Stanford women’s tennis wins national championship in thriller

By Jacob Jaffe

The Stanford U. women’s tennis team defeated U. Florida 4-3 in the national championship match in Athens, Ga. to secure the Cardinal’s NCAA-leading 16th national title.

Florida won the doubles point, as the No. 2 and No. 3 teams for the Gators defeated the Cardinal teams 8-1 and 8-6.

Stanford started out the singles competition well, as five of the six Stanford  players won their first set, with only No. 1 Hilary Barte losing 6-4.

No. 4 Stacey Tan was the first to finish, completing a 6-2, 6-2 victory to tie the overall score at one. No. 2 Lindsay Burdette followed with her own straight-set victory, 6-3, 6-3. Florida tied the score at two on court No. 1 when Lauren Embree took down Barte 6-4, 6-3.

At No. 6, Veronica Li lost the first three games to her opponent Marrit Boonstra, but then came back for a 6-3, 7-5 win to get the Cardinal within a point of the national title.

No. 3 Mallory Burdette had a match point in the second set, but her return went into the net, and she eventually lost the set in a tiebreaker.

No. 5 Carolyn McVeigh came back from a 5-3 deficit in the first set to win 7-5. She came close to an even bigger comeback in the second set, as she lost the first four games before winning the next four. McVeigh lost the next two games, forcing a decisive third set.

With the score 3-2 in favor of Stanford, Mallory Burdette and McVeigh played in their respective third sets with the Cardinal needing only one victory to win a national title. Mallory Burdette jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but appeared to become flustered as she lost the next three games. She came back to go up another break, but then could not hold serve, tying the score at 4-4.

McVeigh was outmatched in the third set, losing 6-0, leaving the national title up to Mallory Burdette and Merrit Boonstra on court No. 3.

Mallory Burdette broke Boonstra at 5-5 to serve for the championship. On the third championship point, Boonstra’s attempt was blown wide by the wind, and Stanford claimed the national title.

Immediately after the winning point, Lindsay Burdette tackled her sister in celebration as the entire team piled on to celebrate.

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