NCAA Womens Tennis

Stanford Rolls Into Semis – Stanford University Athletics

Stanford Rolls Into Semis - Stanford University Athletics

ORLANDO – At this point in the postseason, seeds rarely matter. Seven-seed Stanford proved just that on Wednesday night, blitzing past the two-seed Texas A&M 4-0 to advance to the semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament. The win is Stanford’s 22nd in a row as the Cardinal improves to 25-2 overall and will play NC State on Friday, May 19 for a spot in the championship.

In what is undoubtedly considered a strength for the Cardinal, Stanford won its 14th doubles point in a row, tallying wins on courts one and three. Connie Ma and Valencia Xu won their 12th match in a row, 6-2, on court three before the Aggies answered with an identical scoreline on court two. After falling down 4-2, No. 16 Angelica Blake and Alexis Blokhina rattled off four straight games to give Stanford the early lead, winning 6-4. The duo improves to 18-3 in dual matches and is now 6-0 against ranked opponents.

The Cardinal carried its momentum into singles play, winning five first sets in a variety of different fashions. While Blake and Xu led throughout, each tallying 6-3 decisions in their opening frames, Blokhina rallied from down 4-1 to win 6-4, Sara Choy won a 7-6(3) tiebreak on court six and Ma saved multiple set points to fend off a 5-2 deficit, winning 7-5.

Stanford’s first to finish was No. 44 Blake, continuing her stranglehold on court three, defeating No. 68 Mia Kupres 6-3, 6-3. Blake is now 16-0 at the three-spot this spring. No. 84 Blokhina was next, gutting out a three-set win, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 over No. 108 Jayci Goldsmith on court five, her sixth victory in a row. With several Cardinal in contention to clinch, No. 29 Alexandra Yepifanova showed her mettle on court one, responding from a 6-4 first set loss with a 6-4 win of her own in the second, facing the nation’s No. 2 ranked player. Three different players were one game away from Stanford’s fourth point, but it was Xu who would finish first, defeating Daria Smetannikov 6-3, 6-4, her second straight clinch. The sophomore is now tied with Blake, each owning six clinching points this spring.

The win for Stanford marks the first time the Cardinal has swept through the round of 16 and quarterfinals each with 4-0 wins since 2006. It is also the first time the Aggies have been shutout in a match in over two years.

(7) Stanford 4, (2) Texas A&M 0
1. #16 Angelica Blake/Alexis Blokhina (STAN) d. #22 Salma Ewing/Jayci Goldsmith (A&M) 6-4

2. #35 Mia Kupres/Mary Stoiana (A&M) d. Sara Choy/Alexandra Yepifanova (STAN) 6-2

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