April 14, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- No. 6 Stanford suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling 5-2 to No. 1 UCLA at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
The Cardinal (16-1, 7-1 Pac-12) entered Saturday's match as the nation's last remaining undefeated team, but the Bruins (21-1, 8-1 Pac-12) rebounded with a strong effort after suffering their first loss of the year 24 hours earlier in Berkeley.
Stanford was handed its first regular-season home loss since a 5-4 defeat to California back on Feb. 27, 1999, snapping a streak of 157 consecutive wins that spanned 13 years. The Cardinal's overall 184-match winning streak at Taube Family Tennis Stadium was snapped last May in a 4-3 loss to Florida in the national championship.
That being said, Saturday's loss to top-ranked UCLA- which had not beaten Stanford since Feb. 26, 2010- won't dismiss the Cardinal as a contender for the national title. Stanford might even be poised for a move up in next week's edition of the national rankings, having defeated No. 4 USC 4-2 yesterday. Meanwhile, next Saturday's home match against No. 10 California also becomes that much more significant.
UCLA took control from the start, capturing the doubles point and quickly locking up the match after a 1-1 tie.
Stanford gained the early edge in doubles after its No. 2 duo of Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay breezed to an 8-2 victory. But UCLA's No. 3 team of McCall Jones and Carling Seguso countered with an 8-4 win to even the stakes.
That shifted everyone's attention over to court one, where the nation's 11th-ranked tandem of Robin Anderson and Skylar Morton held off the country's third-ranked team of Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs 8-6.
Trailing 1-0, Mallory Burdette overpowered Jones at the No. 2 position, evening the match at 1-1 and briefly providing some much-needed momentum for Stanford.
The Bruins then surged ahead to close out the match, receiving victories from three of their four freshmen in the lineup.
Kaitlyn Ray posted a 6-0, 6-4 win over Natalie Dillon at No. 6, followed by Chanelle Van Nguyen downing Veronica Li 6-1, 6-3 on court five for a 3-1 advantage.
In a battle of players ranked among the nation's top-five, fourth-ranked Anderson defeated third-ranked Gibbs 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 position to secure the match. The rare loss was only Gibbs' fourth on her home court and first in conference play since beginning her career on The Farm last year.
Stacey Tan collected Stanford's second point, edging Pamela Montez 7-5, 7-5 at the No. 3 spot.
Stanford's regular season finale is slated for Saturday, April 21, against California at 12 p.m. The Spring Smash, presented by Zoom Marketing, will also include a Senior Day tribute featuring Veronica Li.
No. 1 UCLA 5, No. 6 Stanford 2
1) No. 11 Anderson/Morton (UCLA) d. No. 3 Burdette/Gibbs (STAN) 8-6
2) No. 41 Tan/Tsay (STAN) d. No. 9 Dolehide/Montez (UCLA) 8-2
3) Jones/Carling Seguso (UCLA) d. Dillon/Li (STAN) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1) No. 4 Robin Anderson (UCLA) d. No. 3 Nicole Gibbs (STAN) 6-2, 6-2
2) No. 7 Mallory Burdette (STAN) d. No. 93 McCall Jones (UCLA) 6-1, 6-1
3) No. 52 Stacey Tan (STAN) d. No. 101 Pamela Montez (UCLA) 7-5, 7-5
4) Skylar Morton (UCLA) d. No. 57 Ellen Tsay (STAN) 6-4, 6-3
5) No. 98 Chanelle Van Nguyen (UCLA) d. Veronica Li (STAN) 6-1, 6-3
6) No. 107 Kaitlin Ray (UCLA) d. Natalie Dillon (STAN) 6-0, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 5, 1, 4, 3