No. 1 Stanford downs No. 2 Florida
Cardinal win 2 of 3 singles matches between ranked players
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Stacey Tan's three-set victory powered No. 1 Stanford to a 4-2 win against No. 2 Florida on Monday in the title match of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Stanford (9-0, 0-0 Pac-10) captured its first indoor tournament title since 2006, when the Cardinal blanked Texas 4-0 in Madison, Wis.
Stanford and Florida were facing off for the first time since last year's NCAA championship match, which the Cardinal won 4-3 in Athens, Ga.
The Cardinal was unstoppable throughout its tournament run over the weekend, receiving contributions at essentially every position of its singles and doubles lineups. Only Florida and No. 8 Michigan (4-1) managed to come away with points against the Cardinal, as No. 19 Arkansas and No. 4 North Carolina were both defeated 4-0.
In a reversal of last year's NCAA title match, Stanford won the doubles point on Monday and started out with a 1-0 lead. After the first two matches split, the No. 3 pairing of Carolyn McVeigh and Stacey Tan grinded out an 8-6 win against Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz to claim the point.
Florida (10-1, 0-0 SEC) bounced back quickly in singles play, collecting a pair of straight-set victories on courts two and six to grab a 2-1 lead.
Florida's No. 36 Lauren Embree booked a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot against No. 22 Mallory Burdette, last year's NCAA Tournament MVP after she provided the clincher in Stanford's victory against Florida in the final.
The Gators earned their second point when No. 31 Olivia Janowicz put away McVeigh 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 6 spot.
Meanwhile, Stanford freshmen Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs have proven to be consistent winners early on this year despite alternating at the middle spots of the lineup. The rookies were impressive once again on Monday, with both players winning in succession as the Cardinal retook control of the match at 3-2.
No. 20 Ahn breezed past Sofie Oyen 6-4, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot before No. 21 Gibbs bested No. 19 Joanna Mather 7-6 (2), 6-3 at the No. 4 position.
That left two matches remaining on court with second-ranked Hilary Barte battling seventh-ranked Allie Will at No. 1, and Tan squaring off against Cercone at No. 5. The first two sets were split in each contest.
Barte held leads of 5-4 and 6-5 against Will, but was unable to close out. Tan then went up 5-4 in her match as Barte raced out to a 5-2 lead in her tiebreaker against Will.
Tan closed out the third set at 6-4, securing the match and tournament title.