STANFORD, Calif.- No. 11 Stanford’s NCAA title defense started two hours later than expected, but the Cardinal eventually made up for lost time.
Scheduled to take the court at 2 p.m., Stanford and Quinnipiac finally started at 4:15 p.m., only after No. 53 Long Beach State survived No. 21 Tulsa 4-3 in an entertaining four-hour, 53-minute marathon played mostly before a crowd eager to watch Stanford’s first step in its journey to repeat as the national champion.
Making its 33rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, the Cardinal (17-2, 8-2 Pac-12) simply overwhelmed the Bobcats (13-11, 8-0 MAAC), who qualified for their first postseason bid in four years.
Stanford quickly and convincingly wrapped up the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead.
Caroline Doyle was first off the court in singles, collecting her team-leading 29th overall victory with a 6-0, 6-0 decision at the No. 6 spot over Ariana Launie in her NCAA debut.
Ellen Tsay put the Cardinal in front 3-0 following a 6-0, 6-0 win over Kelsi Oliphant at the No. 5 position.
The clincher came from Krista Hardebeck at the No. 2 spot, defeating Jacqueline Raynor 6-1, 6-0 for her first win in nearly a month.
Stanford will next face Long Beach State in the second round on Saturday at 1 p.m. A berth in next weekend’s NCAA Championships round of 16 is on the line.
NOTES: Stanford also drew Quinnipiac as an NCAA first round opponent in 2004 and 2006. The Cardinal went on win the national championship in both seasons … Stanford has performed well at home during the opening weekend of NCAA Tournament competition, notching 4-0 shutouts in 25 of its last 27 such matches … Senior Amelia Herring was playing only her eighth career dual match in doubles. Herring joined Caroline Doyle for an 8-1 win on court three. The duo reached the semifinals of the Invitational division at the Pac-12 Championships … Doyle is 13-1 at the No. 6 spot this year … The freshman trio of Doyle, Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao have combined for a 76-17 overall record … Stanford surrendered only two sets combined in the entire match (singles and doubles) … The Cardinal improved to 130-16 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
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No. 11 Stanford 4, Quinnipiac 0
1) No. 10 Ahn/Zhao (STAN) vs. Dzulynsky/Young (QUIN) abandoned
2) No. 50 Davidson/Tsay (STAN) d. Dassa/Raynor (QUIN) 8-0
3) Doyle/Amelia Herring (STAN) d. Chupa/Oliphant (QUIN) 8-1
Order of Finish: 2, 3
1) No. 3 Kristie Ahn (STAN) vs. Sophia Dzulynsky (QUIN) abandoned
2) No. 51 Krista Hardebeck (STAN) d. Jacqueline Raynor (QUIN) 6-1, 6-0
3) No. 21 Carol Zhao (STAN) vs. Michelle Dassa (QUIN) abandoned
4) No. 50 Taylor Davidson (STAN) vs. Sydney Young (QUIN) abandoned
5) No. 54 Ellen Tsay (STAN) d. Kelsi Oliphant (QUIN) 6-0, 6-0
6) No. 57 Caroline Doyle (STAN) d. Ariana Launie (QUIN) 6-0, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 2
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No. 53 Long Beach State 4, No. 21 Tulsa 3
1) Eales/Unden (LBSU) d. Cichon/Kuricova (TULSA) 8-7 (1)
2) Benito/Leenabanchong (TULSA) d. Razakasoa/Thompson (LBSU) 8-3
3) Reid/Rozenberg (LBSU) d. Saarteinen/Sant’Anna (TULSA) 8-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1) Maeva Razakasoa (LBSU) d. Yelena Nemchen (TULSA) 6-1, 6-2
2) Ebba Unden (LBSU) d. Renata Kuricova (TULSA) 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-6 (6)
3) Dobby Leenabanchong (TULSA) d. Julie Gerard (LBSU) 6-2, 6-0
4) Marcelina Cichon (TULSA) d. Karolina Rozenberg (LBSU) 6-3, 6-3
5) Saana Saarteinen (TULSA) d. Hayley Thompson (LBSU) 6-4, 6-1
6) Holly Reid (LBSU) d. Maria Sant’Anna (TULSA) 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 1, 6, 5, 2