Barte, Burdette roll through to become doubles national champs

By Will Seaton

Stanford U.’s Lindsay Burdette can’t be stopped this postseason, putting up another remarkable run to become NCAA doubles champion with longtime partner Hilary Barte, and upset the nation’s No. 1 team from Tennessee 7-5, 4-6, 6-0.

“I have known deep down that Hilary and I were the best team together,” Lindsay Burdette said. “That showed me that it was the right thing and it just made me work that much harder so that we can be together.”

The No. 2 team in the country all season, Burdette and Barte have really proved their dominance. With an overall record of 36-6, the team is Stanford’s first NCAA doubles champions since Alice Barnes and Erin Burdette — Lindsay’s older sister — defeated Amber Liu and Ann Yelsey in 2005 in an all-Stanford final.

Their run to the final was a fairly routine affair. They recorded four wins before the final match, all in straight sets. In fact, their most dominant match came in the semifinals over No. 4 Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack of UCLA, as they won 6-0, 6-1.

The duo also defeated the No. 11 team of Csilla Borsanyi and Lenka Broosova for the second time this postseason in the quarterfinals by the score of 6-4, 6-4. The last time they met was when No. 8 Stanford upset No. 1 Baylor on its way to its 16th NCAA championship. Barte/Burdette defeated Borsanyi/Broosova in a close 9-8 (3) match that time.

“I don’t really know how to put it into words, but I think a lot of what makes [Lindsay and me] good is what we have off the court as well as on,” Barte said. “We just kind of know what the other person is going to do. I know exactly where Lindsay will hit the ball and that is what makes us so good.”

In the finals, Stanford faced the nation’s top doubles team of Natalie Pluskota and Caitlin Whoriskey from Tennessee. In their past two matches, the Cardinal and Lady Vols had split. Pluskota/Whoriskey recorded the first win 8-4 in the second-round of the ITA All-American Championships, but Stanford rebounded and won 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) in the championship match of the ITA National Indoor Championships.

“In the first set, they were making it tough to play our game,” Lindsay Burdette said. “We had our chances in that first set and ended up carrying it out. Second set, they got the upper hand in an up-and-down set, but in the third, we started to tough it out and that just carried us right through the third all the way to the end.”

In their most important match together, Barte said the pair entered the zone and just played their way through the third set to close out the match.

“I just felt like I was seeing the ball and it looked like it was going really slow,” Barte said. “I was always one step ahead of them.”

With only two entrants into the singles tournament — freshman Mallory Burdette and Barte — the Cardinal put up quite the challenge but couldn’t get to the finals.

Ranked No. 33, Mallory made it to the second round this year before falling to No. 7 Laura Vallverdu of Miami 6-4, 6-0. In the first round, she defeated No. 58 Alexa Guarachi of Alabama 6-1, 6-3. Mallory was the player who clinched the NCAA team tournament for Stanford, winning the go-ahead match that day. She ends her season at 38-6 overall, tied for most wins on the team and capping off a phenomenal freshman season.

Barte appeared dominant in tournament play until running into the inspired No. 12 Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, the tournament’s eventual champion. Barte posted wins over No. 55 Michaela Kissell of Marshall, No. 88 Ute Schnoy of Denver, No. 44 Kristi Boxx of Mississippi and No. 40 Bianca Eichkorn of Miami. Barte won in straight sets in all those matches before falling to Gullickson 7-6(3), 6-3. With a final record of 38-8, Barte earned All-America honors in both singles and doubles for the third consecutive year.

Lindsay Burdette has now finished her college career, a long and well-fought four years on the Stanford women’s team that ended with the NCAA team and doubles titles.

“That was my last hurrah, and I was fighting back tears running around warm-up this morning,” Lindsay Burdette said. “It takes a lot of effort and hard work to be able to look back and say you gave it everything you had. I definitely accomplished that goal. I played through injuries, I did my part, and at the end of the day, I think those things count the most.”

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