ATHENS, Ga. -- Texas' 10th-ranked women's tennis team ended their impressive run through the NCAA Championships with a 4-0 loss to top-ranked Stanford in the title match on Sunday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus.
The Longhorns, making their first appearance in the NCAA final since 1995, ended the season with a 25-6 record. Stanford, meanwhile, captured its 14th national title in the 24-year history of the NCAA Tennis Championships and remained undefeated (27-0) on the season.
"The players are thrilled with the run they had in the NCAA Tournament and are very excited about being in the finals," Texas head coach Jeff Moore said. "In each of the first three rounds (Round of 16 to the finals), these players reached a new level of play. We ran into a Stanford team that put on an awesome display of tennis today, but I feel that the match gave our players something to shoot for next year. We have a very special group of players with intangibles that go well beyond talent and we hope to be back here (at the NCAA final) next season."
The title match opened with doubles and Stanford took the first match of the afternoon at No.1 where the 36th-ranked duo of Amber Liu and Anne Yelsey upset Texas' 28th-ranked duo of juniors Katie Ruckert (Vienna, Va.) and Kendra Strohm (Tucson, Ariz.), 8-1. The Cardinal's Whitney Deason and Theresa Logar then posted an 8-5 mark over junior Kelly Baritot (Allison Park, Pa.) and freshman Courtney Zauft (San Antonio, Texas) on court three, clinching the doubles point for Stanford and giving them the early 1-0 lead. With the doubles point decided, play on court two was suspended.
In singles, Stanford recorded three straight-set victories at Nos. 1, 3 and 4 en route its second consecutive NCAA crown. On court four, Ruckert fell to 32nd-ranked Logar 6-1, 6-4 before 54th-ranked Dizdar lost a 6-3, 6-3 decision to seventh-ranked Liu at the top of the lineup. The Cardinal then clinched the match on court three where 25th-ranked Burdette topped 84th-ranked Strohm, 6-4, 6-1.
Dizdar, who before today's singles loss recorded three consecutive upsets over top-fifteen ranked opponents during Tournament play, will participate in the 2005 NCAA Singles Championship. The sophomore will face Stanford's Logar in first-round action on Monday, May 23.
"I am really bummed that we lost, but at the same time I'm excited that the team made it to the finals," Dizdar said. "Stanford is a tough team that has great depth. Their players are very competitive and solid on all courts. Every person on that team has the mindset of going out and playing their best everyday and that's what makes them so tough to beat.
"I feel that this has been a great tournament not only for the team but for me as well," Dizdar continued. "Things really didn't work out today like I wanted them to, but I gave my best effort. I am exhausted both mentally and physically, but I am aware of the fact that I have to play my first match of the NCAA Singles Championship tomorrow. I'm going to try to get some rest and do whatever else I need to do to get back on the court tomorrow."
Also competing in NCAA individual competition is the doubles team of Ruckert and Strohm. The duo will face 24th-ranked Olga Borisova and Marianna Yuferova of VCU in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Doubles Championship on Tuesday, May 24. All singles and doubles competition will take place at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Ga.
**Programming Note: ESPN2 will provide tape delay coverage of the team championship final on May 25 at 2 p.m. (Central). The Tennis Channel will air tape delay coverage of the singles and doubles finals on June 4 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Central).
#1 Stanford 4, #10 Texas 0
Singles (Order of finish: 4, 1, 3)
1. Amber Liu (STAN) def. Petra Dizdar (UT) 6-3, 6-3
2. Alice Barnes (STAN) vs. Mia Marovic (UT) DNF
3. Erin Burdette (STAN) def. Kendra Strohm (UT) 6-4, 6-1
4. Theresa Logar (STAN) def. Katie Ruckert (UT) 6-1, 6-4
5. Whitney Deason (STAN) vs. Courtney Zauft (UT) DNF
6. Anne Yelsey (STAN) vs. Ristine Olson (UT) DNF
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 3)
1. Liu/Yelsey (STAN) def. Ruckert/Strohm (UT) 8-1
2. Barnes/Burdette (STAN) vs. Dizdar/Marovic (UT) DNF
3. Deason/Logar (STAN) def. Kelly Baritot/Zauft (UT) 8-5