Stanford Reaches NCAA Semifinals For 17th Straight Year

May 17, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford University advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championship with a 4-1 victory over the University of North Carolina on Friday afternoon at the Taube Tennis Center.

The Cardinal, which are ranked second in the nation and seeded third in the tournament, improved to 25-1 on the season and will face third-seeded and second-ranked Georgia (26-1) in the semifinals on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center. Georgia handed the Cardinal its only loss of the season on Feb. 9 in the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. The Bulldogs prevailed 4-3, but the Cardinal was without No. 1 singles player Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, FL).

Seventh-ranked and sixth-seeded North Carolina, which was making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals, concluded its season at 25-5.

Stanford jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of impressive comebacks in doubles. After North Carolina prevailed at No. 3 doubles, Stanford's No. 1 and No. 2 teams both came back from three games down to win.

At No. 2, Stanford sophomore Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, NJ) and freshman Erin Burdette (Jackson, GA) came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 9-8. The Cardinal's No. 1 team of seniors Kalvaria and Gabriela Lastra (Reno, NV) rebounded from 3-0 and 6-3 deficits to win 9-7.

'We won the doubles point, although we are still not playing as well as we can,' Stanford head coach Lele Forood said. 'We played a strong team today that gave us a good battle. Tomorrow, we are going to concentrate on what we need to do to play well. We have had a lot of titanic matches with Georgia. There will be no motivation necessary.'

Stanford then won three singles matches in straight sets to lock up its 17th straight semifinal appearance in the NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championship.

Sophomore Emilia Anderson (Cincinnati, OH) gave Stanford a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles. The Tar Heels then cut the deficit to one thanks to a 6-0, 6-3 victory from Julie Rotondi (Hingham, MA) at No. 3.

The Cardinal then closed the match out behind seniors Keiko Tokuda (Clifton, NJ) and Lastra. Tokuda prevailed 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5 singles, and Lastra clinched the win with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at No. 2.

'We came out strong in doubles and had our chances to win the point,' North Carolina head coach Jen Callen said. 'Stanford pulled through, and was the better team today.'

#2 Stanford 4, #7 North Carolina 1

Doubles (Stanford wins point)

No. 1 - #1 Lauren Kalvaria/Gabriela Lastra (S) d. Marlene Mejia/Julie Rotondi, 9-7

No. 2 - #14 Lauren Barnikow/Erin Burdette (S) d. #47 Kendall Cline/Aniela Mojzis, 9-8

No. 3 - Lee Bairos/Kate Pinchbeck (N) d. Keiko Tokuda/Story Tweedie-Yates, 8-6

Order of finish: #3, #2, #1

Singles

No. 1 - #4 Lauren Kalvaria (S) v. #36 Marlene Mejia, suspended (6-2, 3-3 Stanford)

No. 2 - #6 Gabriela Lastra (S) d. #14 Kate Pinchbeck, 6-3, 6-3

No. 3 - #34 Julie Rotondi (N) d. #16 Lauren Barnikow, 6-0, 6-3

No. 4 - #13 Erin Burdette (S) v. Aniela Mojzis, suspended (6-4, 3-1 Stanford)

No. 5 - Keiko Tokuda (S) d. Lee Bairos, 6-4, 6-1

No. 6 - Emilia Anderson (S) d. Kendall Cline, 6-1, 6-2

Order of finish: #6, #3, #5, #2

Records - #7 North Carolina 25-5, #2 Stanford 25-1.

Individual and team rankings are courtesy of Omni Hotels and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

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