NCAA women's tennis: Cal and Stanford represented in individual semifinals

The Pac-12 has one singles player and two doubles teams in the semifinals of the NCAA women’s tennis individual championships at the conclusion of play Saturday in Waco, Texas. The Bay Area schools are the lone Pac-12 schools standing in the singles and doubles brackets.

California

Cal has a duo in the doubles semifinals thanks to Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi swiftly handling Vanderbilt’s Ashleight Antal/Astra Sharma 6-2, 6-2. It is the first time Cal has sent a doubles team to the semis since 2011, when Mari Andersson/Jana Juricova reached the doubles Final Four. Cal has a proud history in doubles competition, with duos winning the NCAA doubles title five times in a 12-year span from 1998-2009, including three years in a row to start the stretch (1998-2000, 2003, 2009). Fabikova/Susanyi play Florida’s Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan in Sunday’s semifinals.

Stanford

The Cardinal has one singles player and one doubles team on to the semifinals. In singles competition, Carol Zhao handled Chanelle Van Nguyen of UCLA in two highly-competitive sets 6-4, 7-5. It’s a little bit of revenge for the sophomore Zhao, who was defeated by Van Nguyen in the NCAA round of 16 singles last year (Van Nguyen won that bout 7-5, 6-2). Overall, Zhao is 2-2 all-time against the UCLA senior from Miami. The match was delayed by 30 minutes and moved indoors due to weather. Perhaps feeling a tad fatigued from her quarterfinal victory, Zhao got out to a slow start in doubles with partner Taylor Davidson lost the first set to Florida’s Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan 6-0. While Zhao/Davidson rebounded for a second-set victory, the duo couldn’t complete the comeback in a 6-0, 1-6, 6-4 loss to the Gator group. On the bright side, Stanford’s other doubles team of Caroline Doyle/Ellen Tsay won a tight three-setter against fourth-ranked Beatrice Gumulya/Jessy Rompies of Clemson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Zhao will play Florida’s Josie Kuhlman in the singles bracket Sunday at 10 a.m. PT, while Doyle/Tsay take on Alabama’s Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe Sunday at a time to be determined.

UCLA

The UCLA women’s tennis season is officially over. In addition to Van Nguyen’s loss to Stanford’s Zhao, top-seeded and top-ranked Robin Anderson lost her quarterfinal match to 11th-ranked and No. 9-16 seeded Stephanie Wagner of Miami (FL) in three sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-2). This also means the end of the storied collegiate careers of the two seniors who lost Saturday.

Both earning All-America accolades this year, Anderson and Van Nguyen were steady hands at the top of the Bruins’ singles lineup – Anderson was 18-2 at No. 1 singles, while Van Nguyen went 9-4 at the No. 2 spot, as well as being the only other Bruin outside of Anderson to play at No. 1 singles this year. In addition to this year’s accolades, Anderson was the 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player at the 2014 NCAA Championships as she helped the Bruins to their third NCAA team title in women’s tennis.

Van Nguyen earned singles All-America honors as a junior, when she ended the season ranked 10th nationally in singles play. She won her match in UCLA’s 4-3 triumph over the Tar Heels in the finals of the 2014 NCAA team championships.

Pac-12.com will have a recap of semifinal action in the singles and doubles brackets at the conclusion of play Sunday.

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