Barte Survives Three Sets For Opening Round NCAA Win

May 21, 2008

NCAA Singles Bracket

NCAA Doubles Bracket

Barte Named ITA National Rookie of the Year

STANFORD, Calif.- Freshman Hilary Barte was unexpectedly pushed to three sets for the first time since early April, but managed to prevail in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over UNLV's Elena Gantcheva on Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the NCAA Singles Championship at Tulsa, Okla.

Ranked No. 3 in the country and the tournament's No. 3 overall seed, Barte rallied for a win over Gantcheva, UNLV's top player who is ranked No. 36 nationally. The three-set win was Barte's first since tallying a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 against UCLA's Riza Zalameda back on Apr. 5 in the Cardinal's 4-3 win over the Bruins.

The 2008 ITA National Rookie of the Year, Barte is now a team-best 30-7 on the year and has enjoyed one of the most impressive rookie seasons in recent memory. With her victory on Wednesday, Barte became the first freshman in school history to win at least 30 overall matches and 20 duals since 2004 when Theresa Logar posted a 38-4 overall mark and was 27-0 in dual match action.

Prior to suffering a loss in Stanford's NCAA quarterfinal loss to Baylor last weekend, Barte had been unbeaten at the No. 1 position in 19 matches and had won 21 of her last 22 contests overall dating back to Feb. 22. The Chatsworth, Calif., native owns a 21-5 record against nationally-ranked opponents, is 7-5 on neutral courts and 4-2 in three-set matches.

She advances to a second round match on Thursday, when she will battle Baylor's Lenka Broosova. Earlier this afternoon, Broosova was a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Nadia Abdala of Arizona State.

Meanwhile, junior Jessica Nguyen suffered a 6-1, 6-3 defeat to Miami's Laura Vallverdu in her first round match. Nguyen entered the contest ranked No. 13 nationally and was tabbed one of eight No. 9-16 seeds in the draw. Vallverdu, ranked No. 19 in the country, has now won 17 of her last 19 contests overall.

Nguyen closes out her season at 28-10 overall and 17-5 in dual match play, competing primarily at the No. 2 spot in the lineup. She was perhaps the Cardinal's hottest player down the stretch, owning a seven-match winning streak heading into Wednesday's tilt against Vallverdu. Nguyen finished 12-9 against nationally-ranked opponents and 14-5 versus Pac-10 foes. She also was a team-best 8-3 in three-set matches.

Stanford's top doubles team of Barte and sophomore Lindsay Burdette has earned an at-large invite to the NCAA Doubles Championship field when action gets underway Thursday afternoon. Barte and Burdette will oppose William & Mary's Megan Moulton-Levy and Katarina Zoricic.

Moulton-Levy and Zoricic posted an 8-3 win when the two squads hooked up in a dual match back on Mar. 4 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

Ranked No. 9 in the country, Barte and Burdette are 17-11 overall, with all of those matches being played at the No. 1 spot. The duo has won six of its last eight matches overall. Barte and Burdette own a 5-8 mark against nationally-ranked opponents and are 8-6 versus Pac-10 foes.

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