MORAGA, Calif. -- One year ago, the Saint Mary's women's tennis team made program history when it defeated then-No. 7 Stanford.
If the Gaels manage to pull off a repeat this season, it will be against a Cardinal squad ranked even higher.
This year's meeting takes place Saturday at noon at Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford and both teams hold national rankings befitting a big-time college tennis showdown. Saint Mary's enters the match ranked No. 37 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) while Stanford competes for the second week in a row as the No. 1 team in the country.
Saint Mary's enters with a 2-1 record after a 4-0 win over No. 55 Fresno State in Stockton on Sunday. The Gaels won the doubles point thanks to wins at No. 1 and 2 and then went on to win at No. 1, 3 and 5 singles to lock up the 4-0 win.
Three Gaels in particular continue to play outstanding tennis to begin the season. Playing at No. 1, Jenny Jullien continues to back up her lofty national ranking as the No. 7 player in the country is 4-0 to begin the season with three wins coming against ranked opponents.
Jamie Pawid has kicked off her Saint Mary's career in the best way possible, starting the season 5-0. She has one signature win, a straight-sets victory over No. 16-ranked Zsofi Susanyi of Cal. And, while Jullien and Pawid have started their seasons undefeated, Catherine Leduc has also gotten off to a strong start, going 4-1 in her first five matches.
Stanford has also been strong early in the season and enters Saturday's match with a 4-0 record. The Cardinal recently completed a trip to Texas where it defeated No. 17 Texas and No. 22 Rice.
Saturday's match should feature a rematch of the ITA Northwest Regional final at the No. 1 singles spot. Stanford's Kristie Ahn, ranked No. 6 in the nation, should face Jullien in a rematch of the ITA Northwest Regional final that Ahn won in November. Though Ahn won that match, the level of tennis was extremely high for both players, and another good match should be on tap this weekend.
Of course, Saint Mary's will look to channel some memories of last year's 4-3 triumph over the Cardinal when the Gaels take the court this time around. In that match, Saint Mary's won the doubles point thanks to wins by the teams of Danielle Flores/Jullien and Catherine Isip/Elizabeth Searl. Jullien won at No. 1 singles, Flores rallied for a three-set win at No. 3 and Leduc finished it off with a huge rally of her own at No. 5. The win was Saint Mary's first over a top-10 team in program history.