ATHENS, Ga. -- UCLA ended Stanford's run of three
consecutive national titles, beating the Cardinal 4-2 Monday night
in the NCAA women's tennis championships to earn a spot in the
final against Georgia Tech.
Top-seeded Stanford (24-2) had its 23-match NCAA tournament
winning streak come to an end, falling for the first time since
losing to Florida in 2003.
The Bruins (21-7) had not beaten Stanford (24-2) since April 3,
"This is something that you believe you can do, but you almost
don't believe," UCLA's Ashley Joelson said. "Then when you do it,
you think, 'Wow, we really did it.' It is a great feeling."
The Bruins have been national runners-up four times, and won a
national title in 1981 in the Association of Intercollegiate
Athletics for Women.
Joelson clinched the match with her 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3 win over
Whitney Deason at No. 4 singles. Tracy Lin and Yasmin Schnack
scored the other singles wins, and the Bruins claimed the doubles
Lin beat Anne Yelsey at No. 2, 6-4, 6-4.
"I've never beaten Stanford in three years," Lin said. "I've
never beaten Anne, even in the juniors. I was really nervous, but I
convinced myself I could win."
The Yellow Jackets (28-4) beat California 4-2, advancing to
their first NCAA final. Georgia Tech had never gotten past the
round of 16 before this season.
Tech's Christy Striplin rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third
set to clinch the win at No. 5 with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 win over Cal's
Tech's other singles wins came at Nos. 3 and 4, where Amanda
Craddock and Amanda McDowell won. The Yellow Jackets also claimed
the doubles point.
California won at No. 1 singles where Susie Babos, the nation's
No. 4 player, rallied to beat Tech's Kristi Miller, the nation's
No. 3 player, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA tournament all eight
seasons Bryan Shelton has been coach, and earlier this year they
won the national indoor championship.
Before Shelton took over, Georgia Tech had never played in the