Stanford's Zhao falls in NCAA championship singles final


Stanford sophomore Carol Zhao fell one step short in her bid for an NCAA singles crown, falling 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to North Carolina's Jamie Loeb on Monday afternoon at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Trailing 4-2 in the second set, Zhao managed to force a third set for the second straight day. However, Loeb won five games in a row after a 1-1 start to secure the title.

Zhao had entered Monday's contest with an 11-1 career record in three-set matches, including a 9-1 mark this season.

Zhao was seeking to become Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since Nicole Gibbs in 2013. The Cardinal has produced 16 all-time collegiate singles champions (14 NCAA, 2 AIAW).

An All-American for the second consecutive season, Zhao had won 15 in a row since her last loss on March 22 against USC's Sabrina Santamaria.

Zhao concludes her sophomore season at 35-5 overall, 21-2 in duals (all at the No. 1 spot), 14-3 in tournament play and 22-3 against nationally-ranked opponents.

— Stanford Athletics

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