©Colette Lewis 2010--
It was nearly 8 p.m. when the two 6 p.m. women's round of 16 matches went on court at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, but due to impressive performances by No. 1 Baylor and No. 8 Stanford, there was no tennis past 11 p.m. on Thursday.
Baylor defeated No. 16 Texas 4-0 in a rematch of the Big 12 conference tournament final, and head coach Joey Scrivano knew that his team had the advantage in experience, especially in playing late into the evening.
"Last year was a great experience for us with the lights out and all that stuff," Scrivano said of their win over Stanford in 2009, which finished in the wee hours of Saturday morning after a power outage at Texas A & M. "This team is an experienced team that has been through a lot of adversity, so waiting an extra half an hour here and there is not going to make a difference."
Baylor won the doubles points with wins at No. 1 and No. 3, and despite a slight delay due to the doubles of the Stanford - Clemson match being played on their singles 4-6 courts, the Bears retained their focus, taking four first sets with the loss of only five games. Texas couldn't find much hope except at No. 6 singles and a split at No. 3, so it was just a matter of time before the inevitable victory for the Bears. It all happened quickly with Broosova winning 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 over Aeriel Ellis and before she had her racquet in her bag, Nina Secerbegovic had won at No. 2 over Krista Damico 6-3, 6-2 and Csilla Borsanyi had clinched it at No. 4, defeating Maggie Mello 6-1, 6-4.
Meanwhile on the McWhorter courts behind the Feild row of six, No. 8 Stanford was one-upping the Bears by winning all six first sets against No. 9 Clemson, the first four of which were by 6-1 scores. Nancy Harris, Clemson's head coach, wasn't sure that losing the long and competitive doubles point was a factor, but didn't rule it out either.
"It's very possible. It could be that the disappointment of losing that (had an impact) but throughout the year after losing the doubles point they've really bounced back," Harris said of her team.
There was no stopping the Cardinal in singles as they methodically collected point after point. Carolyn McVeigh won over Laurianne Henry 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5 to make it 2-0, Mallory Burdette beat Ina Hadziselimovic 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 to make it 3-0 and her older sister Lindsay clinched it with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Keri Wong at No. 2.
Stanford head coach Lele Forood saw her team take control late in the doubles point, a shift she attributed to attitude, and what she called her "strong, aggressive players" proved to be difficult for Clemson to deflect.
"That worked to our advantage given their style of play," Forood said.
Although Scrivano claimed that his top-ranked team would be the underdog in Saturday's meeting with Stanford, citing the program's pedigree, Forood wasn't buying it.
"I think we're sitting at 8 and they're sitting at 1," Forood said. "It's the third year in a row and we're hoping we can break through," she said, referring to Baylor's wins over Stanford in the 2008 quarterfinals and the 2009 round of 16. "They've been real epic the last two years and I'm sure this year won't be any different."
For complete results, see the interactive draws at ncaa.com.
Thursday, May 20, 2010