USTA College MatchDay delivers
Brian Ormiston | February 17, 2017
A rematch of the 2016 NCAA women’s final did not disappoint.
Stanford, last year’s national champion, took down Oklahoma State, 4-1, in the College MatchDay series at the USTA National Campus in Orlando on Friday. The Cardinal (4-0) erased an early 1-0 deficit to take down the Cowgirls (8-2) in front of 631 fans at the collegiate complex.
Both schools entered the day tied at No. 5 in the country in the latest USTA College Tennis Top 25.
“We came (to Orlando) on Wednesday night and got to practice here on Thursday. None of us had been to this site before. We were all in awe of how amazing this facility is, so we were so psyched to play here,” said Stanford head coach Lele Forood. “I think it had a really positive effect on our team once we got here and got to practice. It was definitely a big plus for us and really important to play a team at the level of Oklahoma State early in the season. It was an outstanding match, it was very similar to the last time we played them.”
This edition of College MatchDay offered fans a chance to enjoy a free kids' clinic with the USTA teaching pros as well as music, food, speciality drinks, games, giveaways and more. After enjoying the pre-match activities, it was time for a Top 5 matchup on the courts.
The doubles point went down to the wire. Stanford’s Caroline Doyle and Melissa Lord defeated Aliona Bolsova and Sofia Blanco at No. 2, 6-4, for the first result of the day. However, OSU answered at No. 3 with a tightly contested 7-6(4) win, with Viktoriya Lushkova and Katarina Adamovic topping Emma Higuchi and Caroline Lampl. Attention switched to No. 1 which also was in a heart-pounding tiebreaker. Just like the 2016 NCAA Championship, Oklahoma State notched the doubles point as Vladica Babic and Carla Tur Mari edged Emily Arbuthnott and Taylor Davidson, 7-6(5).
With the sun now officially set, singles heated up with Arbuthnott getting Stanford on the board at No. 5 against Tur Mari, 6-3, 6-0. Lampl put the Cardinal on top 2-1 with a close 6-4, 7-6(3) contest over Bolsova on court No. 4, and Lord delivered a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 triumph vs. Babic on court No. 3.
Oklahoma State was trying to claw its way back, and OSU’s Lena Ruppert had four match points at No. 6, only to witness Higuchi rally to force a third set. Up 3-1 overall, Davidson ultimately gave Stanford the clinching point with a tight 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision at the No. 1 spot against Lushkova. Davidson also clinched last season’s NCAA title in a 4-3 win for the Cardinal.
College MatchDay resumes in March with some of the best programs from the Sunshine State taking the court. UCF’s men’s program rumbles with Penn State on March 8, Florida and Florida State renew their rivalry on the men’s side on March 10 and the Florida women battle Ohio State on March 14.
RSVP for free admission to all College MatchDay events by visiting CollegeMatchDay2017.com.
All matches air on ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
No. 5 Stanford 4, No. 5 Oklahoma State 1
No. 1 Vladica Babic / Carla Tur Mari (OSU) def. Emily Arbuthnott / Taylor Davidson (STAN) 7-6(5)
No. 2 Caroline Doyle / Melissa Lord (STAN) def. Aliona Bolsova / Sofia Blanco (OSU) 6-4
No. 3 Viktoriya Lushkova / Katarina Adamovic (OSU) def. Emma Higuchi / Caroline Lampl (STAN) 7-6(4)
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
No. 1 Taylor Davidson (STAN) def. Viktoriya Lushkova (OSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 Caroline Doyle (STAN) vs. Katarina Adamovic (OSU) 5-7, 7-6(6), 3-2 unfinished
No. 3 Melissa Lord (STAN) def. Vladica Babic (OSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
No. 4 Caroline Lampl (STAN) def. Aliona Bolsova (OSU) 6-4, 7-6(3)
No. 5 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) def. Carla Tur Mari (OSU) 6-3, 6-0
No. 6 Emma Higuchi (STAN) vs. Lena Ruppert (OSU) 4-6, 7-6(5), 4-1 unfinished
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 3, 1
2017 College MatchDay Series at the USTA National Campus
Jan. 21 – Michigan 4, Alabama 0 (men)
Feb. 3 – North Carolina 4, Texas Tech 0 (women)
Feb. 17 – Stanford 4, Oklahoma State 1 (women)
March 8 – UCF vs. Penn State (men) – 6 p.m.
March 10 – Florida State vs. Florida (men) – 6 p.m.
March 14 – Ohio State vs. Florida (women) – 6 p.m.