STANFORD, Calif.- No. 4 Stanford looked extremely sharp in its 2008 NCAA Tournament opener, making quick work of unranked Boston University in a 4-0 shutout on Friday afternoon at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Playing in its 27th consecutive NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal (20-4, 7-1 Pac-10) swept the doubles point and locked up three easy singles wins against the overmatched Terriers (11-8, 2-0 America East).
Aside from the identical red and white uniforms, it was easy to distinguish the squads once the match began. Stanford looked every bit like the powerhouse that has captured five of the last seven NCAA titles while Boston University resembled other typical first round victims during that same stretch.
With Friday's shutout, Stanford extended its streak of 20-win seasons to 27. The Cardinal has now won 23 of its last 24 NCAA Tournament matches and is currently riding a season-best eight-match win streak.
Not to mention the success on its home court. Stanford extended its home winning streak to 133 matches overall and 27-0 in the postseason, with the last home defeat coming back on Feb. 27, 1999, when No. 4 California pulled a 5-4 upset.
For the 19th time in 24 matches this year, Stanford claimed the doubles point. The No. 1 duo of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette led off with an overwhelming 8-0 win while the other two squads were racing to clinch the point. The No. 2 team of Whitney Deason and Jessica Nguyen won the prize, finishing off Boston University's Danielle Abraham and Cori Lefkowith 8-2 for a 1-0 lead.
Burdette and Nguyen followed with 6-0, 6-0 victories at the Nos. 3 and 1 positions, respectively, to hand Stanford a commanding 3-0 advantage. Burdette improved to 21-14 overall and 15-8 in dual match play while Nguyen extended her personal winning streak to seven matches and is now a team-best 28-9 overall on the year.
With the Cardinal owning one-set leads on the remaining four courts, the match was firmly in control. Ultimately it would be Carolyn McVeigh, who entered the postseason with just three wins in her last seven matches, who clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph at the No. 5 spot. McVeigh is 13-4 at home this year and is now 26-10 in her first season.
Stanford players were bumped up a spot as Barte, who has been nursing an injury suffered at the Pac-10 Championships, was held out of the singles lineup.
Stanford now takes on No. 31 Texas A&M (17-8, 9-2 Big 12), a 4-1 winner over Washington earlier on Friday. The Cardinal and Aggies will hook up on Saturday, May 10, at 12 p.m., with the winner punching their ticket to Tulsa, Okla., and the round of 16 next weekend.
No. 4 Stanford 4, Boston University 0
(1) No. 9 Barte/Burdette (STAN) d. Steiner/Whu (BU) 8-0
*(2) No. 49 Deason/Nguyen (STAN) d. Abraham/Lefkowith (BU) 8-2
(3) Durkin/McVeigh (STAN) led Sadovskaya/Laura Stiekema (BU) 7-2, susp.
Order of Finish: 1, 2
denotes clinched doubles point
(1) No. 13 Jessica Nguyen (STAN) d. Francine Whu (BU) 6-0, 6-0
(2) No. 65 Celia Durkin (STAN) led Vanessa Steiner (BU) 6-4, 4-1, susp.
(3) No. 66 Lindsay Burdette (STAN) d. Yana Sadovskaya (BU) 6-0, 6-0
(4) No. 68 Whitney Deason (STAN) led Cori Lefkowith (BU) 6-0, 5-2, susp.
*(5) No. 95 Carolyn McVeigh (STAN) d. Liz Corrao (BU) 6-1, 6-2
(6) Jennifer Yen (STAN) led Danielle Abraham (BU) 6-4, 3-3
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 5
* denotes clinched match