May 23, 2009
COLLEGE STATION (SMU) - The 32nd-ranked duo of Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova of SMU fell to the the eighth-ranked pair of Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette of Stanford, 6-2, 6-0, in the Round of 16 of the 2009 NCAA Women's Tennis Doubles Championship on Friday at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The standout Mustang freshmen finished their first spring on the Hilltop with an impressive 16-1 record, good for the second-best single-season doubles winning percentage in program history (.941).
"Obviously today was a tough loss to a very good doubles team," SMU head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "Looking at the big picture, these girls have three good years left to play in this program and I am excited about the future of SMU tennis. They didn't know what to expect in this event, but they fought hard and I am proud of them. Throughout the whole week they represented themselves and SMU a positive way. They are one of the best doubles teams that SMU has ever had and I look forward to building on what they have learned this season."
SMU was on serve first to begin the first set, and after jumping out to a 30-15 lead, the teams played to two deuce points before the Mustang duo pulled out to the very early 1-0 lead.
Stanford then took its first lead as its pair held on their first service game and then broke Malyarchikova to move in front 2-1. The tandems played to two more deuce points in the third game, but Stanford was the victor this time and went ahead 3-1. Lesniak then served to push SMU to within 3-2, as the SMU duo didn't lose a point in game five.
In game six of the first set, Stanford showed that they can serve just as well and rolled to take the point en route to a 4-2 advantage and then broke SMU again in game seven to extend its lead to 5-2. With Burdette serving to close out the first set, the Cardinal pair raced to a 30-0 advantage, but SMU would not go quietly and forced three deuce points this time. Stanford rallied again however, and gained the advantage before Burdette ripped an ace to end the game and take the set, 6-2.
Lesniak opened on serve for the Mustangs to begin the second set, but Barte and Burdette were again able to break and take the early second set lead, 1-0. Barte then pushed the Cardinal lead to 2-0 as they were back on serve and moments later Stanford's pair went up 3-0 as they again broke SMU's serve.
Lesniak and Malyarchikova made Stanford work for the fourth game in set number two as they rallied from being down 30-0 to force four deuce points. Burdette again regrouped things in Stanford's favor on the strength of her first serve however, and the Cardinal went up 4-0. Only moments later the Cardinal pair broke Lesniak's serve to move ahead 5-0 and Barte then closed out the third set on serve for the 6-0 set win that claimed the match.
Lesniak and Malyarchikova played at the top doubles spot for SMU once they both joined the lineup at the midpoint of the spring season and the pair were C-USA's automatic bid into the NCAA Doubles Championship. The tandem, currently the league's top ranked doubles duo, downed two top-20 doubles teams and four nationally-ranked teams this spring. Their 16 wins are 11th all-time in a single season at SMU and the pair should end the season as SMU's highest ranked doubles tandem since 1991.
Barte and Burdette improved 25-7 overall on the year. The duo is riding an 11-match winning streak and have posted a 13-6 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.