No. 1 Stanford Upset By No. 12 UCLA 4-2 In NCAA Semis
May 21, 2007
ATHENS, Ga.- Ashley Joelson's three-set victory at No. 5 singles lifted No. 12 UCLA to a shocking 4-2 upset over No. 1 Stanford on Monday night in the semifinal round of the NCAA Championships.
The loss concludes one of the most dominant postseason runs by any collegiate program. Three-time defending champion Stanford entered Monday's semifinal having won 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament matches dating back to a 4-3 loss to Florida in the 2003 title match. The Cardinal, which has won 15 of the possible 26 NCAA team titles, owns a 104-12 record in the postseason since the NCAA Tournament went to its present format in 1982.
Stanford had advanced to the NCAA championship match in eight straight seasons prior to tonight's loss.
And while this year's squad entered the postseason as the top overall seed, the Cardinal was challenged throughout the year. In addition to losing four-time All-Americans Alice Barnes and Amber Liu, Stanford played almost three months without its normal lineup in tact as key starters battled through multiple injuries and slow starts.
Stanford wraps up the 2007 campaign at 24-2 overall, the most losses in a season since the club's 25-2 runner-up finish in 2003. The Cardinal was undefeated in the previous three seasons (86-0) and strung together an NCAA record 89-match winning streak until a 4-3 loss to then-No. 6 Georgia Tech back on Feb. 3.
Monday's setback against UCLA (21-7) was the third match between the two programs this year, with Stanford winning the first two contests by identical 4-3 margins.
Once again, the doubles point proved critical early in the match with UCLA claiming a 1-0 lead. The Cardinal had won the doubles point in 22 of its first 25 matches this year before the Bruins locked up victories at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots.
UCLA's Riza Zalameda and Yasmin Schnack defeated Stanford's Lindsay Burdette and Anne Yelsey for the second time in a month, winning 8-4 at the No. 1 position. The Bruins followed that with a clincher at No. 2, as Ashley Joelson and Alex McGoodwin topped Celia Durkin and Jessica Nguyen 8-5.
Trailing 1-0, Stanford was not in trouble quite yet. The Cardinal had lost the doubles point only three times all year but rallied to win twice.
Theresa Logar knotted the match at 1-1 when she blazed past UCLA's Zalameda in a matchup at No. 1. Logar, who finished 2-1 against Zalameda this year, closed out an impressive career with her team-best 28th win of the season. Logar, Stanford's highest-ranked singes player at No. 8 in the nation and a two-time All-American, finishes her career with a record of 138-27. Her 88 career dual match victories place her in a tie for eighth on the all-time list.
UCLA then locked up a 6-2, 6-4 win at the No. 3 spot, with Schnack besting Durkin. Down a set, the Cardinal junior erased a 4-1 deficit in the second to break even at 4-4 before Schnack put the Bruins up 2-1.
On court two, UCLA's Tracy Lin posted a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Yelsey to give the Bruins a 3-1 advantage. Yelsey led 3-0 in the first set before Lin battled back for a 6-4 victory. The second set was deadlocked at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before Lin took control and avenged two losses earlier in the year to Yelsey.
That shifted the match over to the bottom spots of the lineup at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. Needing to win at all three spots, Stanford was relying on victories from Deason, Nguyen and Burdette. The trio entered Monday's match with a combined 47-7 dual match record.
And it looked good early, with all three players winning the first set of their respective matches. Nguyen cruised to a 6-1 victory in the opening stanza before UCLA's McGoodwin responded with a 6-4 win in the second set. Nguyen, playing in just her fourth dual match since early March after missing time with a foot injury, raced out to a 5-0 lead in the third set before McGoodwin won three games in a row. Nguyen closed out her 22nd win of the year with a 6-3 victory in the third set, bringing Stanford closer at 3-2.
At this point, Deason had taken a critical first set from Joelson at the No. 4 position, winning 7-6 (7-4). Meanwhile, Burdette notched a 6-4 win in her first set at No. 6 against Elizabeth Lumpkin.
But second-set victories by Joelson (6-4) and Lumpkin (7-5) forced a third set in those matches.
Burdette stormed to a 5-2 lead in her third set, however Deason lost the first two games and eventually trailed 4-2. Deason fought back to get within 4-3 before Joelson increased her lead to 5-3.
Deason then saved two match points before Joelson fired a forehand winner down the line that clinched the UCLA upset.
Burdette was stuck on match point in the third set, but her match was suspended following Deason's loss. Playing in front of a large group of family and friends, Burdette wrapped up an impressive rookie season that resulted in a 28-5 overall and 18-2 dual match mark.
UCLA advances to Tuesday's NCAA championship match and will face the winner of No. 3 Georgia Tech/No. 10 California. At press time, Georgia Tech had won the doubles point and taken a 1-0 lead.
No. 12 UCLA 4, No. 1 Stanford 2
1. No. 19 Zalameda/Schnack (UCLA) d. No. 21 Burdette/Yelsey (UCLA) 8-4
2. No. 53 Joelson/McGoodwin (UCLA) d. No. 42 Durkin/Nguyen (STAN) 8-5
3. Deason/Logar (STAN) vs. No. 41 Lumpkin/Wetmore (UCLA) 6-6, susp.
order of finish: 2, 1
1. No. 8 Theresa Logar (STAN) d. No. 15 Riza Zalameda (UCLA) 6-2, 6-2
2. No. 40 Tracy Lin (UCLA) d. No. 17 Anne Yelsey (STAN) 6-4, 6-4
3. No. 56 Yasmin Schnack (UCLA) d. No. 14 Celia Durkin (STAN) 6-2, 6-4
4. No. 107 Ashley Joelson (UCLA) d. No. 96 Whitney Deason (STAN) 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 6-3
5. No. 20 Jessica Nguyen (STAN) d. Alex McGoodwin (UCLA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
6. No. 41 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) led Elizabeth Lumpkin (UCLA) 6-4, 5-7, 5-2, susp.
order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 5, 4
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