NCAA Women's Tennis Championships: Stanford advances to national title match; Cal falls in semis
Heading into play on Monday, the Pac-12 was the only conference with multiple teams in the NCAA semifinals. There was even the chance of an all-Pac-12 NCAA final pitting the conference's two Bay Area rivals against one another. However, an early-morning upset derailed those plans.
As the lone representative of the Conference of Champions this afternoon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Cardinal ensured the Pac-12 would have another shot at an NCAA title with its 4-2 win over Vanderbilt. Stanford jumped out quickly by taking the doubles point in impressive fashion. The momentum stayed with the Cardinal as Carol Zhao took down Sydney Campbell with a 6-4, 6-3 win. But seconds later, the Commodores got on the board with Astra Sharma's 6-4, 6-2 win over Caroline Doyle.
The momentum swing didn't last long though as the Stanford's Melissa Lord took down Georgina Sellyn in a tough three-set battle (6-4, 0-6, 6-2). Needing just one more win to punch its ticket, the Cardinal would have to wait after Krista Hardebeck fell to Vandy's Courtney Colton, 7-6(6), 6-4. It all came down to The Farm's Caroline Lampl who sealed the win with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 victory over Fernanda Contreras.
— NCAA Tennis (@NCAATennis) May 23, 2016
Stanford's national championship match berth may seem unlikely, but in recent history they've liked their title chances as a high seed.
2010: won NCAA's as an 8 seed.
2013: won NCAA's as a 12 seed.
2016: ? as a 15 seed.
Find out tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/7lWDdssW7s
— StanfordWTennis (@StanfordWTennis) May 23, 2016
The Cardinal will take on No. 12 seed Oklahoma State for the national title tomorrow at 10 a.m. PT.
Earlier in the day, the No. 1 seeded Golden Bears almost had the feel of an underdog squaring off with Oklahoma State in front of plenty of Cowgirl fans in Oklahoma. It was a tense battle from the start with both teams splitting the first pair of points. Olivia Hauger knocked off Katarina Stresnakova in straight sets (6-2, 6-4) to give the Bears a momentary lead, before OSU's Kelsey Laurente evened things up at 2-2 overall with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Denise Starr.
The Cowgirls pushed Cal to the brink with Katarina Adamovic's 6-4, 6-2 win over Berkeley standout Maegan Manasse. Yet Golden Bear senior Klara Fabikova forced a decisive seventh match with a nail-biting 6-3, 7-6(6) win over Vladica Babic. With the entire Cal team hanging on every point, senior Lynn Chi dropped a three-set heartbreaker (2-6, 6-4, 6-2) to Oklahoma State's Viktoriya Lushkova to give the Cowgirls the match.
It's been a great season that's not quite over with NCAA singles & doubles coming up; the Bears fought hard today pic.twitter.com/nkryNPMJZb
— Cal Women's Tennis (@CalWomensTennis) May 23, 2016