Re: 2016 NCAA Championships Discussion
Back in the day, there was the Fab Four.
No Stanford Freshman class can compare to.
No disrespect to Zhao/Davidson/Doyle or to Lampl/Lord/Yee.
The Fab Four were Irvin/Lastra/Kalvaria/Tokuda.
I doubt these girls lost more than 3 matches each season.
This Freshman class went on to win 3 NCAA Team Titles and they did it in their first year in style, by winning it in Gainesville.
May 23, 1999
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Why not us? Why not now?!
Those were the words screamed by the entire Stanford women's tennis team as the second-seeded Cardinal upset top-seed and defending National Champion Florida in a thrilling 5-2 match at the Scott Linder Tennis Stadium.
Taking a 4-2 lead after singles competition, Stanford clinched the win using a doubles tandem that had never played together before this afternoon. Marissa Irvin teamed with Kieko Tokuda at No. 2 doubles when her regular partner, Teryn Ashley, couldn't play due to injury. Irvin and Tokuda won the first six games of their match against Stephanie Hazlett and Whitney Laiho before the Gator duo pulled to within 7-4. Two match points later, the Cardinal was celebrating the program's 10th NCAA title, fourth in the 1990's, and second in the past three years.
"I am truly in a state of shock," Frank Brennan, the 1999 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year, said. "I can't be prouder of these girls. They stayed loose through the whole championship and that is why we have a trophy. I probably underestimated this group. With four freshmen, I thought we would have some ups and downs to teach us what it's all about. Then next year we would have a good shot. Our girls were ready and wanted to win badly."
Appearing in each of the NCAA Championship tournaments, the Cardinal was making its record 13th NCAA final appearance. As Stanford won its 17th straight dual match victory, it simultaneously snapped Florida's 61 home dual-match win streak. The Gators last lost on its own court in 1994. The Cardinal has also won three of its national titles here in Gainesville, the first two coming in 1989 and '90. Stanford also holds and impressive 4-1 edge when playing the Gators in the Championship match.
Irvin, the ITA's Rookie of the Year, posted the first point of the match when she soundly defeated Laiho 6-1, 6-2 in a little more than an hour.
On the No. 2 singles court, Ashley returned to the lineup after missing the last two rounds with a right wrist injury, but fell to Florida's Stephanie Nickitas in straight sets. Earlier in the day, Ashley was named the ITA's National Player to Watch.
In a battle of freshman on the third singles court, Florida's Jessica Lehnhoff netted a 6-4, 6-4 decision over Stanford's Gabriela Lastra, giving the Gators their only lead of the match at 2-1.
After winning the first set 6-3, Tokuda found herself down 5-2 in the second frame before the first rain delay forced players off the court. Thirty-seven minutes later, the Cardinal freshman was back on the No. 6 singles court, winning four straight sets en route to a 7-6 victory, tying the match at two points apiece.
On court five, Stanford's Jennifer Heiser faced triple match point in a second-set tiebreaker, but held on to force a third frame. Heiser dominated the final set, ending Florida's Traci Green's 15-match winning streak.
Stanford's Lauren Kalvaria closed out singles competition by posting her 17th straight dual victory with a 6-7 (6), 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Hazlett. Kalvaria was down 5-2 in the first set, but gained a 6-5 advantage before falling in the tiebreaker. After winning the second frame, Kalvaria was down 5-3 facing match point, but won the game. She saw three more match points while down 5-4, but tied the score at five game apiece. After trading games, Kalvaira outlasted Hazlett in the tiebreaker. A standing room only crowd of 1,332 fans watched Florida enter doubles trailing for the first time all season.
In ending this championship season with a 29-2 record, Stanford avenged a 5-4 February loss to the Gators in the semifinals of the National Team Indoor Championships. Florida's season ends at 31-2.
Today's championship match will be replayed on ESPN on Wednesday, May 26 at 11:30 a.m. (PST).
Individual championships will begin Monday, May 24. Irvin, seeded third in singles competition, will open the tournament against Purdue's Jennifer Embree. Lastra will play Duke's Kristin Sanderson in her first round match. Both matches will begin at 12:00 Noon (EST). Ashley pulled out of the singles draw due to her injury. She and Irvin also withdrew from the doubles event.
Stanford 5, Florida 2
No. 1 Marissa Irvin, SU d. Whitney Laiho, UF 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 Stephanie Nickitas, UF d. Teryn Ashley, SU 6-3, 6-2
No. 3 Jessica Lehnhoff, UF d. Gaby Lastra, SU 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 Lauren Kalvaria, SU d. Stephanie Hazlett, UF 7(6)-6, 2-6, 7(4)-6
No. 5 Jennifer Heiser, SU d. Traci Green, UF 4-6, 7(6)-6, 6-0
No. 6 Keiko Tokuda, SU d. M.C. White, UF 6-3, 7(0)-6
No. 1 Kalvaria/Lastra, SU d. Lehnhoff/Nickitas, UF 6-5
No. 2 Irvin/Tokuda, SU d. Hazlett/Laiho, UF 8-4
No. 3 Heiser/Pestieau, SU d. Green/White, UF 6-5