Sports

What they're saying about the NCAA Championships

 

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THE NCAA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS AT STANFORD:

"I am so excited for the opportunity to host NCAA's on our courts, in front of our dedicated fans and to continue our home winning streak! There is no place I would rather play my last few Stanford tennis matches than at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The Stanford tennis venue is truly one of the most remarkable in all of college tennis. The sheer size of the stadium, the phenomenal fans that fill it and the surrounding technology are world-class. I look forward to battling for another NCAA title."

Senior Carolyn McVeigh, a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection and regular in Stanford's dual-match singles lineup.

"There's always a different, amazing energy at NCAA's. I think it stems from the fact that your entire season, both team and individual, culminates in these two intense, competition-filled weeks. For me, this energy will be that much more amazing playing at home. There really is no better feeling than playing in front of a crowd on our home courts. It's such an honor to be a part of the Stanford family and the Stanford tennis program, and playing NCAA's on our home courts is a dream come true. Our fans are always so supportive and encouraging, and I hope we can give them something to cheer about."

Stanford senior Hilary Barte, a three-time All-American in both singles and doubles.

"Competing inside Taube Family Tennis Stadium has been the best part of playing tennis for Stanford. In big matches when the seats are filled, you can really feel the energy and it pumps you up as a player. During my sophomore year for an NCAA second round match, we had over 50 fraternity brothers cheering us on and when the stadium is full, there is no better place to be than on that court."

Stanford senior and two-time All-American Alex Clayton, who leads Stanford with 16 dual-match victories this year.

"I'm very happy to be playing in our own time zone this year. The Stanford courts at Taube Family Tennis Center have been nice to us in the past, and Dick Gould has put so much time and energy into the facility. It's a very comfortable surrounding for us and we're really anxious to try and prove that we belong there in the final 16. This is our time of the year, and this is what we are building towards."

USC men's tennis head coach Peter Smith, who has guided the Trojans to back-to-back national championships. USC is this year's No. 2 overall seed in the draw behind No. 1 Virginia.

"I will be coming back to The Farm this year to cheer on my team! I love coming back to NCAA's, because when I get together with my former teammates and other Stanford alumni, it creates this electric atmosphere. We all scream ourselves hoarse, dance around like fools (me more than most) and live the dream again. It's also amazing watching the girls on court do what they do best: totally dominate! I can't wait to see the gang again and cheer our Stanford Cardinal to another NCAA Championship. Go Card!"

Three-time All-American Teresa Logar, who was a member of three NCAA Championship teams during her career (2004-07) on The Farm.

"Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Center is by far and away the nicest facility that I have seen. When I am playing matches at home, especially inside the stadium, I know that I am in a truly special place. To be able to host the NCAA Tournament is a dream come true and should be an amazing experience. We should have a great crowd and that will create an unforgettable atmosphere."

Senior Greg Hirshman, one of three Stanford seniors on the men's team.

"Stanford occupies a unique position at the top of the heap in men's college tennis. They have an incredibly impressive trophy room with about 40 national championship trophies, men's and women's combined. You look around the walls and see all these famous Grand Slam champions. Next thing you know, your guys' mouths are all open and they're walking along the wall going, 'ooo, eee, aahh.' It's like going to a museum; like being at the Louvre or something. There are several places in the country that when you go play there, you're basically down 1-0 before the match starts and I think that's an example of one of them. So we just barred the door and didn't let the guys know that that was available to them."

Baylor's Director of Men's Tennis Matt Knoll, on his team's first visit to Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The Bears are the last team to defeat Stanford, winning 5-2 back on Mar. 22.

"Dick Gould is not only a masterful tactician, but a promoter par excellence. When the opportunity came to make the tournament at Stanford a dual-gender event under the guidance of Coach Gould, everyone knew it was going to be first class and indeed it was. The last time we were there was in 2006, and we have been looking forward to this year's event for quite a while. I'm sure it will be a great tournament with fantastic hospitality."

Georgia men's tennis head coach Manuel Diaz, who in 23 seasons has captured four NCAA titles. Two of the elite programs in NCAA history, the Bulldogs and Cardinal were fierce postseason rivals during the late 80's and 90's.

"Over the past few years, UCLA has probably been the most competitive team in the country with Stanford in terms of dual matches. We have won a couple times at our courts and came very close to winning twice at Stanford. I believe the overall atmosphere and environment really helped Stanford win those matches. They have great fans and a solid home court advantage."

UCLA women's tennis head coach Stella Sampras Webster. The biggest threat to Stanford during its home winning streak, UCLA led Stanford 3-2 back on Feb. 17, 2007 before the Cardinal rallied.

"Watching Lindsay and Mallory rise to the challenge in the 2010 NCAA final and help bring Stanford home a title was more exhilarating and gut-wrenching than my own experiences on the same courts."

Four-time All-American Erin Burdette and older sister of Lindsay and Mallory. Erin won three national championships during her career (2002-05) on The Farm.

"Our success this year has stemmed from the combination of having talented players, but also having great leadership from players like Joanna Mather, Lauren Embree and Allie Will. Consistent play from those three has helped the transition and development of our three freshmen to be less volatile in their play. Talent and toughness have been the keys this year."

Florida women's tennis coach Roland Thornqvist. The Gators and Cardinal have taken turns holding down the nation's No. 1 ranking this year. A potential rematch of the 2010 NCAA championship, which Stanford won 4-3, is a definite possibility.

"I will always fondly remember the 2006 NCAA Championships. Having enjoyed success in previous NCAA Championships, I knew how to prepare and what to expect. What I didn't account for was how energizing the crowd would be. I attribute a lot of my success from that tournament to the support I received from the fans. I have never played in a more exciting atmosphere at a tennis tournament. Being able to finish out my career at home was something I had looked forward to from the moment I learned Stanford would be hosting the tournament."

Four-time All-American KC Corkery, who closed out his Stanford career with an out-of-nowhere semifinal run during the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship despite being unseeded at the time.

"My Stanford tennis experience is something that I am grateful for and will not soon forget! There is so much happiness and joy with winning an NCAA title, but when you do it at home and during your senior year, the excitement of the experience is really hard to describe in words. It was an exhausting 10 days, but probably one of the most exciting stretches of my career. Not only did I win a team title, but I was able to capture the doubles title and reach the singles semifinals, making the 2002 NCAA Tournament extra special. I could not have asked for a better, more satisfying end to my senior year and collegiate career at Stanford."

Two-time All-American Gabriela Lastra-Yetten, who closed out her Stanford career (1999-2002) by winning the NCAA team and doubles championships as a senior.

"It's not very often that college kids get a chance to play in a venue such as the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. It's cool to look up from a match and see all this support, all these people who are passionate about tennis and Stanford. We are really lucky to play here, with state-of-the-art courts and scoreboards, a beautiful trophy room, awesome locker room, office and team lounge. I've spent so much time here it is almost like a second home, and I couldn't have asked for anything better."

Senior Jennifer Yen. Known as the "glue" of the Cardinal women's tennis team.

"We are very proud to host the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships. Our crew has been working diligently for almost two years to help ensure this will be a Championships to remember for competitors and fans. There is nothing more exciting than two great teams deadlocked in a titanic battle with momentum switching back and forth, and with spectators and the fans of each team going wild! You are guaranteed almost two solid weeks of fun and thrills at Northern California's premier tennis facility the Taube Family Tennis Center."

Stanford Director of Tennis Dick Gould, now in his 45th season overall at Stanford. Gould led the Cardinal to 17 national championships (15 NCAA, 2 AIAW) while serving as head coach.

— Brian Risso/Stanford Sports Information

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