Widgets Magazine
Women’s tennis hosts Florida for next chapter of storied rivalry
Freshman Caroline Lampl (above) is currently riding a seven-match win streak. Stanford will look for a strong all-around performance as it takes on rival Florida. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Women’s tennis hosts Florida for next chapter of storied rivalry

This Sunday at Taube Family Tennis Center, the archrivals of women’s college tennis meet again — and no, we’re not talking about Stanford and Cal. The Florida Gators (5-0) are flying west for the weekend for another epic matchup; the teams have combined for 14 of the last 20 national titles, including four of the last six.

Stanford (4-2) is currently ranked 16th and Florida is ranked seventh in the NCAA. The last time Stanford played Florida, the Cardinal suffered their first loss of the 2015 season after a heartbreakingly close match, determined in the final set of the final match between Stanford’s then-No. 16 Caroline Doyle and Florida’s then-No. 13 Brianna Morgan. Despite the disappointing final outcome, Stanford witnessed highly competitive performances by then-sophomores Doyle and Taylor Davidson — all of whom are returning to the court against Florida this weekend.

This year, Florida is undefeated and has displayed a competitive edge over ranked opponents such as No. 4 USC, No. 29 Baylor and No. 20 Clemson. The Gators are led by No. 3 sophomore Brooke Austin, sophomore Josie Kuhlman and senior Brianna Morgan, all of whom played in the most decisive Stanford-Florida matchups of 2015.

“We certainly will find out this weekend how good we are, if there are any holes in our lineup and really where we stand nationally,” Florida’s coach Roland Thornqvist admitted in a press conference. “We haven’t really been tested as much as I perhaps would have hoped…I don’t know if it’s just because we’re that good, but we’ll find out this weekend for sure.”

Thornqvist and his team have no doubt noted Stanford’s success on the courts in the last few weeks. Stanford women’s tennis is currently riding an explosive three-win streak, including two shut-outs in a row against top-30 teams. Last weekend, Stanford bested No. 28 Fresno State for the 17th time in a row by a seven-point margin.

Stanford has yet to lose the doubles point in a match this year, and the No. 5-ranked doubles team of Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle (17-2) promises continued excellence on the courts this weekend. Meanwhile, Davidson and Doyle both boast double-digit victory records on the singles courts with records of 13-5 and 11-5, respectively. Freshman Caroline Lampl is looking to continue her seven-match win streak and breakout start to the season, which so far has included five overall wins and no losses.

This weekend will conclude a month of home-field advantages for Stanford women’s tennis — all four weekend dual matches in February were hosted by the Cardinal. In fact, Stanford women’s tennis has yet to face a loss on the Farm.

First serve of the rivalry matchup is at noon on Sunday at Taube Family Tennis Center. The match can also be viewed online at www.streamingtennis.com to avoid sunlight and the outdoors.

 

Contact Kit Ramgopal at kitramgopa ‘at’ stanford.edu.