Gabriela Lastra Qualifies For Singles and Doubles Semifinals At NCAA Championships

May 23, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. - Two Stanford athletes- Gabriela Lastra (Reno, Nev.) and Erin Burdette (Jackson, Ga.)- recorded victories on Thursday afternoon to advance to Friday's semifinal round at the 2002 NCAA Singles Championships. Meanwhile, Stanford's doubles team of Lastra and Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, Fla.) qualified for the doubles semifinal round with a three-set win at the Taube Tennis Center.

In singles action, Lastra continued her impressive postseason run with her ninth consecutive straight-set victory. The Cardinal senior, ranked No. 6 nationally and one of eight No. 9-16 seeds in the draw, defeated Tennessee's Vilmarie Castellvi 6-2, 7-5 in the quarterfinal round. Lastra, who has dropped just 18 games in the tournament, is currently riding a 23-match winning streak and is aiming for her first career singles championship.

'I played her back in January at the National Collegiate Classic in Las Vegas so I'm familiar with her style of play' said Lastra of Castellvi. 'She gets a lot of balls back and wears you down. Today I was focused on trying not to make too many mistakes and staying patient throughout the match.'

Lastra faces Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff on Friday in the semifinals at noon. Lehnhoff, the nation's top-ranked player and the tournament's No. 3 seed, and Lastra have not met this season.

No. 9-16 seed Burdette also qualified for the semifinal round, outdueling Arizona State's Adria Engel 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in another quarterfinal contest. Burdette, ranked No. 13 in the country, has now won eight in a row and 27 of her last 28 matches.

'All of our games today were real close,' explained the Cardinal freshman. 'I really didn't make too many mistakes in the second set- she just won points when she had to and got on a hot streak. When the third set came around, I just tried to start mixing it up a little more.'

Burdette matches up with Wake Forest's Bea Bielik, ranked No. 2 nationally and the No. 1 seed in the tournament, on Friday in the semis at noon. They have yet to face one another.

Stanford will also be represented in the semifinal round of the doubles draw on Friday. The Cardinal's No. 1 senior duo of Lastra and Kalvaria managed to hang on for a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-2 win over Washington's Claire Carter and Darija Klaic. Lastra/Kalvaria, the top seed in the doubles portion of the bracket, have won 19 of their last 20 matches. The duo will square off against Florida's Lindsay Dawaf and Jessica Lehnhoff on Friday afternoon in the semis. Both doubles teams have claimed an 8-6 victory in the two prior meetings this season.

The second Cardinal tandem of Burdette and Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, N.J.) was hoping to advance to the semifinal doubles round as well, but came up short. Kentucky's Sarah Witten and Carolina Mayorga tallied a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6 triumph over Stanford's No. 2 team to advance. Barnikow and Burdette, who have consistently ranked in the nation's top-20 this year, finish the season with a 33-11 overall ledger.

Semifinal singles matches are slated for noon on Friday, with doubles to follow.

Quarterfinal Round Singles Results:
No. 9-16 seed Gabriela Lastra (STAN) def. Vilmarie Castellvi (TENN) 6-2, 7-5
No. 9-16 seed Erin Burdette (STAN) def. Adria Engel (AZST) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3

No. 1 seed Bea Bielik (WAKE) def. Kate Pinchbeck (UNC) 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 seed Jessica Lehnhoff (FLA) def. No. 7 seed Jewel Peterson (USC) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5

Quarterfinal Round Doubles Results:
No. 1 Kalvaria/Lastra (STAN) def. Carter/Klaic (WASH) 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-2
No. 4 Mayorga/Witten (KEN) def. Barnikow/Burdette (STAN) 3-6, 7-6 (5), 4-6

Bradley/Fisher (UCLA) def. Adams/McCain (DUKE) 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2
No. 3 Dawaf/Lehnhoff (FLA) def. Riske/Tsoubanos (VANDY) 6-4, 6-3

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