Sports

Davidson, Zhao capture Pac-12 doubles title in tennis

 

Sophomores Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao collected their second doubles title of the season, taking home the hardware at the Pac-12 Championships on Sunday afternoon in Ojai.

The nation's No. 2-ranked duo, Davidson and Zhao pulled out a 7-5, 6-2 victory over sophomore Caroline Doyle and senior Ellen Tsay in an all-Stanford final.

Davidson and Zhao became the eighth Cardinal tandem to capture a conference doubles crown and first since Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey defeated California's Suzi Babos and Zsuzsanna Fodor, 8-4, in the 2006 Pac-10 final. Barnes won the doubles title in three consecutive seasons, also partnering with Yelsey in 2005 and Erin Burdette in 2004.

Davidson and Zhao claimed their first doubles title of the season at the NCTC Classic in January. The duo also reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October and earned a runner-up finish at the Riviera ITA All-American Championships in September.

Further showcasing Stanford's lineup depth, Doyle and Tsay represented strong competition. Ranked No. 18 in the nation, Doyle and Tsay also have a tournament win to their credit, winning the Freeman Memorial Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev., back in January. Doyle and Tsay have chalked up a 25-8 overall record and are 12-5 in duals at the No. 2 spot.

Three weeks ago, Davidson and Zhao climbed to No. 1 in the rankings, becoming the first Cardinal tandem to be ranked No. 1 since Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs enjoyed a two-month stay at the top position in 2012. Davidson and Zhao have compiled a 29-6 overall record and a 13-4 mark in duals heading into the postseason.

With 15 victories over ranked teams, Davidson and Zhao must be considered strong candidates to become Stanford's first NCAA doubles champions since a three-year run of Cardinal teams from 2010-12.

Stanford will find out its postseason status when the NCAA Tournament selection show airs Tuesday. The Cardinal is expected to be among the schools chosen to host first and second round matches.

— Stanford Athletics

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