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NCAA Women's Tennis Championships: Stanford completes another comeback for national title

May 24, 2016

It was a fight to the finish, but Stanford women's tennis came from behind once again to capture the NCAA Championship, the school's 18th all time. 

The Cardinal got off to a rocky start in the championship match, as the dominant Oklahoma State's pairs took the doubles point to jump out to a 1-0 lead. The Cowgirls had lost just one doubles point all season, while Stanford has lost five of it's last seven. The OSU duos of Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic and Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente took courts one and three 6-1 and 6-3, respectively, to give the Cowgirls the early edge. 

But as they had many times before, Stanford climbed back in it once singles play started. Krista Hardebeck got the Cardinal on the board with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Laurente on court four. It was Hardebeck's 99th win since coming to The Farm. 

[Related: 2016 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships team bracket]

The Cowgirls regained the lead 2-1 when Adamovic took court one 6-4, 7-5 over Carol Zhoa. Oklahoma State extended its overall lead to 3-1 as Viktoriya Lushkova topped Caroline Doyle 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on court three before Stanford got right back in it with a win on court five. Cardinal freshman Carolina Lampl battled with Katarina Stresnakova and came out on top 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to make it 3-2 Oklahoma State. 

Melissa Lord continued her huge season on court six, taking the match 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2 over Carla Tur Mari. It was Lord's 25th win of the year, helping Stanford sweep the backcourt, and suddenly it was even at 3-3. 

It all came down to court two, where Taylor Davidson and Babic duked it out. Babic took the first set 3-6 before Davidson roared back to take the second set 7-5. The third set was a battle to the end. Davidson led 5-2 at one point before losing three straight to tie it at five. 

She took a 6-5 lead, though, and never looked back, taking the match 7-5 and giving No. 15 Stanford their 18th NCAA women's tennis title. 

The Cardinal aren't quite done hunting for national titles yet. Davidson begins her quest for an NCAA singles championship tomorrow against Duke's Kaitlyn McCarthy, while two Stanford tandems (Lord/Zhao & Davidson/Doyle) begin the doubles competition Thursday.