May 5, 2011
| Stay tuned to www.gostanford.com's Countdown To The Championships for daily coverage of the 2011 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships in the form of feature stories, historical profiles, match previews, recaps and other tournament news. One of the nation's finest tennis venues, the Taube Family Tennis Center is playing host to its second combined men's and women's NCAA Tennis Championships, as the tournament's current format was introduced at Stanford in 2006.
In today's edition of Countdown To The Championships, we take a closer look at perhaps the most remarkable streak in NCAA history. The Stanford women's tennis program has won 179 straight matches at home, having not been beaten at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1999. That's right, 1999.
| "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.
| Friday, May 6: One year after capturing the NCAA Singles championship, Bradley Klahn breaks down his title run, match-by-match.
Saturday, May 7: The most storied program in women's college tennis, Stanford has claimed 17 team titles (16 NCAA, 1 AIAW). Let's take a closer look.
Sunday, May 8: Happy Mother's Day! The relationships we have with our mothers are truly special, and that's no different for members of the Stanford tennis teams.
STANFORD, Calif.-Calling it a home court advantage would be a complete understatement. What the Stanford women's tennis program has accomplished at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium over the last 12 years is simply astonishing.
As Stanford enters this year's NCAA Championships, we take a closer look at the Cardinal's unprecedented home success.
Recognized as the longest active home winning streak of any intercollegiate sport in NCAA Division I athletics, Stanford now boasts an eye-popping 179-match winning streak overall in contests played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. That's 147 victories in a row during regular-season play, combined with a 32-0 record in NCAA Tournament matches played at home.
It's been 12 years since Stanford suffered a loss on its home court. That's right, 12 years. The last time the Cardinal lost a match at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium was back on Feb. 27, 1999, when No. 4 California pulled a 5-4 upset.
With the NCAA Championships right around the corner, there are potentially six more matches to be played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
JUST HOW LONG IS 12 YEARS?
Consider the following when you flash back to 1999:
|Top Movies||Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Sixth Sense, Toy Story 2, The Matrix, American Beauty|
|Top Albums||"Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears, "Millennium" by Backstreet Boys, "Come On Over" by Shania Twain, "NSYNC" by `N Sync, "Ricky Martin" by Ricky Martin|
|Pro Sports Champs|| Denver Broncos (NFL), New York Yankees (MLB),
San Antonio Spurs (NBA), Dallas Stars (NHL)
|At The Time||
QUIZ TIME: BET YOUR BUDDIES DON'T KNOW THIS...
LOOKING BACK AT THE MILESTONES...
Seemed like just another victory at the time, not the start of an incredible streak that would span a decade. Here's the starting lineup that Stanford head coach Frank Brennan penciled into his scorebook that afternoon:
1) Teryn Ashley (STAN) d. Lindsay Blau (ARIZ) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
2) Monique Allegre (ARIZ) d. Gabriela Lastra (STAN) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3) Lauren Kalvaria (STAN) d. Joanna Buczkowska (ARIZ) 6-2, 7-5
4) Jennifer Heiser (STAN) d. Michelle Gough (ARIZ) 6-4, 6-0
5) Keiko Tokuda (STAN) d. Vanessa Ablel (ARIZ) 6-3, 6-2
6) Sarah Pestieau (STAN) d. Carly Stringer (ARIZ) 7-5, 6-7, 7-6
1) Blau/Allegre (ARIZ) d. Lastra/Kalvaria (STAN) 9-7
2) Ashley/Pestieau (STAN) d. Gough/Abel (ARIZ) 9-8
3) Tokuda/Heiser (STAN) d. Stringer/Marino (ARIZ) 8-5
Regarded as the premier tennis facility in the country, the Taube Family Tennis Stadium has served as a host site to several NCAA Tournament matches during the streak. Fast forward 12 years and nothing has changed. During the winning stretch, the facility has played host to the 2002 and 2006 NCAA Championships. And of course, Stanford will host again this year. On this particular date, Stanford blanked Pacific in the first of 32 NCAA Tournament matches played on its home court during the streak.
Despite the nation's No. 1 player, Marissa Irvin, suffering a loss at the No. 1 spot, Stanford cruised to five singles victories and the doubles matches were cancelled because the outcome had already been decided. This would be the final home match played under legendary coach Frank Brennan, who compiled a 510-50 overall record during his time on The Farm and owns the distinction as the program's all-time winningest coach.
