Lastra and Kalvaria Capture NCAA Doubles Championship
May 25, 2002
STANFORD, Calif. - Seniors Gabriela Lastra (Reno, Nev.) and Lauren Kalvaria (Indialantic, Fla.) became Stanford's first NCAA Doubles Championship team since 1990, when the Cardinal duo defeated UCLA's Megan Bradley and Lauren Fisher 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Taube Tennis Center.
Lastra and Kalvaria, ranked No. 1 nationally and seeded No. 1 in the tournament, ended the season winning eight in a row and 21 of their last 22 contests. The duo, which concluded the 2002 campaign with a 34-3 overall mark, is the first doubles champion from Stanford since the 1990 season, when Meredith McGrath and Teri Whitlinger captured the title.
'This is incredible and just a dream come true,' said Lastra. 'I wanted this so badly. I was confident in the fact that we had a tough draw in the tournament to get through to the final. I thought that if we were able to come out focused and play the way we did yesterday, we would have a good chance to win today.'
The Cardinal's top team cruised to a 6-2 lead in the first set. After racing out to a 5-2 lead in the second set, UCLA's Bradley and Fisher broke back to cut the lead to 5-3. However, the next game went to deuce and Kalvaria ripped a cross-court forehand winner to give Stanford the advantage. Following a sequence of rallies, UCLA's Fisher sent a shot just wide of the baseline giving the Cardinal a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
'I've been dreaming about this for four years so this is a long time coming,' explained Kalvaria. 'Once we were able to win the second game of the first set, everything was going well...They are a young team and we have experience and know how to play in those situations.'
The straight-set triumph was just the second in five tournament victories for Kalvaria and Lastra, who won three-set battles in their first three matches.
'I'm so ecstatic for Gaby and Lauren,' said Stanford head coach Lele Forood. 'They got to finish their college careers as doubles champions. They deserve it so much and have played great doubles all four years. They have a lot of faith in one other and are such good friends off the court that they want to win for each other, and that's the most important thing.'
On the singles side, Wake Forest's Bea Bielik became the first player in program history to capture the NCAA singles title. Bielik routed Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff 6-2, 6-0 in a match that took just 51 minutes to complete. She lost just 21 games in her six NCAA Singles victories, setting a record for fewest games lost in a championship (previous mark was 22 by Stanford's Laura Granville in 2000).
'I played a really good tournament, and I'm playing better every tournament,' said Bielik. 'It's been a long year. I've put in a lot of work since the end of last year. I tried to keep things in perspective during the match, but when the last ball was hit I started to feel the emotion...Bringing the trophy back to Wake Forest is definitely satisfying.'
2002 NCAA Singles Championship Match
No. 1 seed Bea Bielik (WAKE) def. No. 3 seed Jessica Lehnhoff (FLA) 6-2, 6-0
2002 NCAA Doubles Championship Match
No. 1 seed Kalvaria-Lastra (STAN) def. Bradley-Fisher (UCLA) 6-2, 6-3