Stanford defeats ASU to win fourth Pac-12 Women's Tennis Championship in Ojai
OJAI, Calif. - For the fourth time in five opportunities, Stanford captured the Pac-12 Women's Tennis Championship tournament title, as the third-seeded and No. 18 nationally-ranked Cardinal knocked off No. 5 seed and No. 20 ranked Arizona State, 4-2, at Libbey Park on Saturday.
Now 13-1 all-time at the Pac-12 Women's Tennis Championship since the conference began a team tournament in 2017, Stanford earned the league's automatic NCAA berth and will learn its postseason draw during the NCAA Selection Show on May 2 at 3:30 p.m. PT. Stanford also won the Pac-12 postseason event in its first three years in 2017, 2018, and 2019. There was no tournament held in 2020.
Avenging a 4-2 loss to the Sun Devils just three weeks ago in Tempe, Alexandra Yepifanova clinched it for the Cardinal on court two with a 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2 win over Domenika Turkovic. Yepifanova has now won nine matches in a row and leads the way for Stanford with 32 victories overall this season.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 23, 2022
Stanford had to fight back from the brink of defeat in doubles, losing the third court and down 5-1 on court two. Angelica Blake and Connie Ma held steady at the top line, surging ahead early and holding off ASU late for a 6-4 win, the duo's fourth ranked victory of the season.
Sara Choy and Yepifanova fought off four match points on their court, one at 5-2 and three more at 5-3, continuing to apply pressure to the Sun Devils to claw back into the match. Eventually tying the match 5-5, the pair had to rally again, forcing a tiebreak after being down 6-5. There, Choy and Yepifanova wouldn't fall behind, holding off ASU for a 7-4 win and giving the Cardinal an improbable first point.
Angelica Blake set the early tone in singles and also avenged an earlier loss to Sedona Gallagher, as the junior cruised to 6-0, 6-0 victory on court three for a 2-0 Stanford lead. ASU had first-set victories on courts four, five and six, while freshman Connie Ma handed the Cardinal a first-set victory on court one.
Court four was the next to finish, as India Houghton dropped a tough match (3-6, 2-6), cutting Stanford's lead to 2-1. At the same time Ma was rallying from an early break in the second set, Valencia Xu and Yepifanova were rallying to force third sets on their respective courts, and Sara Choy was battling on court six. Ma won the final three games of her match, earning revenge of an earlier loss to Giulia Morlet, 6-3, 6-4, putting the Cardinal one win away. Choy eventually fell on court six, while Xu and Yepifanova were both in good spots in their third sets. Yepifanova found the finish line first, posting scores of 6-2 and 6-2 to clinch the match for the Cardinal.
— Stanford Women’s Tennis (@StanfordWTennis) April 23, 2022
Blake and Ma each boast 26 total victories since the fall and Blake will enter the NCAA Tournament on a five-match win streak. Ma put an end to a four-match losing streak on Saturday, earning her ninth ranked victory this season.
2022 PAC-12 WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
Final // Sat., April 23 // Libbey Park
No. 3 Stanford 4, No. 5 Arizona State 2
1. Connie Ma/Angelica Blake, STAN def. Patricija Spaka/Domenika Turkovic, ASU - 6-4
2. Sara Choy/Alexandra Yepifanova, STAN def. Giulia Morlet/Sedona Gallagher, ASU - 7-6 (4)
3. Marianna Argyrokastriti/Cali Jankowski, ASU def. India Houghton/Valencia Xu, STAN - 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
1. Connie Ma, STAN def. Giulia Morlet, ASU - 6-3, 6-4
2. Alexandra Yepifanova, STAN def. Domenika Turkovic, ASU - 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2
3. Angelica Blake, STAN def. Sedona Gallagher, ASU - 6-0, 6-0
4. Cali Jankowski, ASU def. India Houghton, STAN - 6-3, 6-2
5. Valencia Xu, STAN v. Patricija Spaka, ASU - 4-6, 6-0, 3-1 unf.
6. Marianna Argyrokastriti, ASU - Sara Choy, STAN - 6-4, 7-5
Order of finish: 3, 4, 1, 6, 2