Stanford Reaches NCAA Final

May 18, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford University (26-1) qualified for its 16th NCAA Women's Tennis Final in 21 years with a convincing 4-0 semifinal victory over the University of Georgia (26-2) on Saturday afternoon at the Taube Tennis Center.

The Cardinal will shoot for its 12th NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championship when it takes on the Florida/Tennessee winner on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Taube Tennis Center. The Cardinal is shooting for its second national championship in a row, fourth in the last six years and 10th in the last 17 years.

Stanford avenged its only loss of the season on Saturday by capturing the doubles point and winning three singles matches in straight sets. Georgia knocked off the Cardinal 4-3 in the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championship on Feb. 9 in Madison, Wisconsin.

'We always have great battles with Georgia,' Stanford head coach Lele Forood said. In two seasons at Stanford, Forood is 56-1 overall and 11-0 in post-season play. 'We were very happy to win the doubles point today. We've been playing well in singles, and needed to go out and play our game in doubles.'

The Cardinal dominated at No. 1 doubles, as seniors Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, FL) and Gabriela Lastra (Reno, NV) posted an 8-1 win over Agata Cioroch (Warsaw, Poland) and Lori Grey (Seminole, FL). Stanford then wrapped up the doubles point at No. 3, as senior Keiko Tokuda (Clifton, NJ) and freshman Story Tweedie-Yates (Remond, WA) topped Anne Nguyen (Lancaster, PA) and Alexandra Smith (Marietta, GA) 8-4.

'We had been very defensive in doubles the last two days,' Cardinal senior Gabriela Lastra said. 'Today we were fired up for doubles, and did some extra work before going out on the court.'

Stanford then wrapped up its 22nd straight win by prevailing at Nos. 2, 4 and 5 singles. Tokuda gave the Cardinal a 2-0 lead with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 victory over Smith at No. 5, while freshman Erin Burdette (Jackson, GA) followed with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Grey at No. 4.

Lastra then clinched the victory by defeating Mariel Verban (Bloomington, IL) 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2. Lastra is now 37-7 this season and has won 19 straight matches dating back to March 28. She is also 5-0 in singles play in the NCAA Championship, and has lost a combined total of just 19 games in those matches.

#2 Stanford 4, #3 Georgia 0

Doubles (Stanford wins point)

No. 1 - #1 Lauren Kalvaria/Gabriela Lastra (S) d. #15 Agata Cioroch/Lori Grey, 8-1

No. 2 - #14 Lauren Barnikow/Lauren Kalvaria (S) v. #33 Tina Hojnik/Mariel Verban (G), suspended (7-6 Stanford)

No. 3 - Keiko Tokuda/Story Tweedie-Yates (S) d. Anne Nguen/Alexandra Smith, 8-2

Order of finish: #5, #4, #2

Singles

No. 1 - #4 Lauren Kalvaria (S) v. #7 Agata Cioroch, suspended (6-4, 4-1 Georgia)

No. 2 - #6 Gabriela Lastra (S) d. #37 Mariel Verban, 6-3, 6-4

No. 3 - #16 Lauren Barnikow (S) v. #49 Anne Nguyen (G), suspended (6-2, 5-4 Georgia)

No. 4 - #13 Erin Burdette (S) d. Lori Grey, 6-3, 6-4

No. 5 - Keiko Tokuda (S) d. Tina Hojnik, 6-1, 6-0

No. 6 - Emilia Anderson (S) v. Alexandra Smith (G), suspended (6-2, 2-1 Stanford)

Records - #2 Stanford 26-1, #3 Georgia 26-2.

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

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