No. 8 Stanford Upsets No. 1 Baylor 4-2 For Spot In NCAA Semifinals

May 22, 2010

ATHENS, Ga.- The most storied program in women's tennis history remains in the hunt for a 16th NCAA championship, this time at the expense of its latest nemesis.

In the latest chapter of what is quickly becoming a heated rivalry, No. 8 Stanford knocked off No. 1 Baylor 4-2 on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

Eliminated in the postseason by Baylor during each of the last two seasons, Stanford has advanced to the national semifinals for the first time since 2007. The Cardinal will face No. 5 Notre Dame on Monday at 11 a.m. PT with a spot in Tuesday's national championship match on the line.

Saturday's victory was easily Stanford's biggest of the season. Despite the fact Stanford (24-1, 8-0 Pac-10) entered the postseason as the nation's only one-loss team, many were quick to point out a lack of wins over top-25 teams early in the year.

That's definitely not the case now.

'I would say that was our biggest win in three years,' said head coach Lele Forood, who has compiled an eye-popping 257-16 overall record while winning five NCAA titles in her 10 years at the helm.

Hilary Barte ripped a forehand winner down the line to clinch the match and trigger an on-court celebration, defeating Lenka Broosova 7-5, 7-5 at the No. 1 spot in a battle of players ranked among the top-5 in the country. Barte, ranked No. 4 nationally, and Broosova, ranked No. 5, had met three times before with the Baylor senior holding a 2-1 edge.

Winning the doubles point for the 24th time in 25 matches, the Cardinal gained the early momentum and a 1-0 lead.

The No. 3 team of Veronica Li and Carolyn McVeigh was essentially untested, completing its match first at 8-3. The other two contests would be tougher to call, and both went the extra distance.

Tied at 7-7, Baylor's No. 2 duo surged ahead for a 9-7 win to even the stakes. Meanwhile, both teams had their No. 1 doubles team slugging it out on court one.

Trailing 4-1, Stanford's team of Barte and Lindsay Burdette took a 6-5 lead only to see Baylor's Broosova and Csilla Borsanyi force a tiebreaker at 8-8. Stanford's duo allowed only three points en route to winning the tiebreaker and claiming the doubles point.

The Cardinal raced ahead in singles play, winning first sets on four courts. Mallory Burdette was the first to finish, although it didn't look that way early. Trailing 4-2 in the first set, Burdette ripped off 10 games in a row to lock up a 6-4, 6-0 victory and put Stanford in front 2-0.

Veronica Li then tacked on a 6-3, 6-4 win at the No. 6 spot, putting Stanford on the brink of clinching the match.

However, Baylor received straight-set wins from Jelena Stanivuk at No. 5 and Nina Secerbegovic at No. 2, respectively, to trim the deficit to 3-2.

Over on court five, Stacey Tan had won the first set 6-3 but Baylor's Borsanyi had stolen all the momentum with a 6-1 second-set win and a 5-2 cushion in the third. That momentarily gave the Lady Bears a glimmer of hope for a 3-3 tie.

Barte had already booked the first set at the No. 1 spot, hanging on 7-5 despite an early 5-2 edge. The second set was much tighter, with Barte turning a 4-2 deficit into a 6-5 edge. The Cardinal junior then finished off Broosova by winning the next game.

NOTES:

Stanford has not lost the doubles point in an NCAA Tournament match since May 17, 2008, in a 4-1 quarterfinal loss to Baylor ... Stanford's 24 victories are the most since a 24-2 finish in 2007 ... Baylor eliminated Stanford in the 2008 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and in the 2009 NCAA Tournament round of 16. Last year's round of 16 defeat was the Cardinal's earliest postseason exit since 1998 ... Doubles play has been a serious strength this year, to say the least. Stanford is 22-3 at the No. 1 position, 21-4 at the No. 2 spot and 24-1 on court three (67-8 combined) ... Barte's only other career win over Broosova came back on May 20, 2009, when Barte won 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship ... Mallory Burdette picked up her team-leading 35th victory of the year, as she is now 35-5 overall.

No. 8 Stanford 4, No. 1 Baylor 2

DOUBLES

1) No. 2 Barte/L. Burdette (STAN) d. No. 11 Broosova/Borsanyi (BAY) 9-8 (3)
2) Secerbegovic/Stanivuk (BAY) d. No. 56 M. Burdette/Tan (STAN) 9-7
3) Li/McVeigh (STAN) d. Carla Lindlar/Ormond (BAY) 8-3
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

SINGLES

1) No. 4 Hilary Barte (STAN) d. No. 5 Lenka Broosova (BAY) 7-5, 7-5
2) No. 18 Nina Secerbegovic (BAY) d. No. 83 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) 6-3, 7-5
3) No. 33 Mallory Burdette (STAN) d. No. 55 Taylor Ormond (BAY) 6-4, 6-0
4) No. 106 Csilla Borsanyi (BAY) led No. 86 Stacey Tan (STAN) 3-6, 6-1, 5-2, susp.
5) Jelena Stanivuk (BAY) d. Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) 6-2, 6-3
6) Veronica Li (STAN) d. Karolina Filipiak (BAY) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5, 2, 1

THEY SAID IT:

Head coach Lele Forood
On avenging Stanford's previous two postseason defeats and clearing the hurdle of Baylor, this year's tournament favorite and nation's No. 1-ranked club.
'This was just a huge win for our program. Baylor has taken us out in each of the last two years for a chance at the national championship. As soon as the brackets were announced, we realized this was a possibility. We knew that we would have to go through Baylor. I would say that was our biggest win in three years.'

Talking about winning the doubles point, which provided a crucial 1-0 lead heading into singles competition.
'Well, we won the doubles point last year against them but ended up losing that match. So we knew that wasn't going to be any kind of a deciding factor. They are a very physical and aggressive team, and we were able to do just enough in doubles tonight.'

Freshman Mallory Burdette
Trailing 4-2 to Taylor Ormond in her singles match, Burdette caught fire and rattled off 10 consecutive games with an array of impressive winners and well-placed serves.
'I was definitely nervous at the start, but not missing the ball by very much. The biggest thing for me was that I loosened up and simply started going for my shots. The key was I ended up finally settling into the match.'

Junior Hilary Barte
Barte had been on the court for Stanford's previous two season-ending defeats to Baylor. This time around, she provided the clincher.
'I don't think there is a word to describe it. It just has not sunk in yet. I'm glad that I was able to clinch the match for my team, and it feels great to be moving on in the tournament.'

Baylor head coach Joey Scrivano
Thoughts on the match and being upset in the tournament.
'Stanford played a great match. They just outplayed us tonight and we came up short. It's tough when you have two great se¬niors like Csilla and Lenka who care so much and it's a tight match and there's the thought that it could be your last match. I've never had to experience that, but imagine it would be tough. When you pour your heart and soul into winning the national championship and you feel it slipping away, it's tough.'

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