Sports

Three Cardinal players to compete in NCAA tennis semis

 

The Stanford women's tennis team will have a strong presence in Sunday's semifinals of the NCAA singles and doubles tournament at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao advanced into the Final Four with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over UCLA's Chanelle Van Nguyen.

The second-seeded Zhao meets Florida's 13th-seeded Josie Kuhlman in Sunday's semifinal.

Zhao, who had surrendered only six games combined over her first three matches, is seeking to become Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since Nicole Gibbs in 2013 and 17th all-time.

In doubles, Caroline Doyle and Ellen Tsay defeated Clemson's Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, and will next face defending NCAA champion Maya Jensen and Erin Routliffe of Alabama.

Meanwhile, Zhao and Taylor Davidson dropped a 6-0, 1-6, 6-4 decision to Florida's Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan.

Ranked No. 2 nationally and seeded No. 2 in the tourney, Stanford's top doubles team finished the season 34-8 overall and 16-5 in duals, playing all its matches at the No. 1 spot.

Capturing the Pac-12 title, Zhao and Davidson were named the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year, earning Stanford's first honor since Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey in 2006. It was their second doubles crown of the season, also winning the NCTC Classic in January.

Women's golf

Tied for first after the opening round of the NCAA Championships, Stanford dropped all the way to 17th through round two, eventually working its way up to a touch outside the top 10 by the end of Saturday.

The Cardinal, which had to resume its first round this morning after weather suspended Friday's play, battled the Florida humidity and tough course conditions at The Concession Golf Club. Stanford posted a 35-over 323 with only five birdies in the second round.

Stanford is 40-over through 36 holes and tied for 11th with South Carolina. Play was suspended again Saturday night when lightning struck in the Bradenton area. USC leads the field at 14-over in front of Duke (+23) and Tennessee (+27). All three teams -- along with nine others -- will finish their second round Sunday morning.

"We're sitting at plus-40 through two rounds, which is not our best, but this is a tough course," Cardinal coach Anne Walker said. "A lot of great teams had a similar round yesterday. Our team needs to focus on the big picture. We are at the halfway mark, and as crazy as it sounds, today's round didn't kill us. The goal is to put together a good round tomorrow and make the cut, and then look ahead to match play."

Following 54-holes of stroke play the top 15 teams -- and the top nine individuals not on an advancing teams -- will compete in a fourth round of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for the match play competition and the 72-hole stroke-play individual champion.

The top eight teams after 72 holes of stroke play will be placed into a bracket for the match play portion of the tournament, which takes place Tuesday (quarterfinals and semifinals) and Wednesday (finals).

Mariah Stackhouse, the clubhouse leader entering the second round, had four birdies but finished with a double- and triple-bogey in her last three holes to card a team-best 6-over 78.

Stackhouse is tied for fifth overall among individuals at 2-over.

Lauren Kim was 2-over on the front, but 6-over on the back during her 8-over 80. Shannon Aubert was 9-over and Quirine Eijkenboom contributed a 12-over 84 to the team total.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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