Friday, May 17, 2013

Stanford women stun USC in NCAA thriller

  The Stanford women admitted it.
  They wanted revenge against Pacific-12 Conference rival USC.
  Thanks to a series of clutch performances, especially by Ellen Tsay, they got it.
  No. 12 Stanford edged No. 5 USC 4-3 in a five-hour thriller on Friday in Urbana, Ill., to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Team Championships. No. 8 Cal joined Stanford in the quarters, coasting past No. 9 Alabama 4-1. 
   Tsay, a sophomore from Pleasanton in the San Francisco Bay Area, won it for the Cardinal by outlasting Gabriella DeSimone 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Tsay won the last three games to clinch a match for a team-leading seventh time this season.
   "This is the first match I really felt like I clinched," Tsay, ranked No. 92, said on "In the other ones I've clinched, other people on our team were up, and if I hadn't won my match, we probably would have won. This is the biggest moment for me so far in my two years." 
   USC defeated Stanford in the NCAA quarterfinals last year and routed the Cardinal 6-1 six weeks ago in Los Angeles.
   "It started from the moment I stepped on the court," Tsay said. "If I had waited until I was the clinching match and suddenly tried to be mentally tough, that wouldn't have worked. We were all very intense today. We really wanted to get our revenge from the previous matches. From the moment I stepped on the court, I was ready to hunker down."
   Added Stanford coach Lele Forood: "It was a marathon match. It's really sweet. We had to really battle through USC. They eliminated us in the tournament last year. They killed us 6-1 at their place a little over a month ago. We were looking for payback. It was a very close match, and really, it could have gone either way."
   Stanford won the doubles point with a 9-8 (2) victory by No. 8 Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs over No. 2 Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria, the Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year that had been 32-0 this season.
   With Stanford leading 2-1, 13th-ranked Nicole Gibbs of the Cardinal overcame a 5-1 deficit in the first set to beat No. 2 Santamaria 7-6 (3), 6-2. Gibbs, a junior from Santa Monica, will defend her NCAA singles and doubles titles beginning Wednesday in Urbana.
   USC, however, rallied to tie the score 3-3. Sophomore Zoe Scandalis, ranked 27th, defeated freshman Krista Hardebeck, ranked 14th, 6-3, 7-6 (5), then No. 9 Danielle Lao pulled out a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 win over No. 25 Ahn.
   A few minutes later, Tsay completed her match against DeSimone.
   On Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT in the quarterfinals, Stanford (19-4) will meet No. 4 Georgia (24-3), and Cal (19-5) will play top seed and two-time defending champion Florida (25-2). The dual matches will be streamed live at
   Florida lost its top player of the past two years when Allie Will turned pro after her junior season, but Gators senior Lauren Embree is ranked No. 1.

 See below for full Stanford and Cal results.
   Pac-12 men's awards -- The conference coaches voted Cal's Campbell Johnson and Christoffer Konigsfeldt as the Doubles Team of the Year and Johnson as the Freshman/Newcomer of the Year.
   The coaches selected UCLA sophomore Dennis Novikov as the Singles Player of the Year and the Bruins' Billy Martin as the Coach of the Year.
   Johnson, a junior transfer from Georgia, and Konigsfeldt, a senior from Denmark, are 11-7 at No. 1 singles and ranked 26th nationally. They will compete in the NCAA Doubles Championships.
   Johnson, who lives in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe, played primarily at No. 3 singles and went 26-12 overall. Ranked 60th nationally, he was chosen as an alternate for the NCAA Singles Championships.
In Urbana, Ill.
Women's round of 16
No. 8 Cal 4, No. 9 Alabama 1
   1. No. 7 Alexa Guarachi/Mary Anne Macfarlane (Ala) def. No. 33 Lynn Chi/Anett Schutting, 8-5.
   2. Klara Fabikova/Annie Goransson (Cal) vs. No. 83 Antonia Foehse/Maya Jansen, abandoned.
   3. Natalia Maynetto/Emily Zabor (Ala) def. Kelly Chui/Tayler Davis, 8-5.
   Order of finish: 1.
    1. No. 8 Anett Schutting (Cal) def. No. 34 Mary Anne Macfarlane, 6-3, 7-6 (1).
    2. No. 43 Klara Fabikova (Cal) def. No. 36 Alexa Guarachi, 6-2, 0-6, 6-3.
    3. No. 5 Zsofi Susanyi (Cal) vs. Maya Jansen, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
    4. No. 70 Lynn Chi (Cal) def. No. 118 Antonia Foehse, 7-6 (1), 6-0.
    5. Tayler Davis (Cal) vs. Natalia Maynetto, abandoned.
    6. Annie Goransson (Cal) vs. Emily Zabor, abandoned.
    Order of finish: 2, 4, 1, 3.
    Records: Cal 19-5, Alabama 21-6.
No. 12 Stanford 4, No. 5 USC 3
   1. No. 8 Ahn/Gibbs (Stan) d. No. 2 Christian/Santamaria, 9-8 (2).
   2. Olmos/Scandalis (USC) d. No. 28 Tan/Tsay, 8-6.
   3. Dillon/Hardebeck (Stan) d. DeSimone/Lao, 8-1.
   Order of finish: 3, 2, 1.
    1. No. 13 Nicole Gibbs (Stan) d. No. 2 Sabrina Santamaria, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
    2. No. 9 Danielle Lao (USC) d. No. 25 Kristie Ahn, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
    3. No. 27 Zoe Scandalis (USC) d. No. 14 Krista Hardebeck, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
    4. No. 103 Stacey Tan (Stan) d. Giuliana Olmos, 6-2, 6-2.
    5. No. 92 Ellen Tsay (Stan) d. Gabriella DeSimone, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.
    6. Kaitlyn Christian (USC) d. Natalie Dillon, 6-3, 6-1.
    Order of finish: 4, 6, 1, 3, 2, 5.
    Records: Stanford 19-4, USC 23-3.

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