Monday, May 25, 2015

Stanford, Cal women fall in NCAA individual finals

North Carolina's Jamie Loeb defeated Stanford's Carol
Zhao for the NCAA title. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   This is getting a bit old for Stanford and Cal women.
   Today in Waco, Texas, they fell to 0-3 in NCAA singles or doubles finals in the past two years.
   In an all-sophomore singles match, second-seeded Carol Zhao of Stanford lost to seventh-seeded Jamie Loeb of North Carolina 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
   Then No. 5-8 seeds Klara Fabikova and Zsofi Susanyi of Cal dropped a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 decision to top seeds and defending champions Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe of Alabama.
   In last year's singles final in Athens, Ga., Cal's Lynn Chi lost to Danielle Collins of Virginia. Until then, Stanford or Cal women had won the NCAA singles or doubles title for five straight years. In fact, in 2011 and 2012, they swept the crowns.  
   Zhao, whose winning streak was snapped at 15 matches, attempted to become the third Cardinal in four years to earn the NCAA women's singles title. Nicole Gibbs, who lost in her French Open debut today, triumphed in 2012 and 2013. Danielle Collins of Virginia prevailed in 2014.
   Both Zhao and Loeb have had success playing as amateurs in professional tournaments. The 5-foot-5 (1.65-meter) Zhao, from Canada, is ranked No. 289 in the world. The 5-foot-6 (1.68-meter) Loeb, from Ossining, N.Y., reached the quarterfinals in the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last July.
   Jansen and Routliffe became the first women to repeat as NCAA doubles champions since Amanda Augustus and Amy Jensen of Cal in 1998 and 1999. Augustus is now Cal's coach.
   Stanford's Hilary Barte (2011 and 2012) and Mallory Burdette (2012 and 2013) each won back-to-back NCAA doubles crowns but with different partners.
    Fabikova, a junior from the Czech Republic, and Susanyi, a senior from Hungary, tried to become the first Bears to win the doubles title since Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova in 2009. Juricova also won the 2011 singles crown at Stanford.
   In today's men's singles final, eighth-seeded Ryan Shane of NCAA champion Virginia used his massive power to beat No. 7 Noah Rubin of Wake Forest 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
   Shane, a 6-foot-4 (1.94-meter) junior from Falls Church, Va., avenged a 7-6 (5), 6-3 loss to the 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Rubin in last month's Atlantic Coast Conference final.
   Rubin would have been just the second player to win the Wimbledon juniors, USTA Boys 18 National Championships and NCAAs, and he would have been the first freshman to accomplish the feat. Only UCLA men's coach Billy Martin has won all three titles.
   Both singles finals were moved indoors because of rain.
   As American NCAA champs, Loeb and Shane will receive wild cards into the main draw of the U.S. Open in August. Loeb, like Rubin a product of the Manhattan-based John McEnroe Tennis Academy, lives only 30 minutes from the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  
   In an all-Big 12 Conference men's doubles final, Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas defeated Hugo Dojas and Felipe Soares of Texas Tech 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Both teams were unseeded.

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