STANFORD, Calif. — No. 6 Stanford downed No. 4 USC 4-2 on Friday afternoon in an abbreviated match at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, taking the first of a critical two-match homestand.
Due to the threat of rain, only the singles competition was played. The Cardinal posted wins at four of the six spots.
Stanford (16-0, 7-0 Pac-12) now hosts No. 1 UCLA on Saturday. A victory against the Bruins would not only put the Cardinal in the driver’s seat for a conference title, but also improve its national ranking.
USC fell to 18-2 overall and 7-1 in league play.
Ellen Tsay’s 6-0, 6-1 victory against Kaitlyn Christian at the No. 4 spot gave Stanford a 1-0 lead. Tsay remained unbeaten in 12 tries this year on court four while winning her 12th consecutive match.
USC evened the match at 1-1 when Sabrina Santamaria defeated Stacey Tan 7-5, 6-1. Tan was beaten for just the first time in six matches.
But the Cardinal responded with three consecutive wins to take control. Mallory Burdette extended her winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 2, before Veronica Li notched a 7-5, 6-2 win at the No. 5 spot.
Leading 3-1, Nicole Gibbs provided the clincher in a battle of top-20 players at the No. 1 position. After outlasting 20th-ranked Zoe Scandalis 7-6 (4) in the first set, third-ranked Gibbs powered her way to a 6-2 victory in the second frame.
Alison Ramos picked up the second point for the Women of Troy, rallying for an 0-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 triumph against Natalie Dillon on court six to round out the scoring.