By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Hilary Barte leaves the Stanford women's tennis program a winner. Mallory Burdette will return ready to use her experience to help lead the Cardinal back into the NCAA tournament.
The fourth-seeded Barte and Burdette captured the 2011 doubles title, beating No. 5-8 seed Josipa Bek and Keri Wong of Clemson, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0, in the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Monday.
"It was a little emotional before the match," said Barte, who won last year's NCAA double title with Lindsay Burdette, Mallory's older sister. "I couldn't believe I was playing my last match in a Stanford uniform. I couldn't be happier to leave on top."
Mallory Burdette, who understands the lows and highs of the sport better than most, said they won because they remained loyal to their game plan.
"Over the course of the year we have put in a lot of work," she said. "A lot of things have to go right to win a championship. We went out, played our game, and came out on top."
The men's team of Ryan Thacher and Bradley Klahn did not fare as well, dropping a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 decision to Texas A&M's third-seeded duo of Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek in a battle of four lefthanders.
"We were excited to come out and play this match," Thacher said. "We know Jeff and Austin well and we knew we needed to execute our game plan. We had a good start and went up a break but unfortunately went to the tiebreak, where anything can happen. Give them credit, they played their best match."
Thacher will be concentrating on taking summer classes at Stanford while Klahn will hit the road with a traveling college team and participate in pro circuit events.
"I don't like to look too far into the future," Klahn said. "I want to enjoy this experience."
Stanford sophomore Stacey Tan took a giant step forward in her development as a tennis player by reaching the finals of the NCAA women's singles championship and playing the nation's top-ranked player.
Tan, who spent most of the season playing at No. 5 singles, found herself on the big stage after battling her way through the 64-player tournament.
"It's been a long two weeks," Tan said after dropping a 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) decision to California's Jana Juricova on the final day of the NCAA tournaments. "It's exhausting and I have finals coming up on Friday."
Tan will take her game to the next level this summer as she plans to participate in several pro circuit events