Stanford defends title,
sweeps UGA for 20th NCAA crown
Arthur Kapetanakis | May 20, 2019
Orlando, Fla. – The Stanford Cardinal are NCAA women’s champions for a record 20th time, after completing a businesslike run to the 2019 title at the USTA National Campus. Sunday’s 4-0 final sweep was the most dominant performance by the now back-to-back champions at the finals site, made all the more impressive by its coming against the No. 1 team in the country in Georgia.
While the repeat winners avoided excessive celebrations on the way to the title match, there was no holding back as they brought the trophy back to the West Coast.
Two Stanford seniors—Caroline Lampl and Melissa Lord—put the Cardinal on the brink of glory with a pair of straight-sets singles wins, setting the stage for sophomore Janice Shin to clinch victory for the second time on the weekend. All three Stanford singles victories came via identical 6-2, 6-4 scorelines.ADVERTISEMENT
Stanford head coach Lele Forood, who won her 10th title in her 19 seasons at the helm, credited her seniors for setting the tone.
“These two especially [Lampl and Lord] came out so strong and so quick and really foraged big leads in their matches, and that made it more comfortable for all of us,” she detailed. “Having a lot of seniors is very helpful; they’ve been in these situations before and they pretty much know how to handle it. That’s a big part of the continued winning of our program.”
After the Cardinal took the doubles point with wins on Courts 2 and 3, Lampl was the first singles player off the court, giving her team a 2-0 lead with an efficient win on Court 3. Lord eventually followed at No. 2, though the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player had to recalibrate after Georgia’s Marta Gonzalez erased four match points on the return at 5-2. After Gonzalez held to make it 5-4, Lord was able to settle down with the help of her teammates.
“Looking around the courts and seeing your teammates also winning definitely takes the pressure off,” she explained. “Having the support of my teammates really calmed me down in the end.”
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With Stanford up a set on Courts 5 and 6, there seemed to be no way back for Georgia, despite leads at Nos. 1 and 4. In the end, it was Shin who sealed the deal, edging Georgia’s Elena Christofi—the Bulldog’s quarterfinal hero—in two tidy sets.
The Cardinal finalize their season at 28-1, adding the NCAA title to their Pac-12 regular season and tournament crowns. Their title-winning sweep avenged the only blemish on their season, an ITA Indoors semifinal loss to the Bulldogs.
The senior class leaves with three national titles in four years.
“It’s such a large legacy to live up to, really. Coming into Stanford, I was very intimidated,” Lampl reflected. “To add three more titles to the legacy, it just really means so much. I’m really proud of the work our class put in and our whole team. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”