The Stanford women's tennis team is ranked No. 1 in the nation for good reason, and not just because the Cardinal captured the NCAA team championship last season.
Stanford displayed once again why the ranking is legitimate by continuing to overpower the opposition at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. On Sunday, the Cardinal blanked No. 4 North Carolina, 4-0, in the semifinals for its most recent victory.
With the win, Stanford (8-0) advanced to Monday's championship match. The Cardinal will be attempting to capture the tournament title for the first time since shutting out Texas 4-0 back in 2006.
Stanford will meet No. 2 Florida, a 4-1 winner over Duke in the semifinals, on Monday at 8 a.m. PT. Stanford and Florida will be facing off for the first time since last year's NCAA Championship match, which the Cardinal won 4-3.
Sunday's victim was No. 4 North Carolina (7-2), the latest in a string of nationally ranked opponents easily handled by Stanford.
The doubles point was extremely hard-fought, with Stanford locking up a 1-0 lead thanks to a win from its top duo. With the first two matches split, the third-ranked team of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette outlasted sixth-ranked Shinann Featherston and Lauren McHale 9-7.
After the doubles thriller, it was all Stanford. Nicole Gibbs rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory at the No. 4 position before Barte defeated Zoe DeBruycker for the second time this year with a 7-6, 6-2 win at the No. 1 spot.
Burdette then held on for a 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Shinann Featherston at the No. 2 spot, clinching the match.
Sacred Heart Prep grad Haley Hemm played Jennifer Yen, but the match was abandoned.
Nationally No. 16-ranked Georgia defeated No. 7 Stanford, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon, closing out play at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships for both teams in Seattle, Wash.
Stanford (8-2) wraps up the weekend with a 1-2 mark, suffering losses to No. 11 Florida and No. 16 Georgia while notching an upset win over No. 2 USC.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead, taking the doubles point.
Greg Hirshman's 7-5, 6-2 victory at the No. 5 spot briefly tied the match at 1-1 before Georgia pushed its lead to 3-1 following wins by Drake Bernstein (6-3, 7-5 over Denis Lin at No. 5) and Wil Spencer (6-2, 6-3 over Ryan Thacher at No. 2).
Bradley Klahn chalked up a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Javier Garrapiz in a battle of top-25 players at the top spot of the lineup, bringing Stanford within 3-2.
The clincher came on court six, where Hernus Pieters bested Matt Kandath 7-5, 6-3.
Stanford is back in action on Friday, Feb. 25, at UCLA in a 1:30 p.m. match.
Austin Wilson went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Dean McArdle (1-0) remained perfect in his college career as No. 10-ranked Stanford (2-1) beat Rice, 6-2 in Sunday's series finale.
Sophomore Stephen Piscotty added three hits, as three Cardinal freshmen drove in all six runs.
Stanford broke up a 1-1 tie in the fourth with an RBI triple by Brian Ragira followed by an RBI single by Wilson to lead 3-1. Lonnie Kappulia's solo shot in the seventh made it 4-1. Wilson added another RBI single in the eighth to make it 5-2, before a Kappulia fielder's choice made it 6-2.
McArdle left with a 3-1 lead, pitching the first five innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits with four strikeouts. McArdle and Danny Sandbrink combined on a five-hitter.
Stanford hosts California in its home opener Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Stanford made it perfectly clear it is ready for prime time.
Lauren Schmidt had two goals and three assists as the 13th-ranked Cardinal upset No. 5 Syracuse, 11-10, Sunday.
"This is probably the biggest home win in the program's history," Stanford coach Amy Bokker said. "I was really proud of the energy of our team. We had to fight for everything, but our girls really hung in there."
The win further establishes the Cardinal as not just the top team on the west coast, but someone who can play with any team in the nation.
"I think we are really playing well as a team," said Bokker. "We have a lot of depth and it makes for great competition in practice. I think that allows us to be ready when we face a team like Syracuse."
Stanford grabbed an early 2-0 lead with goals from Emilie Boeri and Anna Kim. The Cardinal then pushed the lead to 4-1 at the 17:24 mark in the first half as Sarah Flynn and Rachel Ozer found the back of the net.
Ashley Chinn pitched a one-hitter and Ashley Hansen had three hits, two of them doubles, as No. 18 Stanford beat No. 3 Tennessee, 5-0, Sunday at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas.
Stanford (8-2) had 10 hits in the game. Senior Melisa Koutz added two hits, including an RBI double in the first inning.
The Cardinal hosts Memphis and North Dakota State on its home opening day Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Stanford shot a final round team score of 293 to secure a second place finish at the Peg Barnard Invitational held at Stanford Golf Course Sunday.
The Cardinal's 36-hole total of 597 (+29) was 18 strokes off the pace set by California, which claimed the team title with a 579 (+11), ending Stanford's three-year title reign.
UC Davis (599) placed third followed by Colorado (602) and Washington (610).
Cal's Emily Childs fired a final round four-under 67 to earn medalist honors with a three stroke victory over teammate Daniela Holmqvist, who finished at 143 (+1) after rounds of 69 and 74.
Stanford sophomores Sally Watson and Kristina Wong tied for fourth at 147 (+5). Watson fired a final found 72 (+1) to earn her first top-10 finish of the year while Wong's final round 74 netted her second straight top-10 showing.
Women's water polo
Top-ranked Stanford beat host Pacific, 15-4, in a nonconference match Sunday.
The Cardinal (8-0) led, 10-2, at halftime.