NCAA women's tennis: Stanford singles, Cal doubles lose in finals

William Mitchell /

Stanford’s Carol Zhao lost in the singles final, while Cal’s doubles team of Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi dropped the final Alabama's Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe at the NCAA women’s tennis individual championships Monday in Waco, Texas.


Carol Zhao showed gumption, but fell short in the NCAA singles final, falling to North Carolina’s Jamie Loeb 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in a match that had to be moved indoors due to rain. Down 4-2 in the second set after dropping the first, Zhao broke Loeb twice and rattled off four games in a row to force a decisive third set. Loeb and Zhao broke each other’s serve to make it 1-1 in the early stages of the final set, but Loeb won the last five games to clinch her first NCAA singles title.

Zhao played her best tennis at the end of the season despite Monday’s loss, winning 15 consecutive matches heading into the singles final. Zhao’s last loss before Monday was more than two months ago against USC’s Sabrina Santamaria on March 22. Stanford women’s tennis is stuck on 16 national singles titles (14 NCAA, two pre-NCAA) with the last winner being Nicole Gibbs in 2013.

[Related: 2015 NCAA women's singles championships bracket (]

Loeb is the first Tar Heel to win a national singles title in NCAA women’s tennis history and is the second North Carolina women’s tennis player to win a national singles title overall, with Laura DuPont winning it all in 1970 when it was known as the USTA national collegiate championship.


After Zhao’s match went final, there was an announced tornado warning and the indoor tennis facility had to be evacuated, thus postponing the doubles final between Cal’s Klara Fabikova/Zsofi Susanyi and Alabama’s Maya Jansen/Erin Routliffe. When play was ready to resume, Jansen/Routliffe held off a never-say-die Fabikova/Susanyi 6-2, 6(5)-7, 6-3 to repeat as doubles champions.

Jansen/Routliffe, the only Alabama doubles team to win it all, are the first repeat doubles champs since 1998-99, when Cal's Amanda Augustus/Amy Jensen won two in arrow.

[Related: 2015 NCAA women's doubles championships bracket (]

Cal went up 2-0 in the first set, but Jansen/Routliffe caught fire from there, getting the final six tallies of the first set. The second set was full of fireworks, Fabikova/Susanyi took a 5-2 lead but were broken twice by the Crimson Tide pair to make it 5-5. That said, Cal broke back to take a 6-5 lead but Alabama returned the favor to force the tiebreaker. The Tide went up 5-2 in the tiebreaker to move within two points of the doubles title, but three big returns sparked the Golden Bears’ comeback to take the tiebreaker 7-5 and second set 7-6 (5).

In the third set, Jansen/Routliffe got out to a 3-0 lead before Fabikova/Susanyi broke serve twice and evened it up 3-3. However, the Alabama pair broke back and controlled from there.

The Golden Bear duo finishes up the season 36-8. Susanyi has played in her last NCAA match, while Fabikova will be a senior in 2015-16. Cal has won five NCAA doubles titles with the last one coming in 2009.

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