May 30, 2011
STANFORD, Calif.- Stung by losses in the team and singles portion of the 2011 NCAA Championships, senior Hilary Barte and sophomore Mallory Burdette walked off their home court for a final time as national champions.
Barte and Burdette defeated Clemson's Josipa Bek and Keri Wong 7-6 (6), 6-0 to claim the NCAA doubles title on Monday afternoon, setting off a celebration for the 1,763 fans in attendance at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Stanford has now produced the last two NCAA champion doubles teams, following up last year's three-set victory by Barte and Lindsay Burdette. Barte, a four-time All-American in both singles and doubles, concludes her star-studded career with back-to-back doubles titles while Burdette collects her first career trophy to join older sisters Lindsay (2010 champion) and Erin (2005 champion with Alice Barnes) as national champions.
Claiming the doubles championship provided a fitting end of terrific seasons for both players and helped ease the disappointment of an NCAA quarterfinal singles exit from Barte and a closely-contested three-set tiebreaker loss in the team final for Burdette.
Ranked third nationally and seeded fourth in the postseason draw, Barte and Burdette were simply dominant down the stretch, having won 15 consecutive matches since their last loss almost two months ago. Barte and Burdette had not played together as a doubles team prior to the start of this year.
Their dominance in the postseason was no different. Barte and Burdette won all five of their matches in straight-sets, with Monday's first set representing only the second time in five days the duo was pushed to a tiebreaker.
Streaking to a 5-2 lead in the first frame, a Stanford repeat appeared to be automatic. But Clemson's sixth-ranked duo of Bek and Wong rallied to tie the match at 5-5. Both teams then held, forcing a tiebreaker.
Bek and Wong jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreaker, only to see Stanford rip off seven straight points to claim the first set and swipe any momentum away from the Tigers.
The Cardinal duo was in cruise control throughout the second set, prevailing 6-0.
Barte and Burdette bring home Stanford's 14th overall collegiate doubles title in school history, and seventh since the since the NCAA adopted its current format in 1982.
Also capturing NCAA doubles crowns for Stanford were: Linda Gates/Elise Burgin in 1984, Linda Gates/Leigh Anne Eldredge in 1985, Meredith McGrath/Teri Whitlinger in 1990, Lauren Kalvaria/Gabriela Lastra in 2002, Alice Barnes/Erin Burdette in 2005 and Barte/Lindsay Burdette in 2010.
Winning doubles titles prior to 1982 were: Linda Yeomans/Carol Hanks (1962), Jane Albert/Julie Anthony (1967), Susie Hagey/Diane Morrison (1976), Susie Hagey/Diane Morrison (1977), Barbara Jordan/Kathy Jordan (1978), Kathy Jordan/Alycia Moulton (1979) and Caryn Copeland/Alycia Moulton (1981).
NOTES: Hilary Barte and Mallory Burdette closed out the 2011 season at 30-6 overall, 17-3 in duals, 13-3 in tournament play and 19-5 against nationally-ranked opponents ... The Cardinal duo also ended the year on a 15-match winning streak, with its last loss coming back on Mar. 26 in an 8-5 setback against USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Maria Sanchez ... Monday's doubles final was a rematch of this year's title bout at the ITA All-American Championships back in October, with Barte and Burdette registering a 6-3, 6-3 win over Bek and Wong ... Barte and Burdette were defeated only twice this year at Taube Family Tennis Stadium (Jan. 29 vs. Oklahoma's Ana Constantinescu and Alice Radu, Mar. 5 vs. California's Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova) ... Excellent chemistry between the pair was established in the very first tourney of the year, with Barte and Burdette beating four doubles teams ranked among the nation's top-30 to claim the crown at the ITA All-American Championships in October ... Barte and Burdette also earned a runner-up finish at the NCTC Classic in mid-January.
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First Round: No. 3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette d. No. 22 Michaela Kissell/Dominica Zaprazna (Marshall) 6-3, 6-0
Round of 16: No. 3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette d. No. 25 Micaela Hein/Kelcy McKenna (Arizona State) 7-5, 6-2
Quarterfinals: No. 3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette d. No. 9 Kate Fuller/Chelsey Gullickson (Georgia) 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Semifinals: No. 3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette d. No. 1 Mari Andersson/Jana Juricova (California) 6-1, 6-4
Championship: No. 3 Hilary Barte/Mallory Burdette d. No. 6 Josipa Bek/Keri Wong (Clemson) 7-6 (6), 6-0
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"I think we just took it one point at a time and they got a little bit tight and I think we stepped it up. That point at 6-4, Mallory hit a really great return and on a great forehand, and I think that really turned the momentum in our favor for that tiebreaker and the rest of the match."
"I'm so happy, I wish we could have won the team and that would have made it a lot sweeter. But to go out in the last match in a Stanford uniform I couldn't write a better script."
"I would make a metaphor to climbing a mountain, it's like an 11 or 12-day mountain and it's pretty grueling. The last day is like that last step to the peak and you take it and you're looking up top and you get to enjoy the view. It's been worth it."
"I feel like obviously we played very well to get going there in that tiebreaker and we went into that second set and Hillary was like `the last set, the best set of our lives' and so I think we went out there and we played really well. We took it to them and I think that was the biggest thing for us to play well together, we have to be pretty aggressive out there with our shots and when we have that mindset, great things happen."
"The crowd was awesome, obviously throughout the team the crowd was great as well. Today I was very surprised with how many people came out. We were very happy about that. It always makes things fun."
"They definitely pushed me and watched me play my first couple of doubles matches. Erin (oldest sister) was here in town and Lindsay (middle sister) is still here and they took me out after the first doubles match and had me doing volley drills and they were like `oh no, this isn't working.' They definitely pushed me and taught me a lot about doubles. I definitely wasn't always as comfortable in doubles but they've definitely taught me a lot and they've been a huge part of this week."
Josipa Bek, Clemson
"We came prepared for the match. We had already played them once, so we were ready to play our best. We had chances in the first set but didn't come through. They used the momentum and had that on their side. That was the end."
Keri Wong, Clemson
"We played pretty well up until 6-6. We had five set points, and then they couldn't miss after that. In the second set, they came out pretty strong and that was all they needed."