Women's Tennis

Spot You One?

ORLANDO - Stop us if you've heard this one before. It's the one about Stanford losing the doubles point.

Trailing 1-0, No. 3 Stanford (26-1, 10-0 Pac-12) ambushed No. 6 Pepperdine (24-4, 9-0 WCC) in singles play, quickly ripping off four straight in a 4-1 victory on Friday afternoon at the USTA National Campus in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

For the fifth time this season, the Cardinal stormed back to win a match after falling behind 1-0.

It's not just a recent trend, either. Since 2016, Stanford has inexplicably won 20 of its last 25 matches in which it lost the doubles point.

The main reason? Superior singles depth, which was on display again Friday. Emily Arbuthnott's team-high 10th clincher highlighted a sweep on the back courts and Melissa Lord contributed her 99th career victory, as Stanford immediately flipped the switch on Pepperdine's upset bid.

The most decorated program in college history and the winningest program on The Farm, defending NCAA champion Stanford is riding a 21-match winning streak and owns a 48-5 record during the month of May since 2010, a stretch that has produced four NCAA titles (2010, 2013, 2016, 2018).

Stanford's reward is a semifinal matchup against No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday (11 a.m. PT), as the Cardinal attempts to defeat the Tar Heels in the postseason for a third consecutive season. If you're looking for a team that's hotter than Stanford, it's North Carolina (33-1, 14-0 ACC), which has won 24 in a row.

Janice Shin was the first to put a point on the board against the Waves, evening the match at 1-1 following a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Daria Kuczer at the No. 5 spot.

Emma Higuchi made the most of her start on court six defeating Anastasia Iamachkine 6-2, 6-0 to put Stanford ahead 2-0.

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Left no doubt in singles. #GoStanford

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Lord followed seconds later with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Jessica Failla at the No. 3 spot, improving to 18-1 all-time in NCAA team competition.

Arbuthnott followed with the 28th clincher of her career, taking down Dzina Milovanovic 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 4 position.

Stanford, which has won 19 of the possible 37 NCAA championships, owns a 157-19 all-time record in the postseason since the NCAA Tournament went to its present format in 1982. The Cardinal has won 20 national titles overall in school history, also claiming the 1978 AIAW crown.

Despite Stanford's profile as the sport's gold standard, it's only the second time over the last 11 years that the Cardinal has entered NCAA's seeded higher than No. 5 (Stanford was No. 1 in 2011). Remarkably, Stanford has won its last four NCAA championships as a No. 8 seed or lower. In 2018, No. 15 Stanford duplicated its 2016 NCAA title run as the lowest-seeded team to win an NCAA championship. In 2013, Stanford won it all as a No. 12 seed. In 2010, the Cardinal claimed the crown as a No. 8 seed.

No. 3 Stanford 4, No. 6 Pepperdine 1

1) No. 41 Failla/Iamachkine (PEPP) d. No. 19 Lampl/Kimberly Yee (STAN) 6-1
2) No. 86 Kuczer/Lahey (PEPP) d. No. 29 Arbuthnott/Gordon (STAN) 6-4
3) Lord/Shin (STAN) led Lekaj/Milovanovic (PEPP) 6-5, unfinished
Order of Finish: 1, 2

1) No. 37 Ashley Lahey (PEPP) led No. 24 Michaela Gordon (STAN) 6-4, 2-6, 2-0, unfinished
2) No. 29 Melissa Lord (STAN) d. No. 102 Adrijana Lekaj (PEPP) 6-1, 6-3
3) No. 66 Caroline Lampl (STAN) led No. 53 Jessica Failla (PEPP) 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
4) No. 44 Emily Arbuthnott (STAN) d. Dzina Milovanovic (PEPP) 6-1, 6-4
5) No. 108 Janice Shin (STAN) d. Daria Kuczer (PEPP) 6-1, 6-1
6) No. 107 Emma Higuchi (STAN) d. Anastasia Iamachkine (PEPP) 6-2, 6-0
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 2, 4