Stanford Advances To NCAA Final With Win Over Cal

May 17, 2003

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Top-ranked Stanford (25-1) advanced to the final of the 2003 NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championship with a 4-1 victory over arch-rival California (23-6) on Saturday afternoon at the University of Florida. The Cardinal, which is the two-time defending NCAA Champion, reached the final for the fifth straight year and seventh time in the last eight years.

The Cardinal's opponent in the championship match on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) will be host Florida. The Gators (30-2) advanced with a 4-1 semifinal victory over Duke.

This will be the seventh meeting between the Cardinal and the Gators in the NCAA Final. Stanford holds a 5-1 advantage, including a 4-1 triumph last year on The Farm. The Cardinal has now reached the championship match in all five years the tournament has been held in Gainesville, including titles in 1989, '90 and '99.

'We're looking forward to playing Florida,' Stanford head coach Lele Forood, who owns an all-time NCAA Team Championship record of 13-0, said. 'This match has been in the back of our minds all year since we found out the tournament would be in Gainesville. Florida is playing very well, and has been cruising through this tournament.'

The Cardinal has won 12 NCAA Team Championships in the tournament's 21-year history, and three of the last four. Stanford has reached the final 16 times in the 21 years, and owns an impressive 12-4 record.

On Saturday, the Cardinal overcame both the Golden Bears and the intense heat. The on-court temperature at the start of the match at 2:00 p.m. was 105 degrees.

Stanford jumped out to a 1-0 lead with victories at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles. At No. 1, top-ranked Lauren Barnikow (Woodbridge, NJ) and Erin Burdette (Jackson, GA) overwhelmed fourth-ranked Christina Fusano and Raquel Kops-Jones 8-3. The Cardinal later clinched the point at No. 2 as freshmen Alice Barnes (Cambridge, England) and Amber Liu (La Mesa, CA) out-lasted Jieun Jacobs and Jody Scheldt 8-6.

The Cardinal wasted little time in taking a 3-0 advantage thanks to a pair of quick singles victories. The 27th-ranked Burdette needed just 60 minutes to blank 93rd-ranked Catherine Lynch 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3, and the 11th-ranked Barnes required only 78 minutes to overpower the 53rd-ranked Jacobs 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4.

'Erin is getting her A-game together right now,' Forood said. 'Today's singles match was a favorable one from a tactical standpoint for Erin, and she is doing a phenomenal job in doubles with Lauren. They're showing why they are ranked No. 1 in the nation.'

California, which was the only team to defeat Stanford this season, cut the margin to 3-1 after Nicole Havlicek defeated Story Tweedie-Yates (Redmond, WA) 6-4, 6-3 at No. 6.

Stanford then closed out its 25th win of the season at No. 5, as junior Emilia Anderson (Cincinnati, OH) defeated Jody Scheldt 6-4, 6-4.

'We had two singles matches go quickly in our favor, which is always a nice thing,' Forood said. 'We had the momentum, and at that point, it was just a matter of which match finished next.'

#1 Stanford 4, #4 California 1

Doubles (Stanford wins point)

No. 1 - #1 Lauren Barnikow/Erin Burdette (S) d. #4 Christina Fusano/Raquel Kops-Jones, 8-3

No. 2 - Alice Barnes/Amber Liu (S) d. Jieun Jacobs/Jody Scheldt, 8-6

No. 3 - Emilia Anderson/Story Tweedie-Yates (S) v. Nicole Havlicek/Catherine Lynch, suspended (California led 7-6)

Order of finish: 1, 2

Singles

No. 1 - #4 Amber Liu (S) v. #6 Raquel Kops-Jones (C), suspended (Stanford led 7-5, 4-3)

No. 2 - #16 Lauren Barnikow (S) v. #25 Christina Fusano (C), suspended (California led 6-3, 3-5)

No. 3 - #27 Erin Burdette (S) d. #93 Catherine Lynch, 6-0, 6-0

No. 4 - #11 Alice Barnes (S) d. #53 Jieun Jacobs, 6-0, 6-1

No. 5 - Emilia Anderson (S) d. Jody Scheldt, 6-4, 6-4

No. 6 - Nicole Havlicek (C) d. Story Tweedie-Yates, 6-4, 6-3

Order of finish: 3, 4, 6, 5

Records - #4 California 23-6, #1 Stanford 25-1.

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