Women's Tennis Sweeps BU in NCAA Opener

The Stanford women dominated the Terriers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, even without freshman phenom Hilary Barte still not fully healthy. The Cardinal women play at home Saturday while the men are on the road at Pepperdine for the first two rounds.

No. 4 Stanford 4, Boston University 0

Doubles:

1: Barte/Burdette d. Steiner/Whu 8-0
2: Deason/Nguyen d. Abraham/Lefkowith 8-2
3: Durkin/McVeigh led Sadovskaya/Stiekema 7-2

Singles:

1: Nguyen d. Whu 6-0, 6-0
2: Durkin led Steiner 6-4, 4-1
3: Burdette d. Sadovskaya 6-0, 6-0
4: Deason led Lefkowith 6-0, 5-2
5: McVeigh d. Corrao 6-1, 6-2
6: Yen led Abraham 6-4, 3-3


The Stanford women's tennis team got the postseason off to a good start on Friday, beating Boston University 4-0 in the NCAA Tournament's first round.

The sweep brought the Cardinal one step closer to its 14th national title, though fourth-seeded Stanford still has a ways to go.

The Cardinal improved its record to 20-4 on the season and has won its last eight in a row since losing three straight in February and dropping a close decision late in March. Stanford had not lost more than three matches in a season since 1987.

However, the team will be fighting to preserve another streak this season – the Cardinal have reached the NCAA Semifinals every year for more than a decade and won seven of the last 11 titles, with two second-place finishes.

On Friday afternoon, Stanford was dominant from the first serve. All three doubles teams were victorious for the Cardinal, with the ninth-ranked team of freshman Hilary Barte and sophomore Lindsay Burdette beating Boston University's top pair, 8-0. Senior Whitney Deason and junior Jessica Nguyen, ranked No. 49 nationally, won 8-2 to clinch the doubles point, while senior Celia Durkin and freshman Carolyn McVeigh led 7-2 when doubles ended.

Barte, the highest-ranked individual on the Stanford roster who pulled out of the Pac-10 tournament with an injury, played doubles but rested during the singles round. Her teammates did well without her, though, with two players shutting out their opponents and solid play in every match.

Stanford pushed its lead to two when No. 66 Burdette shut out Yana Sadovskaya, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 3 singles. No. 13 in the nation, Nguyen then won by the same score at No. 1, where she overwhelmed BU's top player Francine Whu, the Most Outstanding Performer from the America East Conference Tournament two weeks ago.

Ranked 95th nationally, McVeigh gave the Cardinal its final point in the best-of-seven match with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles over Liz Carrao. No. 65 Durkin, freshman Jennifer Yen and No. 68 Deason were each up a set on their opponents when Stanford clinched the win.

In the morning session at the Taube Tennis Center, No. 31 Texas A&M beat No. 38 Washington, 4-1, to earn a second-round match against the Cardinal on Saturday.

The Aggies won the doubles point to begin the day, but Washington evened the score with No. 37 Venise Chan's win at No. 1 singles. The Aggies won the next three straight, taking two-set victories at the third, sixth and second spot, in order, to win the match. Washington players were ahead in the remaining matchups but ran out of time as Texas A&M advanced.

The Aggies' top singles player, No. 104 Elze Potgieter, is the only ranked individual on the roster, and will face either Barte or Nguyen, if Barte takes another day to rest to prepare for the later rounds of competition. The top Texas A&M doubles team of Anna Blagodarova and Tiffany Clifford is No. 51 in the nation.

Second-round play at Taube is set to begin at noon on Saturday with a spot in the Round of 16 in Tulsa on the line.

While the women play at home, Saturday marks the beginning of the tournament for the Cardinal men, who face UC-Santa Barbara in the first round in San Diego. No. 13 Pepperdine or Hawaii awaits the winner on Sunday.

No. 7 Alex Clayton leads Stanford, while No. 80 Matt Bruch and No. 124 Richard Wire are also among the nation's elite.

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