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post #18 of (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2008, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The 2008 Season "Featured" Articles

I know I've harped on the whole Stanford line-up thing a lot. But this new article really brings it out into the open. Examine the bolded part. If Burdette was playing good but losing close matches at No. 1 why would you boot her all the way to No. 3 behind an injured No. 2 Nguyen? Logically you would move Nguyen to No. 3 and Burdette to No. 2. Moving Burdette to No. 3, according to strength, means an injured Nguyen is better than a healthy Burdette. So then why in the world was she playing No. 1 to begin with? It's not just me is it?

Even without the whole Burdette switch, if you wanted Nguyen to play while injured wouldn't you want to place her at No. 3 instead of the more competitive No. 2?

Pac-ed In
Stanord, Cal, UCLA, USC stand atop Pac-10
March 4, 2008
By Anthony Nguyen

Who’s on top in the Pac-10?

After the No. 6 Stanford women’s tennis team, No. 8 California and Nos. 11 UCLA and Southern California all convened in Los Angeles over the weekend, we still haven’t a clue, and probably won’t until the final weeks of the season.

Each team finished the weekend with a 1-1 record. On the weekend, Stanford beat USC, USC beat Cal, Cal beat UCLA, and UCLA beat the Cardinal.

So, as that merry-go-round of results indicates, there is no clear leader in the Pac-10.

“I have no idea [who is the best] because, technically, those were our non-counters,” head coach Lele Forood said. “But right now it’s all over the place. It’s pretty crazy.”

The weekend proved to be a bittersweet homecoming for the Cardinal squad, which features four players from the area — freshman Hilary Barte, junior Megan Doheny, senior Celia Durkin and junior Jessica Nguyen.

On the bright side, Stanford finished a grueling five-game stretch away from the Farm which had the team traveling up and down the coast. Seven of their final 11 games will be at home, including rematches against Cal, UCLA and USC.

With the 4-3 loss to UCLA on Friday, the Cardinal lost its third game of the season; the team had not lost three games in a season since 1995 when it finished 23-3.

And Stanford has yet to reach the midpoint of its season.

“I’m not happy, and our team’s not happy,” Forood said of the losses. “We’re trying to find the formula a bit this year and get to a point where we can produce a little more consistently on each court, and that’s something we haven’t found yet.”

The Cardinal was able to salvage the weekend with a 4-3 victory over USC on Saturday, finishing 3-2 on the road trip.

“It was a tough-fought win at USC,” Forood said. “They had just drilled Cal the day before, and they were waiting for us. We needed a correction match, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted — we had match point at number five, as well, so it could have easily been 5-2 — we need to start getting it done on all courts.”

On the season, Stanford is 2-2 in matches decided by one-point, with wins against the University of Miami and USC and losses to Georgia Tech and UCLA.

Against the Bruins, Barte shined in an impressive 7-5, 6-1 upset of No. 10 Riza Zalameda for Stanford’s first point of the day.

However, with Stanford trailing 3-1, Nguyen fell 6-4, 6-3 to Tracy Lin to clinch the match for the Bruins.

Nguyen, who leads the team with 17 victories, is coming off a wrist injury at the Indoors, which prevented her from hitting a two-handed backhand last weekend in Washington.

“She’s hitting her two-hander, but she’s not at 100 percent yet,” Forood said of Nguyen. “I think when you’re not healthy, it could either hurt or be a distraction because you feel something every time you swing. An injury is always tough because you’re constantly aware of it.”

With the victory, UCLA has won two of its last three meetings against Stanford, including a 4-2 upset at last year’s NCAA semifinals.

The next day, Stanford took on the Trojans, looking to preserve a win streak spanning two decades — the team’s last loss to USC came on April 4, 1986.

Barte continued her dominance at the No. 1 spot with a 6-2, 7-6 (2) upset over Lindsey Nelson, who was the 2007 Pac-10 Singles Champion and Pac-10 Player of the Year.

With the doubles point and singles victories in the top three spots, Stanford took the match from USC.

Barte is now 12-5 on the season. She is currently on a four-game win streak, all at the team’s number one spot. The streak includes impressive victories against Washington’s Venise Chan and Washington State’s Ekaterina Burduli, as well as this weekend’s defeats of Zalameda and Nelson.

“She’s really stepped up,” Forood said. “We needed to change the lineup around a little bit because Lindsay [Burdette] was doing a good job, but she was just losing some close matches at one. [Barte] was next up because she was our most healthy player, and she did a great job.

She’s going to stay right there for a while, maybe all season.”

On the weekend, Durkin and freshman Carolyn McVeigh also shined in doubles with two victories at the No. 3 spot. They are currently on a four-match win streak and are now 7-2 on the season.

Though easier said than done, Forood knows what the Cardinal needs to improve.

“Well we have to win the doubles point, that’s the first thing,” Forood said. “That’s where part of our effort is right now — to start winning the doubles point again consistently. The second thing is finding the formula particularly for our lower lineup spots.”

The Cardinal is looking forward to being able to make those corrections in the friendly confines of Taube Tennis Center, rather than on the road.

The team will get a chance to do just that when it hosts William & Mary at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon in its first home match since Feb. 14.
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