Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stanford women beat UCLA for Pac-12 title

   The Stanford women were ranked 46th, the lowest position in program history, when Pacific-12 Conference play on March 9.
   Then the Cardinal got healthy and finished 9-0 in conference matches.
   Stanford continued its momentum in the Pac-12 Championships, beating UCLA 4-2 today in Ojai for its third consecutive conference title and 14th straight victory.
   Stanford received an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, which begins May 11 at regional sites. The selection show is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. PDT.
   The Cardinal leads all schools with 18 NCAA women's national championships. Florida is next with seven.
   Stanford (18-3), seeded first in the Pac-12 Championships and ranked 16th, rallied after losing the doubles point against the Bruins, seeded second and ranked 13th.
   Emily Arbuthnott, a sophomore from England ranked 51st, clinched the Cardinal's victory by topping Abi Altick, ranked 59th, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Court 4.
   Stanford's Michaela Gordon, a freshman from Saratoga, lost at No. 1 doubles and singles. No. 6-ranked Terri Fleming and Jada Hart edged No. 2 Arbuthnott and Gordon 7-6 (6). Then 14th-ranked Ena Shibahara outlasted the 16th-ranked Gordon 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
   UCLA's Alaina Miller, a junior from Saratoga who uses two hands on both sides, won at No. 3 doubles but lost at No. 6 singles. Miller and Shibahara defeated Melissa Lord and Janice Shin 6-4. Emma Higuchi beat the 117th-ranked Miller 6-4, 7-6 (5).
   In the men's final, top-seeded UCLA defeated third-seeded USC 4-1. The Bruins' Logan Staggs, a senior from Tracy ranked 86th, was tied with Thibault Forget, the son of former world No. 4 Guy Forget of France, 6-3, 3-6 on Court 4 when the match was abandoned. Staggs, a 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) left-hander, did not play doubles.

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