No. 1 Stanford Cruises Past No. 4 Cal, 4-1, in NCAA Semifinals

May 17, 2003

Gainesville, Fla. - In its fifth NCAA Semifinal appearance in school history, the #4 University of California women's tennis team (23-6) ran out of gas in its meeting with #1 Stanford, falling 4-1, to complete its 2003 campaign with a 23-6 overall record - the most wins in a season since 1990 when the team went 24-7 en route to an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

#1 Stanford and #2 Florida will square off in the NCAA Championship match, as the host Gators defeated Duke, 4-1, in today's other semifinal matchup at the Ring Tennis Complex at the University of Florida.

The doubles point has been a good barometer for things to come between these two squads, as the winner of the point in the previous three meetings this year has signified the ultimate victor. Cal entered today's match with an overall 5-4 record against the Cardinal doubles tandems, with a 1-2 record on court one, 1-2 on court two and 3-0 on court three. As the previous records would predict, Cal faltered on courts one and two for the early 1-0 deficit.

On doubles No. 1, the nation's top-ranked pair of Lauren Barnikow and Erin Burdette battled it out with #4 Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones. The Cal duo was in the midst of a seven-match win streak, with their last defeat at the hands of the same Cardinal duo on April 22. Things followed suit this afternoon, as the two teams road neck-and-neck to a 3-3 tie before Stanford broke Fusano's service en route to claiming five straight games for the 8-3 victory.

Meanwhile, courts two and three were engaged in some tightly-contested affairs, with the Bears up 4-3 on court three and down 3-4 on No. 2. But things changed quickly, however, as a nice service game from Scheldt and a service break put Cal in the drivers seat with a 5-4 lead. Stanford's freshman duo of Alice Barnes and Amber Liu then took three straight games to reclaim the lead at 7-5 and looked to be in control. But another service break for the Bears closed the gap to 7-6 with Jacobs serving for the tie. The Cal duo looked to be down and out facing elimination with a triple break point, but they made things interesting by forcing deuce with the doubles point on the line. Stanford claimed the advantage and a double fault from Jacobs handed Stanford the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead.

On court three, Havlicek and Lynch extended their 4-3 lead to 6-3 in a matter of minutes. But Emilia Anderson and Story Tweedie-Yates claimed three straight games to tie things at 6-6. Havlicek put the Bears ahead 7-6 with her service game, but the match was suspended with the Bears looking for a victory.

Cal took to the singles courts hoping for a repeat of Thursday's Sweet 16 match with North Carolina, when the Bears dropped the doubles point, but took four singles victories for the 4-1 win. Things didn't look good for Cal early on as #27 Erin Burdette claimed a 6-0 first set over #93 Catherine Lynch on court three and #11 Alice Barnes repeated with a 6-0 first set victory over #53 Jieun Jacobs on court four. Nicole Havlicek responded with a 6-4 first set win over Story Tweedie-Yates on court six and #25 Christina Fusano followed with a 6-3 decision over #16 Lauren Barnikow on court No. 2. Stanford claimed the early edge through first set action, as Emilia Anderson won her first set, 6-4, over Jody Scheldt and #4 Amber Liu edged #6 Raquel Kops-Jones, 7-5.

Burdette continued her mastery of Lynch, first off the court after defeating the Cal junior for the third time this year - this particular win a 6-0, 6-0 blanking to put the Cardinal up 2-0. Stanford took a 3-0 lead as Barnes dismantled Jacobs, 6-0, 6-1, also for the third time this season. Jacobs claimed the lone game to tie things at 1-1 in the second, but was not able to hang on in defeat. On court six, Havlicek kept the Cardinal honest by providing the Bears' lone point of the afternoon with a 6-4, 6-3 decision over Tweedie-Yates. The first set was a tight rope throughout, with four ties at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before Havlicek pulled away for the 6-4 first set. Tweedie-Yates claimed a brief 3-2 lead in the second set, but the Cal junior exploded to close out the match by outscoring her opponent 4-1.

It was not quite enough, though, as Emilia Anderson provided the clincher for the Cardinal moments later in a tightly contested match with Scheldt, but never trailed in completing a 6-4, 6-4 decision for the match. Scheldt kept things close throughout, coming within one game, 4-5, in both sets, but could not seal the deal down the stretch.

Both of Cal's top players, Kops-Jones and Fusano were in the thick of hopeful victories when the match was suspended. Both players were trailing in their respective matches, however, as Liu had a 7-5, 4-3 advantage over Kops-Jones and Barnikow was up 5-3 in the second set after Fusano claimed the first, 6-3.

Cal is not done in Gainesville, as the Bears have three singles players (Fusano, Jacobs & Kops-Jones) and one doubles tandem(Fusano/Kops-Jones) set to compete in next week's individual competition. Singles play starts at 9 a.m. (EST) Monday, May 19 and doubles play commences at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 20.

Complete tournament results can be found on the University of Florida's website at www.GatorZone.com.

COMPLETE RESULTS:Doubles: (Stanford wins doubles point)1. #1 Barnikow/Burdette (STAN) d. #4 Fusano/Kops-Jones (Cal), 8-32. Barnes/Liu (STAN) d. Jacobs/Scheldt (Cal), 8-63. Havlicek/Lynch (Cal) vs. Anderson/Tweedie-Yates (STAN), DNF (7-6)

Singles:1. #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal) vs. #4 Amber Liu (STAN), DNF (5-7, 3-4)2. #25 Christina Fusano (Cal) vs. #16 Lauren Barnikow (STAN), DNF (6-3, 3-5)3. #27 Erin Burdette (STAN) d. #93 Catherine Lynch (Cal), 6-0, 6-04. #11 Alice Barnes (STAN) d. #53 Jieun Jacobs (Cal), 6-0, 6-15. Emilia Anderson (STAN) d. Jody Scheldt (Cal), 6-4, 6-4*6. Nicole Havlicek (Cal) d. Story Tweedie-Yates (STAN), 6-4, 6-3ORDER OF FINISH: 3, 4, 6, 5** Clinched match
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