Every week after clinching the Pac-12 common season title, No. 7 Stanford girls’s tennis (18-2, 10-0 Pac-12) took on No. 27 Cal (11-8, 7-3 Pac-12) on a sun-drenched Friday at Taube Household Tennis Middle. A season in the past, the Cardinal fell to the rival Golden Bears in Berkeley. This 12 months advised a special story as Stanford, supported by its largest crowd of the season, triumphed 6-1 in a carefully contested encounter, that includes see-saw battles in each the doubles and singles matches. The win was the Cardinal’s fifteenth in a row and cemented their first good convention file since 2019.
The doubles set the tone for the day. On courtroom two, graduate scholar Sara Choy and sophomore Alexandra Yepifanova broke serve to go forward 4-3, finally profitable 6-4 with Yepifanova holding serve and Choy angling a web winner. Thereafter, issues tightened up. On courtroom three, the sophomore tandem of Connie Ma and Valencia Xu fell behind early at 3-4 however cast forward at 6-5 after some shaky Cal serving. Ultimately, the pair prevailed in a tiebreaker which they led all through. With Xu serving at match level, Ma hit a sterling up-the-alley passing shot punctuating the 7-6 victory, enhancing the duo’s file this season to 11-2. The competition on courtroom one was equally shut, as senior Angelica Blake and freshman Alexis Blokhina fell behind early however fought again to even the set at 5-5. They moved forward to 6-5 with some sturdy service returns because the courtroom three match ended, clinching the doubles level for the Cardinal and giving the staff momentum going into the singles.
The Golden Bears struck first in singles, night the match at 1 level every when No. 16 ranked Ma, on courtroom two, succumbed in straight units to a hard-hitting Cal opponent. However quickly thereafter, Choy fought again from 0-30 at 5-5 within the first set to win 7-5. Then her exact floor strokes took over as she gained the second set 6-1. Over on courtroom one, No. 24 Yepifanova saved 3 set factors earlier than forcing a tiebreaker, which she gained handily. Yepifanova took that momentum into the second set, profitable the ultimate 4 video games to triumph 7-6, 6-2 — drawing the staff to inside 1 level of a win.
Blake seemed to be on a straightforward path to victory on courtroom three after profitable her first set 6-1. Nonetheless, she quickly discovered herself at a 3-5 deficit in set two earlier than elevating her sport to win that set 7-5, clinching the fourth level and a Cardinal victory.
Two matches remained to be determined and each noticed Cardinal comebacks. On courtroom 4, Blokhina misplaced the primary set earlier than steadying herself after which overpowering her opponent 3-6, 6-4, 6-0. Xu was down 1-5 within the first set earlier than reeling off the following six video games to win 7-5. In set two, her consistency and tenacity prevailed as she gained 7-2 in a tiebreaker for a 7-5, 7-6 triumph.
Afterwards, Peter and Helen Bing Director of Ladies’s Tennis Lele Forood mentioned each the doubles and singles matches have been “actually aggressive” and famous the significance of taking part in on one’s house courtroom, the place the Cardinal girls have now gained 100 of the final 106 matches. She praised her staff’s resilience, remarking that “everybody goes to have adversity and they will need to push via it.”
Coach Forood mentioned that she very a lot favored the staff’s type going into the Pac-12 event, remarking that the staff’s “play during the last three to 4 matches has been spectacular” and “we’re actually good about the place we’re at.”
The Cardinal will journey to Ojai, Calif. for the Pac-12 Match, the place their first match can be held on Thursday at 12 p.m. PT.