TCU All-American Stefanie Tan
May 23, 2013
URBANA, Ill. – TCU women’s tennis sophomore Stefanie Tan became the fifth ITA Singles All-American in school history with her 6-2, 6-2 win over Tulsa’s No. 18 Samantha Vickers Thursday. For the second day in a row, Tan knocked off a top-20 opponent at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships after defeating No. 17 and Indoor National Champion Sofie Oyen of Florida Wednesday. The match started outside at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex before moving inside to the Atkins Tennis Center due to inclement weather.
Tan, the No. 44 player in the ITA singles rankings, will face Alabama's Alex Guarachi, who upset the No. 2 seeded Sabrina Santamaria of USC in straight sets. A match time will be determined at the end of play on Thursday. Fans will once again be able to follow along through live stats on Illinois’ Athletics Website, www.fightingillini.com, and live video will be provided if matches are played outdoors.
“Stefanie Tan was a girl who was overlooked by everybody,” TCU head coach Dave Borelli said. “She is the kind of player we need to continue to find and produce if we want to become the program we want to be. She has a big heart and a great presence on the court.”
The TCU sophomore became the third Horned Frog in the NCAA era (1982-present) to advance to the Sweet 16, joining Story Tweedie-Yates in 2005 and Rene Simpson in 1988.
“During my first stint as women’s coach, Story became the example for the program we wanted to be,” Borelli noted. “The same goes with Stefanie in my second time as coach. For me, there is great satisfaction that this has happened.”
Tan got off to a 2-1 lead in the first set before making the breakthrough by breaking Vickers’ serve and taking the next game to get up 4-1. After Vickers got a game, Tan held her serve in a tough game before cruising through a break to take the first set 6-2.
The second set started out exactly like the first set. After the Tan had a 2-1 lead with Vickers on serve, Tan dominated the game earning a triple break point before taking the 3-1 lead on the second break point. This time though, Vickers showed the quality that helped give her a top-20 ranking by breaking Tan’s serve and returning the match to a 3-2 Tan advantage.
“We were already up when we went indoors, but I was still a little concerned,” Borelli noted. “Vickers is a very good indoors player and it was important that we got off to a quick start once we got inside.”
A weather delay ensued stopping play for about 30 minutes before it resumed indoors. Tan made her presence known quickly by breaking Vickers to regain a 4-2 second set advantage.
“The winner Stefanie produced on the first point was phenomenal,” Borelli noted. “She established an attitude early on the very first point of the indoor games. Once she won that point, I knew the match was over.”
The sophomore kept her momentum going by handily taking the next two games and ending the match. The win improved Tan to 24-10 on the season and gave her a ninth victory over a ranked opponent this season. Three of those have come verses top-20 opposition.
“She beat the No. 17 player yesterday and took down the No. 18 today,” Borelli concluded. “She is very excited to be an All-American and still wants more. I have no doubt in my mind that she could not pull another upset. Her last four games today were among the best she has played all year.”
Tan will take on Alexa Guarachi of Alabama tomorrow. Guarachi, No. 38 in the ITA singles rankings, knocked off No. 2 seed Sabrina Santamaria of USC to make the Sweet 16. The Crimson Tide senior is 25-15 on the season and played at No. 2 singles for Alabama during the team season. She started off her NCAA Championships with a three-set victory over Nicole Bartnik of Colorado.