Sports

Stanford becomes a 20-time NCAA women's tennis champion

 

Lele Forood graduated from Stanford in 1978; the same year the school's women's tennis team won its first national title (AIAW).

Forood, now in her 19th year as the Cardinal head coach, was around Sunday when Stanford won its 21st national title and 20th NCAA title, beating Georgia 4-0 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

"Yes, there's always a doubt but its not a big doubt," Forood said. "We were happy to win the doubles point. The conditions were really rough with the wind and stuff so it wasn't the most artistic doubles. Then these two (Caroline Lampl and Melissa Lord) came out and forged big leads and that made it more comfortable. They set the tone right from the start of the singles."

Lampl and Lord, Stanford's seniors, were the first two off the court after Stanford won the doubles point. Lord was named Most Outstanding Player. Janice Shin was also named to the all-tournament team along with the doubles team of Emily Arbuthnott and Michaela Gordon. Lord and Shin were also named as a doubles team.

"Looking around at the other courts and seeing my teammates winning takes the pressure off," Lord said. "Having the support of my teammates really calmed me down in the end."

Lampl was the first singles player off the court, giving her team a 2-0 lead with an efficient win on Court 3.

"There are so many things to playing college tennis, let alone being on the Stanford women's tennis team," Lampl said. "These girls are like my best friends and it's been a great honor to play by them for the past four years. And our coaches, our mentors, who have coached us pretty much through life these past four years."

Stanford (28-1) avoided excessive celebrations on the path to its fourth straight title match. When Shin clinched it, there was no holding back as Stanford brings yet another team trophy home.

"There is such a great legacy to live up to, so many great players coming out of the program, it's really intimidating at first," Lampl said. "To add three more titles to it, with the hard work our class, our whole team, has put into it. It's just an unbelievable feeling."

The Cardinal won its 23rd straight match, avenging its only defeat of the season, a 4-3 setback to the Bulldogs on Feb. 11 in the ITA National Indoor Championships semifinal.

Forood, who spent over 10 years as an assistant to Frank Brennan, recorded her 10th national title, matching Brennan.

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