Women's Tennis Wins NCAA Team Championship!

May 21, 2001

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Top-ranked Stanford University (30-0) won its 11th NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championship, and third in the last five years, with a 4-0 victory over sixth-ranked Vanderbilt University (26-5) on Monday morning at the Lincoln Tennis Center. The Stanford Athletic Department has now won at least one NCAA Championship in 25 consecutive school years dating back to 1976-77.

'Our team was amazing this year,' first-year Stanford head coach Lele Forood said. 'Back in the fall, I could not foresee an undefeated season. The fact that we were able to go undefeated in the Pac-10 (8-0) is a huge accomplishment. We came into this tournament with a mission and were able to keep our focus and take care of business. I really am in awe of how we performed that last couple of days when you take into account the weather and the delays. It's a great feeling.'

Stanford also claimed NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championships in 1982, '84, '86, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '97, and '99, while no other program has won more than three since the tournament began in 1982. The Cardinal has now won a total of 12 women's tennis national championships, including an AIAW crown in 1978 that was Stanford's first-ever national title in a women's sport.

The NCAA Championship is the first as a head coach for Stanford's Forood, who was also an assistant coach for six Cardinal national title runs from 1988-2000. The Cardinal finish the 2001 season with a perfect 30-0 record, marking the ninth undefeated season in program history and first since 1990. Stanford also dropped just one point in its six NCAA Tournament matches, which ties the school record set by the 1989 squad in its four victories.

Junior Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, FL/Boca Raton Prep), who was the Cardinal's most consistent player in the tournament, provided the clinching victory at No. 2 singles. The ninth-ranked Kalvaria, who was 5-0 in doubles and 4-0 in singles in the tournament, defeated 38th-ranked Sarah Riske 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to give Stanford its fourth and deciding point.

'I was aware that we needed one more point for the victory but I didn't know what was happening on the other courts,' Kalvaria said. 'Basically, I was just thinking if I could hold on we would win the match ... To get to this point was our goal at the beginning of the season and now that we have accomplished it is extremely satisfying.'

Prior to Kalvaria's win, Stanford also received singles victories from junior Keiko Tokuda (Clifton, NJ/Clifton HS) and freshman Emilia Anderson (Cincinnati, OH/Anderson HS). The 50th-ranked Tokuda beat Aleke Tsoubanos 6-0, 6-4 at No. 5 and Anderson defeated Kelly Schmandt 6-0, 6-3 at No. 6.

In doubles, Stanford won both the No. 1 and 2 matches to win the doubles point for the sixth time in as many tries in the post-season. Top-ranked Kalvaria and freshman Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, NJ/Woodbridge HS) beat Jenny Miller and Schmandt 8-6 at No. 1, while second-ranked Gabriela Lastra (Reno, NV/Reno HS) and Laura Granville (Chicago, IL/The Latin School) beat Riske and Aleke Tsoubanos 8-4 at No. 2.

'Part of our plan was to win the doubles point and then put the pressure on Vanderbilt in the singles matches,' Forood said. 'Fortunately, we were able to claim the first couple of singles sets rather quickly and kind of stun Vanderbilt a little bit.'

'After we lost the doubles point, Stanford really came after us in the singles matches and was able to build momentum,' Vanderbilt coach Geoff Macdonald said. The Commodores, who were making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Finals, also lost to the Cardinal 5-1 in February at the National Team Indoor Championships. 'They put pressure on us in each match. We couldn't claim very many loose points or unforced errors when we needed to that put us over the edge.'

The Cardinal concludes the season with the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in Stone Mountain on May 22-26.

#1 Stanford 4, #6 Vanderbilt 0

Singles

#1 - #1 Laura Granville (S) v. #15 Julie Ditty (V), suspended

#2 - #9 Lauren Kalvaria (S) d. #38 Sarah Riske, 6-2, 6-2* (clinched national championship)

#3 - #17 Gabriela Lastra (S) v. #64 Jenny Miller (V), suspended

#4 - Lauren Barnikow (S) v. Kate Burson (V), suspended

#5 - #50 Keiko Tokuda (S) d. Aleke Tsoubanos, 6-0, 6-4

#6 - Emilia Anderson (S) d. Kelly Schmandt, 6-0, 6-3

Doubles (Stanford wins point)

#1 - #1 Lauren Barnikow/Lauren Kalvaria (S) d. Jenny Miller/Kelly Schmandt, 8-6* (clinched point)

#2 - #2 Laura Granville/Gabriela Lastra (S) d. #17 Sarah Riske/Aleke Tsoubanos, 8-4

#3 - Sarah Pestieau/Keiko Tokuda (S) v. #5 Kate Burson/Julie Ditty (V), suspended

Records - #1 Stanford 30-0, #6 Vanderbilt 26-5.

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