No. 4 Stanford Stopped In NCAA Quarterfinals By No. 5 Baylor 4-1
May 17, 2008
TULSA, Okla.- Zuzana Zemenova's 6-4, 6-2 upset of Hilary Barte at No. 1 singles lifted No. 5 Baylor to a 4-1 victory over No. 4 Stanford on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships.
The early exit for postseason regular Stanford (22-5, 7-1 Pac-10) marks an unfamiliar ending to the season, as the Cardinal was playing in its 27th consecutive NCAA Tournament and had captured five of the last eight national championships.
Stanford, which has now won 25 of its last 27 NCAA Tournament matches, had qualified for the NCAA semifinals every year since 1998 prior to Saturday's loss. Instead, the Cardinal concludes the year with five losses- the most since 1983 when Frank Brennan's squad finished 20-6. It was Stanford's most lop-sided loss in the postseason since suffering a 5-1 setback to Texas in 1995.
But Stanford was unable to overcome a tremendous overall effort from Baylor (32-2, 11-0 Big 12) on Saturday. Enjoying their winningest season in school history, the Lady Bears won their 15th in a row and cemented their status as a national title contender.
'Basically, we just got outplayed today and the credit goes to Baylor,' said head coach Lele Forood. 'Their comeback in doubles was inspiring and provided them with momentum that carried over into the singles. I'm proud of the way we battled this season but they were just better today.'
Baylor's win also avenges a 4-2 loss to Stanford back on Feb. 7 in the opening round of the ITA National Indoor Championships in Madison, Wis. It was the second match of the year for the Cardinal and the third for the Lady Bears.
Saturday's match was much different- and it all began when Baylor became only the sixth Stanford opponent to capture the doubles point this year and take a 1-0 lead.
The tone was set on court one, where Baylor's Slovakian duo of Zemenova of Lenka Broosova rolled to an 8-2 win over the Cardinal's top team of Barte and Lindsay Burdette. Saturday's outcome was much different than the first meeting back in February, when Zemenova and Broosova squeezed out a 9-8 (5) victory over Stanford's No. 1 duo. Making matters worse, Barte developed a sizeable blister on her left thumb early in the match that resulted in noticeable discomfort for the remainder of the afternoon.
Even with that match already in the books, Stanford was looking good with leads of 5-2 and 7-4 on both courts two and three.
Celia Durkin and Carolyn McVeigh hung on for an 8-6 win at No. 3, evening the doubles competition. However, Baylor turned a 7-4 deficit into a 9-7 victory at the No. 2 spot, where Taylor Ormond and Jelena Stanivuk stunned Whitney Deason and Jessica Nguyen.
Trailing 1-0, Stanford faced an uphill climb in singles. The Cardinal had dropped the doubles point only five other times this year, posting a 2-3 record when doing so.
It didn't get much better from there, as Broosova won her 18th match in a row while improving her overall record to a gaudy 48-4 with a quick 6-1, 6-2 victory at the No. 3 spot.
Burdette pulled Stanford within 2-1 following a never-in-doubt 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jana Bielikova at the No. 4 spot. After a shaky start to the season, Burdette finished 23-14 overall, 17-8 in duals and was one of the Cardinal's hottest players down the stretch with 10 victories in her final 11 matches.
Minutes later, Stanivuk registered a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Deason on court five to increase Baylor's lead to 3-1 and place Stanford on the brink of elimination.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bears had already taken the first sets on court Nos. 1 (4-6) and 6 (3-6). Nguyen grinded out a 7-5 victory in her first set at the No. 2 position, buying Barte and McVeigh some time to battle back in their respective matches. The Cardinal would need to lock down all three spots in order to advance.
McVeigh trailed 3-1 in her second set before rallying to even the match at 4-4, while a split was ensuing on court two as Ormond eventually worked out a 6-2 victory in the second set.
That put added pressure on Barte, who fell behind Zemenova 4-0 despite a worthy effort to stay in the match. Barte fought back and sliced the deficit to 5-2 before Zemenova- a three-time All-American and 2005 NCAA singles champion- closed out the match at 6-2 and set off a celebration of the pro-Baylor crowd in attendance.
Zemenova's clinching victory snapped a 19-match unbeaten streak at the No. 1 spot for the rookie standout Barte (29-7 overall, 22-4 dual). Ranked No. 3 nationally, Barte had won 21 of her last 23 contests and entered Saturday's match with a 20-4 record against nationally-ranked players.
The remaining two matches were suspended, with a split on court two and Karolina Filipiak leading McVeigh 6-3, 5-5 on court six.
No. 5 Baylor 4, No. 4 Stanford 1
1) No. 6 Broosova/Zemenova (BAY) d. No. 9 Barte/Burdette (STAN) 8-2
2) Ormond/Stanivuk (BAY) d. No. 49 Deason/Nguyen (STAN) 9-7
3) Durkin/McVeigh (STAN) d. Zuzana Chmelarova/Filipiak (BAY) 8-6
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2
1) No. 25 Zuzana Zemenova (BAY) d. No. 3 Hilary Barte (STAN) 6-4, 6-2
2) No. 43 Taylor Ormond (BAY) led No. 13 Jessica Nguyen (STAN) 5-7, 6-2, 1-0, susp.
3) No. 18 Lenka Broosova (BAY) d. 65 Celia Durkin (STAN) 6-1, 6-2
4) No. 66 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) d. No. 99 Jana Bielikova (BAY) 6-2, 6-2
5) Jelena Stanivuk (BAY) d. No. 68 Whitney Deason (STAN) 6-3, 6-2
6) Karolina Filipiak (BAY) led No. 95 Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) 6-3, 5-5, susp.
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5, 1