Beneath the lights on the USTA Nationwide Campus in Orlando, Fla., No. 7 Stanford girls’s tennis (25-2, 10-0 PAC 12) vanquished No. 2 Texas A&M (30-3, 13-0 SEC) in Wednesday’s NCAA Match quarterfinals. Displaying the energy of their lineup, the Cardinal received the twin match 4-0 handy the Aggies their first shutout in two years and prolong Stanford’s win streak to 22.
As anticipated, the extent of tennis was excessive and every level was vigorously contested. However because the match unfolded it grew to become clear that, all through the lineup, Stanford was the superior and extra resilient crew, in a position to outplay its opponents at vital factors.
Searching for 4 out of seven doable factors wanted to win the twin match, the Cardinal fell behind in doubles early on earlier than finally steamrolling the Aggies to clinch the doubles level. On courtroom three, the pairing of sophomores Connie Ma and Valencia Xu was down 0-2 earlier than reeling off the ultimate six video games to win 6-2. It was their twelfth consecutive doubles win. Subsequent, on courtroom two, the Stanford tandem of graduate scholar Sara Choy and sophomore Alexandra Yepifanova fell to No. 35 Mia Kupres and Mary Stoiana 6-2. The Aggies’ service returns have been a key to their victory.
All consideration shifted to courtroom one the place, within the deciding match, the No. 16 Cardinal duo of senior Angela Blake and freshman Alexis Blokhina have been battling No. 22 Salma Ewing and Jayci Goldsmith. The latter have been up 4-2 earlier than Blake and Blokhina accelerated. They received the important thing factors by exploiting their opponents’ weak service returns and inconsistency, incomes the final 4 video games, the set 6-4 and the doubles level. The Blake-Blokhina crew improved their file to 18-3 and 6-0 towards ranked opponents. The Cardinal have now received 14 straight doubles factors.
In singles, Stanford received first units on 5 of the six courts to leap out to an early lead. Enjoying within the third slot, No. 44 Blake dissected her opponent, No. 68 Kupres, with quite a few well-constructed factors to win 6-3, 6-3. On courtroom 4, No. 84 Blokhina was down 1-4 within the first set to No. 108 Goldsmith earlier than successful the final 5 video games and the set, 6-4. At one juncture, she received ten consecutive factors. Within the subsequent set nevertheless, Goldsmith jumped out to a 5-1 lead earlier than successful it 6-3. Undaunted, Blokhina proceeded to play her fearless model of tennis within the third set, hitting blazing pictures on or close to the strains and routing her opponent 6-1 to win the match.
The Cardinal have been now one singles win from advancing and the one query left was who would seize the successful level. No. 18 Ma, Choy and Xu have been all on the precipice of victory. On courtroom two, Ma received her first set in come-from-behind style towards No. 58 Ewing. With Ewing up 5-2, Ma fended off a number of match factors and relied on her relentless groundstrokes to win 7-5 after which take a 5-1 lead within the second set. Choy, on courtroom six, received a primary set tiebreaker 7-6 (3) and was forward 5-3 within the second.
Ultimately, Xu closed it out for Stanford. She by no means trailed within the first set, controlling factors and outplaying her opponent in quite a few lengthy rallies to prevail 6-3. She picked up proper the place she left off within the subsequent set and triumphed 6-4.
Within the meantime, No. 29 Yepifanova was engaged in a decent contest with No. 2 Stoiana. Stoiana received the primary set utilizing her shot selection, notably her slice backhand, successfully. Yepifanova discovered solutions within the second set, counting on her highly effective groundstrokes and serve to win it, 6-4. The rating was knotted at 1-1 in set three when the match was known as after Xu received the decider.
The Cardinal strikes on to the NCAA Match semifinals, and can face No. 3 NC State (27-4, 10-3 ACC) on Friday, Could 19 at 2 p.m. PT.