May 21, 2010

ATHENS, Ga.- No. 8 Stanford captured a see-saw doubles point then ambushed No. 9 Clemson in singles en route to a 4-0 victory in the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships on Thursday night.

Stanford (23-1, 8-0 Pac-10) advances to a quarterfinal matchup against No. 1 Baylor (30-2, 11-0 Big 12) on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT. The Lady Bears have eliminated the Cardinal from postseason play during the last two seasons- in the quarterfinals in 2008 and the round of 16 last year.

After battling through a hotly-contested doubles competition that lasted one hour and 34 minutes, Stanford breezed through singles play in about the same amount of time to finish off Clemson (24-6, 9-2 ACC).

For the 23rd time in 24 matches, Stanford won the doubles point to grab a 1-0 lead. That's not to say it was easy, as all three teams were unable to separate with several ties and lead changes. It appeared as if the Cardinal's top team of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette would be the pace-setter up 5-2, but the Tiger duo of Josipa Bek and Ina Hadziselimovic tied the match at 7-7 and later at 8-8 before being suspended.

Meanwhile, Stanford's No. 2 team of Mallory Burdette and Stacey Tan emerged with a 9-7 win after trailing 6-5 and 7-6. The doubles point was clinched when the No. 3 team of Veronica Li and Carolyn McVeigh surged ahead for an 8-6 victory after being tied at 5-5.

The Cardinal appeared to be in control early on in singles, taking the first set on every court. It stayed that way, as the Tigers were never able to really get going.

Carolyn McVeigh put Stanford ahead 2-0, crushing Laurianne Henry 6-1, 6-2 on court five. McVeigh, now 24-8 overall on the year, has been pasting opponents at the No. 5 spot all season and improved to 18-3 in duals.

Mallory Burdette followed with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Hadziselimovic at the No. 3 position, putting Stanford in front 3-0.

Lindsay Burdette provided the clincher with her first win since Apr. 22, blasting Keri Wong 6-1, 6-3 on court two.