Texas 4, Florida
Texas 4, Florida 3May 21, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. Stanford won its 55th match in a row and Texas upset Florida on Saturday at the NCAA Womens Tennis Championships at the University of Georgias Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Cardinal, 26-0 this year and the defending national champion, dispatched 12th-seeded Clemson 4-2. Stanford will be making its 19th appearance in the NCAA final and will be seeking its 14th team title. Eleventh-seeded Texas (25-5) earned the right to take on Stanford with a 4-3 decision against No. 2 seed Florida. The Longhorns won the national title in 1993 (by defeating Stanford in the final) and 1995 (including a win against the Cardinal in the semis).
Saturdays championship match will begin at 1 p.m. ESPN will broadcast the team finals on a tape delay on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Stanford began its match with Clemson by winning the doubles point. Whitney Deason-Theresa Logar and Erin Burdette-Alice Barnes won their matches to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. In singles, Anne Yelsey finished first at No. 6 to put Stanford ahead 2-0. Logar added a decision at No. 4 to make it 3-0 in favor of the Cardinal. Clemson then got wins from Julie Coin at No. 1 and Alix Lacelarie at No. 3 to pull within 3-2. Stanford, however, closed the match when Deason claimed a victory at No. 5.
Our depth is one of our major strengths, Stanford coach Lele Forood said. If you look back on our championship teams, Nos. 4-6 have been instrumental in clinching matches for us. It's been a trademark of our team. It's really big to have girls who are good know they are going to play lower in the lineup at least for the first few years as opposed to going somewhere they might be a higher player.
Texas gained the all-important doubles point as the duo of Petra Dizdar and Mia Marovic took a hard-fought 9-7 victory at No. 2 after the Longhorns and Gators had split the other matches. In singles, Florida got three straight wins from Alex Liles at No. 5, Whitney Benik at No. 4 and Zerene Reyes at No.. 2 to go ahead 3-1. But Texas countered with three straight wins, including Kendra Strohms three-setter at No. 3 to clinch the match.
Kendra loves a crowd, Texas coach Jeff Moore said. She loves to be the last one out there. The higher the stakes, the better she plays. This win was big for her. She has been struggling with her confidence, but she seemed to turn it around Friday against Kentucky. She carried that over into today.
-- Courtesy Georgia