Pac-10 Championships Next Up For No.1 Women's Tennis

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April 23, 2002

Thu., Apr. 25-Sun., Apr. 28- Pac-10 Championships- Ojai, CA...All Day
Up next for No. 1 Stanford women's tennis (22-1, 8-0 Pac-10) will be the 2002 Pac-10 Championships, scheduled to begin Thursday, Apr. 25 in Ojai, Calif. The nine women's squads in the conference will compete through the weekend to decide the league's singles and doubles champions. The 32-player women's singles draw consists of three players from each of the nine schools, with five additional competitors selected by a committee of coaches, based upon the participants record. The 16-team doubles draw will have one doubles team from each school and seven additional teams selected by the committee. NCAA First and Second Round matches are slated to get underway May 10-11.

Stanford continued its dominance among conference opponents, clinching its 15th consecutive Pac-10 title with a 5-2 victory over No. 10 USC last weekend in Los Angeles. The Cardinal, which has not dropped a conference match since a 5-4 loss to California at home back on Feb. 27, 1999, improved to 8-0 in Pac-10 action on the year. Stanford has had little trouble against conference opponents this season, outscoring the other eight programs by a combined 53-3 tally.

Following a 4-3 defeat to Georgia at the National Team Indoor Championships- Stanford's first dual match loss since the 2000 National Championship contest- the Cardinal have gotten back on track. Stanford will enter the NCAA Tournament having won 17 straight matches, nine of which have been of the 7-0 shutout variety. No. 5 UCLA and No. 10 USC were the only conference opponents who were able to earn points against the Cardinal.

Stanford has received tremendous singles and doubles play from its starters this year, and it has translated into yet another impressive season. As a result, several athletes have notable winning streaks in singles competition, led by senior Keiko Tokuda, who has won 17 in a row. Freshman Erin Burdette has won 16 straight, sophomore Lauren Barnikow has notched 10 consecutive victories and senior Gabriela Lastra has won her last nine matches. Sophomore Emilia Anderson had won 14 straight before dropping two matches last week to USC and UCLA. On the doubles side, the nation's No. 1 duo of Lauren Kalvaria and Gabriela Lastra has an 11-game winning streak.

Freshman Erin Burdette has put together one of the most impressive rookie seasons in recent memory. In her initial campaign, the Jackson, Ga., native has recorded a 32-5 overall mark (21-1 duals) to lead the Cardinal in singles victories. Burdette has posted a 15-0 record at the No. 4 singles position, giving Stanford another solid weapon at the bottom of the lineup. She has notched 16 consecutive wins, with her last loss coming to Anne Nyugn of Georgia on Feb. 9 in Stanford's only team loss of the season. Burdette got off to a blistering start by winning 14 of her first 15 matches and captured the Omni Hotels Northwest Regionals singles title earlier in the year. She has teamed with Lauren Barnikow in doubles, and the duo is ranked No. 17 with a 26-8 overall ledger.

Stanford's top two doubles squads are ranked in the top-25. The senior duo of Lauren Kalvaria and Gabriela Lastra check in at No. 1 in the latest edition of the rankings, along with a 24-2 overall and 16-1 dual match record (all at the No. 1 spot). Kalvaria-Lastra, winners of 11 consecutive matches, have been instrumental in the Cardinal's ability to win the doubles point and get out to an early lead. The Cardinal's No. 2 team of sophomore Lauren Barnikow and freshman Erin Burdette have been just as good, accumulating 26-8 overall and 16-5 dual match marks. Barnikow and Burdette give Stanford a solid option at the second position and are ranked No. 17 overall.

The Cardinal concluded the regular season with a sweep of the Los Angeles schools last week. Stanford rolled past No. 5 UCLA on Friday, sweeping all three doubles matches and picking up singles triumphs at Nos. 1-5. The Bruins became the first school to earn a point against the Cardinal in conference play this season, scoring its only win at No. 6 singles. Stanford followed that effort with a 5-2 victory over No. 10 USC the next day, ultimately clinching its 15th straight Pac-10 team crown. The Cardinal captured the doubles point by winning at Nos. 1 and 2, and took four of six singles matches.

After serving as an assistant and associate head coach at Stanford for 11 years, Lele Forood made the most of her first chance as head coach of the Cardinal women's tennis team, guiding last year's squad to the NCAA team title. Forood, who is her second season at the helm, became the first female head coach to win the NCAA team title in 2001. She guided the Cardinal to a stellar 30-0 mark in her first complete season at the helm, as well as the 2001 Pac-10 Championship and a No. 1 final national ranking. Last year marked the ninth perfect season in school history and first in over ten years, as the Cardinal has won 94 of its last 96 matches spanning the last three seasons.

Stanford University's Taube Family Tennis Stadium will be the host site for the 2002 NCAA Women's Tennis National Championships. The championships get underway Thursday, May 16, with team competition over the first four days. Individual singles and doubles competition will follow to round out the tournament.

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