UCLA ends Stanford's title streak; Ga. Tech reaches first final

Updated: May 22, 2007, 12:40 AM ET
Associated Press

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, 1998.

"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 point.

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 Marion Ravelojaona.

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 NCAA tournament.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press