Trio of seniors at home at Stanford

Feb. 16, 2011, 1:41 a.m.

Blessed with the leadership of its three-member senior class, this year’s women’s tennis team appears poised to have an impressive run through the 2011 season.

Hilary Barte, Carolyn McVeigh and Jennifer Yen lead the Cardinal this year, and have added an element of maturity needed to balance a large recruiting class. Each player does her part to add to the camaraderie of the team, which has learned to follow their lead. They have developed a vibrant personality as a group on and off the court.

Trio of seniors at home at Stanford
Hilary Barte has had a decorated career for Stanford. She will leave Stanford as one of the school's greatest players of all time. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily).

“I’m not even sure I could put it into words how much going to Stanford and the Stanford experience has meant to me,” Barte said. “Of course tennis has been a big positive, but it hasn’t been everything. It’s really humbling and motivating to be surrounded with such greatness here.”

McVeigh, from New Canaan, Conn., played for King School during high school. She was ranked No. 1 in the New England under-18 division at the age of 14. A political science major, she came to the West Coast to combine her love for tennis with her academic pursuits. Overall, she is 78-30 in singles and 75-27 in doubles.

“It’s a fitting way to end our careers with us trying to lead the team together,” McVeigh said. “It’s also sad knowing such an amazing experience and journey is close to an end. It makes all the matches, each experience, that much better because you have to make the most of your last year.”

Yen is a local girl, raised in Fremont, Calif. while attending Mission San Jose High School. Pursuing an engineering degree at Stanford, Yen describes her time with her class as being incredibly close.

“A huge part of it is that we got thrown into everything together our freshman year,” Yen said. “It was always just the three of us because we were pretty silly and immature. We relied on each other so much that we became super tight. They’re my closest friends and the most amazing teammates.”

Yen has a 35-20 career record in singles and a 26-19 record in doubles. Her very first collegiate match win came against UC-Davis’ Desiree Stone, a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-3) victory on Oct. 13, 2007. Last season, she was undefeated in four dual singles matches and combined with four different partners to compile a 5-5 doubles record.

Barte has had a remarkable run at Stanford. An international relations major from Chatsworth, Calif., Barte attended Harvard-Westlake High School before moving to Northern California. At Stanford, she has been an All-American in singles and doubles every year she’s been at Stanford. She is a two-time First Team All-Pac-10 honoree and one-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection.

One of her favorite personal moments, though, came when she clinched the Pac-10 title in 2008.

“We were in a dogfight at home against UCLA and it came down to my match and Carolyn’s match,” Barte said. “I was in the third set and I think Carolyn was in the second. I was up 5-3, 40-30, and I hit the biggest serve down the T. I aced her to win the match, win the day and win the Pac-10 title.”

She has accumulated a 103-23 overall record in singles and an 89-27 record in doubles, including a national championship with Lindsay Burdette. She has been granted numerous accolades, including ITA National Rookie of the Year and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2008, Pac-10 Player of the Year and Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention in 2009, ITA National Player to Watch, Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention and NCAA doubles champion in 2010.

The abilities of each of these women have added to the storied tradition of Stanford tennis. Their time on the Farm has been well spent so far, and with a season left, they are out to prove what more they can give. With only four road games all year, this group of seniors has the opportunity to make the most of its time at home and fight for a 17th NCAA championship. Even if they don’t win it again, though, they are happy with their time here.

“Obviously tennis-wise, our goal is to defend our championship,” Yen said. “But for me personally, I fell in love with this program when I first came here. I fell in love with the people. One of the things that makes me want to go out there everyday is the chance to be with this amazing team.”

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