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A Sweep Into the Supers

May 7, 2022

STANFORD, Calif. - Earning redemption from a rare home loss in March, No. 15 Stanford swept past No. 24 UC Santa Barbara 4-0 on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the Round of 16 Super Regionals next weekend in Oklahoma.

The win pushes Stanford to 19-5 on the season as the Cardinal remains undefeated all-time in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at home. After a second-round loss last season on the road, Stanford is back into the Round of 16 for the first time since winning the tournament in 2019.

The doubles point was everything you could want in a postseason college tennis match, featuring strong performances across the board and comeback to clinch. After Angelica Blake and Connie Ma fell on court one, and Michaela Gordon and Valencia Xu were behind early on court three, hope looked bleak for Stanford to start. Sara Choy and Alexandra Yepifanova kept the fight alive on court two, holding off the Gauchos for a 6-4 win.

Rallying from deficits of 4-1 and 5-3, Gordon and Xu, only playing together for the second time all season, rallied to force a tiebreak on the third court. From there on, it was all Cardinal, as the duo jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to claim the first point of the day 7-4 in the breaker.

Already reversing its fortune from losing the doubles point to UCSB in March, Stanford fought to continue to flip the script, led by a standout performance by Blake on court three. After a tight, 7-6(4), 6-4 loss to Camille Kiss in their previous meeting, Blake responded with a 6-4, 6-3 victory to give the Cardinal its second point of the afternoon.

Nearly every court saw a strong start from Stanford, as the home team delivered first set victories in five different matches. The back courts were strong throughout, as India Houghton won her first set 6-4, Xu dominated a tiebreak 7-1, and Choy tallied a 7-5 result. Choy would be the next to finish, winning her second set 6-3 for the Cardinal's third point.

Yepifanova rebounded from a first set loss to win the second 7-5, but the match would go unfinished as Ma seized the opportunity to clinch. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year held tough, earning a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 75 Shakhnoza Khatamova and sealing the sweep.

Three different Stanford players now own 20 dual match victories in singles (Angelica Blake, Sara Choy, Alexandra Yepifanova), while Blake has won eight matches in a row. The Cardinal will face No. 2 seed Oklahoma next weekend in Norman at a date and time to be announced.
No. 15 Stanford 4, No. 24 UC Santa Barbara 0

1. Shakhnoza Khatamova/Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) d. #19 Connie Ma/Angelica Blake (STAN) 6-2
2. Sara Choy/Alexandra Yepifanova (STAN) d. Amelia Honer/Kira Reuter (UCSB) 6-4
3. Michaela Gordon/Valencia Xu (STAN) d. Marta Gonzalez Balbe/Camille Kiss (UCSB) 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
1. #26 Connie Ma (STAN) d. #76 Shakhnoza Khatamova (UCSB) 7-5, 6-3
2. #23 Alexandra Yepifanova (STAN) vs. Elizaveta Volodko (UCSB) 3-6, 7-5, 1-3
3. Angelica Blake (STAN) d. Camille Kiss (UCSB) 6-4, 6-3
4. India Houghton (STAN) led Amelia Honer (UCSB) 6-4, 3-4
5. Valencia Xu (STAN) led Filippa Bruu-Syversen (UCSB) 7-6(1), 4-1
6. Sara Choy (STAN) d. Kira Reuter (UCSB) 7-5, 6-3
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1