 29-0, #5 Florida 24-3.