No. 1 Women's Tennis Prepares For Marquee Matchup With Fresno State

Jan. 22, 2002

Sat., Jan. 26 vs. No. 11 Fresno State...12 p.m...Stanford, CA

After competing in two separate tournaments last weekend using a split-squad format, the No. 1-ranked Cardinal will focus its attention on a dangerous opponent this week. Stanford will open its 2002 dual match season against No. 11 Fresno State on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 12 p.m. at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The Bulldogs are coming off their best season in program history and advanced to the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament before being upset by UCLA. The Cardinal are looking to continue last season's success- a 30-0 overall record and earning its third NCAA championship in the last five years.

No. 11 Fresno State will open its season Wednesday at No. 24 Pepperdine before hooking up with the Cardinal in a Saturday matinee. The Bulldogs finished last season with a 21-5 overall mark and a final ranking of No. 14, marking the best season in school history under then-first-year head coach Kevin Epley. Fresno State competed in the Arizona State Winter Invitational last week and competed against Arizona State and Texas in the round robin event. Seniors Kim Niggemeyer and Simon Jardim combined for five singles victories at the event, and teamed for two doubles victories also. Niggemeyer (No. 14 in singles) and Jardim are ranked No. 4 nationally as a tandem. Stanford shutout the Bulldogs 7-0 in the only meeting between the schools last year.

The Cardinal will begin the 2002 season ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released last Tuesday. Stanford, which won the 2001 NCAA Championship under first year head coach Lele Forood, returns five of six starters from last year's squad. The Cardinal finished with a 30-0 overall record last season, marking the ninth undefeated season in program history and first since 1990. Rounding out the top-10 are No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 USC, No. 8 Arizona State, No. 9 Northwestern and No. 10 Texas.

Stanford was well-represented at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., last weekend, as the Cardinal captured the doubles title and earned a runner-up singles finish. Seniors Lauren Kalvaria and Gabriela Lastra, ranked No. 1 nationally, teamed to win the doubles title, defeating UNLV's Paulina Janus and Agnieskza Abram 8-2. The duo cruised to an 8-3 semifinal victory after earning a first -round bye. Stanford's second doubles team of Erin Burdette and Keiko Tokuda advanced to the semifinals. On the singles side, Lastra was upset by Tennessee's Villmarie Castellvi 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 in the title match after picking up two victories.

Sophomore Lauren Barnikow, ranked No. 42, reached the singles championship at the Pac-10 Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash., only to fall short in the title bout. Barnikow was bested by USC's Jewel Peterson 6-4, 6-1 in the Flight 1 singles bracket after winning her first three matches in straight sets. Sophomore Emilia Anderson was the only other Cardinal to notch a singles win, defeating Washington State's Lorena Arias 6-2, 6-4 in her opening round match.

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