No. 27 Stanford women’s tennis cruised to a 4-0 victory over No. 48 UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) (13-4, 8-0 Big West) in the first round of the NCAA championship in Malibu on Friday. The Cardinal showed shades of their early season success, when the team started with a 10-0 record, including a 7-0 win over the Gauchos on March 24.
Senior Michaela Gordon clinched the match on court one with straight 6-3 sets and clinched the doubles point with junior Niluka Madurawe earlier in the afternoon. Gordon and Madurawe won their doubles set 6-3 while fifth-year Emily Arbuthnott and sophomore Angelica Blake won their’s 6-2.
Both Blake’s and Arbuthnott’s singles matches on courts two and three, respectively, were left unfinished. Instead, freshman Ana Geller and fifth-year Emma Higuchi would provide the other two points the Cardinal needed to secure victory. Geller defeated Lise Sentenac, 6-2, 6-1, while Higuchi won 12 straight games in a 6-0, 6-0 domination over UCSB’s Marta Gonzalez-Balbe.
The Cardinal will face the host Pepperdine Waves (20-3, 8-0 WCC) in the round of 32 on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT. The Waves are the tournament’s No. 5 seed, and were also ranked No. 5 when they ended Stanford’s unbeaten season with a 4-3 win over the Cardinal on April 2.