Stanford blanked Washington State 7-0 in the first home match played under new head coach Lele Forood, who succeeded Brennan. Ten years later, Forood still has the Cardinal rolling along with six NCAA championships and 10 Pac-10 titles to her credit. She was named the 2003 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year and is a four-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year recipient.
Hosting the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1997, Stanford notched a 4-1 victory over Florida to claim the national championship on its home court. The victory was well earned for the third-seeded Cardinal, which had to sit through a rain delay of three hours and 10 minutes before competition started shortly after 4 p.m. Erin Burdette's 7-6, 6-2 victory at the No. 4 position sealed the match, as Stanford's senior class of Lauren Kalvaria, Gabriela Lastra and Keiko Tokuda wrapped up their collegiate careers with a 116-4 record and three NCAA championships.
Stanford's 7-0 rout of TCU turned out to be win No. 65 during the home winning streak but it also represented the first victory of another improbable stretch. After falling to host Florida 4-3 in the 2003 NCAA Championship, Stanford opened its 2004 campaign with a ho-hum shutout victory over the Horned Frogs. And 88 consecutive wins would follow, giving the Cardinal an 89-match winning streak that spanned three seasons and produced three more NCAA championships.
For the second time during the home winning streak, Stanford won the NCAA championship on its home court. Appearing in the national championship match for the 20th time in the 27-year history of the event, Stanford captured its 15th team title in a tournament that was pushed back constantly by rainy weather. After winning the doubles point, Celia Durkin and Jessica Nguyen cruised to straight-set wins at the Nos. 5 and 6 positions of the singles lineup. Theresa Logar provided the clincher on court three, winning easily 6-0, 6-3.
Someone in the stands on this Saturday afternoon had to be asking themselves the following question: "is the scoreboard malfunctioning?" That's because for the first time in seven years the number "3" was appearing in the opponent's score column. Stanford had not surrendered three points to an opponent in a home match since Apr. 21, 2000, when the Cardinal downed USC 6-3. Fast forward to this date against UCLA, and Stanford was actually trailing 3-2 while the match was in the hands of Anne Yelsey and Lindsay Burdette. Both rallied to victories, with Yelsey beating Tracy Lin 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 at the No. 2 spot while Burdette rallied past Elizabeth Lumpkin 2-6, 7-6, 6-1 on court six.
A thriller in every sense of the word. California entered this match ranked No. 7, six spots ahead of No. 13 Stanford. The Golden Bears were a team on the rise, and this one had all the makings of a classic and potential upset. Sure enough, California captured the doubles point and two of the next three singles matches to take a 3-1 lead and silence the Stanford fans. Three matches remained and the situation was the same in all three: a Stanford win in the first set before California bounced back in the second. That's when the comeback started. Freshman Veronica Li picked up her biggest win of the year on court five, sophomore Hilary Barte evened the match at 3-3 with a win at the No. 1 spot and senior Jessica Nguyen turned a 5-3 deficit in the third set into a 7-5 victory to secure the 4-3 Stanford win and keep the streak alive.
This Senior Day shutout of Pepperdine resulted in win No. 800 for the Stanford women's tennis program. Heading into the 2009 postseason, Stanford women's tennis has posted an overall record of 800-74. That's good for a .915 winning percentage. Head coach Curly Neal got the program off on the right foot, leading Stanford to an 11-0 mark during the inaugural season back in 1975. There has never been a losing season in the history of the program.
In perhaps the most unique of endings during the streak, Stanford's 4-3 victory over USC was actually completed in Ojai, Calif., after two postponements. Because UCLA could still claim a share of the Pac-10 title, Stanford was forced to resume its Apr. 4 match against USC that had been tied at 3-3 after singles, suspended twice and moved to a completely different city. Stanford swept the doubles point, earning the 4-3 win and claiming the outright Pac-10 title in the process. The ITA, along with the NCAA, ruled the contest would count as a home match for Stanford, since the original singles competition was played at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium with each team collecting three points. Additionally, it was determined that team and individual rankings would be used from the Apr. 4 match. So home sweet home. In Ojai.
Time to roll the streak over to 2011. Stanford pounded SMU 4-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a result similar to several others during the streak.
Not an April Fool's joke. Surprisingly, for only the third time during the home winning streak, Stanford won a home match played on Apr. 1. This time around the victory came against an up-and-coming Arizona State bunch. The Cardinal actually dropped the doubles point in this match before storming back to win all six singles contests.
by Brian Risso, Athletics Communications/Media Relations. Special thanks to Elizabeth Clair.