NCAA women's tennis championships: Cal and Stanford sweep 1st-round opponents

Cal Athletics

The Bay Area schools kicked off the 2015 NCAA women’s tennis championships in style as both Cal and Stanford swept their first-round opponents on Friday. Cal and Stanford will play their second-round matches Saturday, while Arizona State, UCLA and USC kick off their tournament campaigns Saturday as well.

California

Playing in the friendly confines of the Hellman Tennis Complex, the third-seeded Golden Bears easily disposed of the Bryant Bulldogs 4-0 in its first-round tilt. Wanna talk domination? Cal tennis players did not lose more than one game in every set that counted towards the 4-0 final tally. Maegan Manasse/Denise Starr and Lynn Chi/Karla Popovic both won their battles, 8-1, to take the doubles point, while Starr boatraced Marion Bouillin, 6-0, 6-0, in singles play. The clincher came from No. 5 singles, where Cecilia Estlander took care of Ashanti Campfield 6-1, 6-0.

Cal will face Mississippi State (another Bulldog squad) in the second round Saturday at noon PT in Berkeley. Mississippi State took care of Houston, 4-2, in its NCAA opener.

Stanford

It has been a bit of a down year for the 14th-ranked Cardinal (if you can call 16-5 a down year), with the team’s most losses in a season since 2009. But Stanford showed no signs of struggle in a 4-0 wipeout of four-time defending America East champion Stony Brook on The Farm Friday.

The 17-time national champions got the doubles point thanks to an 8-1 victory at No. 1 doubles from Carol Zhao and Taylor Davidson and an 8-5 win at No. 2 from Caroline Doyle and Ellen Tsay. Junior Krista Hardebeck then got singles play off to a quick start with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Adey Osabuohien. The clinching point came from No. 1 singles, where Zhao ousted Polina Movchan, 6-2, 6-1.

Stanford also beat Stony Brook, 4-0, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament (the Cardinal lost to USC 4-2 in the quarterfinals that year). The Cardinal plays Pepperdine (4-2 winners over Auburn in the first round) in a second-round bout Saturday at 1 p.m. at Stanford.

Check back here tomorrow for first and second-round recaps of the 2015 NCAA women’s tennis championship.

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