Tennis Back on Top

Cardinal players pile up medals at NCAA tourneys.

July/August 2010

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Tennis Back on Top

Bill Kallenberg/Stanford Athletics

Four NCAA women's tennis tournament appearances without a doubles title and three without a team crown: Call them lulls. And call them over as of late May, when Stanford reacquired the team championship with an upset over Florida then celebrated again as senior Lindsay Burdette and junior Hilary Barte took the doubles final against opponents from Tennessee.

On the men's side, there hadn't been a singles title since 2000. That's a drought. But sophomore Bradley Klahn ended that era with a dominating performance against Louisville's Austen Childs, becoming Stanford's 14th NCAA champ in the category.

The Cardinal came palpably close to additional titles amid the action at the University of Georgia. Barte went as far as the singles semifinals before falling to eventual champ Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia. Klahn and sophomore Ryan Thacher reached the doubles semis before being edged out by finals champs Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz from Virginia. And the men's squad was eliminated by UCLA in the round of 16.

"I think it speaks to how much the coaches and the staff and the players in general are putting into the program," says Burdette, who capped her Stanford career with championships that had proved unusually elusive over her first three seasons.The tourney site was close enough to the family home in Jackson, Ga., to enable her parents, older brother and older sister Erin, '05, to attend almost every Stanford match. Erin and Alice Barnes, '06, won the Cardinal's last doubles title in 2005 (beating teammates Amber Liu, '06, and Anne Yelsey, '07).

The ultimate moment came when the youngest Burdette sister, freshman Mallory, clinched the team championship with a final-match, come-from-behind, three-set win that lifted the Cardinal to a 4-3 triumph over Florida for the program's 16th NCAA title.

Lindsay raced out on the court and tackled Mallory. "I was way out in front," she said. "Then everybody else jumped on top of her."

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