STANFORD, Calif.- Just like in previous seasons, there will be plenty at stake when No. 5 Stanford hosts No. 10 California on Saturday at 12 p.m. in the regular-season finale for both teams at Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
For starters, both teams are locks for the NCAA Tournament, but picking up another top-10 victory on Saturday would only strengthen the postseason standing for the winner.
Meanwhile, Stanford (16-1, 8-1 Pac-12) defeated California 5-2 in Berkeley back on March 8, capturing the doubles point before Carol Zhao provided the clincher. That match did not count toward the Pac-12 standings but the Golden Bears will have added incentive to even the series.
Additionally, California (16-4, 9-0 Pac-12) does enters Saturday’s match with an advantage. The Golden Bears are in the driver’s seat to capture their first Pac-12 championship and the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth with a victory, thanks mainly to a home sweep of the Southern California schools two weeks ago. Even though Stanford split that same homestand, the Cardinal can also still claim the Pac-12 title outright with a victory coupled with a UCLA loss to USC on Friday.
Not to mention, Kristie Ahn and Amelia Herring will be honored in a Senior Day tribute. Since arriving on The Farm for the 2010-11 campaign, the duo has led Stanford to an 87-8 overall record, 54-4 home record, 14-2 postseason record, two Pac-12 crowns and last year’s memorable national championship which extended Stanford’s record streak of 37 years in a row with at least one NCAA title and essentially secured a 19th consecutive Directors’ Cup.
It’s been business as usual for Stanford, which has notched 11 shutouts among its 16 victories and has won three in a row since its only loss of the year on April 4 to UCLA.
Every member of Stanford’s singles lineup is ranked in the top-45: Ahn (4), Carol Zhao (19), Taylor Davidson (34), Caroline Doyle (39), Ellen Tsay (41) and Krista Hardebeck (44). Five of those six players have already notched at least 20 wins, highlighted by Zhao (23-3 overall, 16-0 duals, 16-match winning streak) and Doyle (25-3 overall, 15-1 duals, 13-match winning streak).
Doubles has been equally strong, with the pairing of Ahn and Zhao ranked No. 9 while Davidson and Tsay check in at No. 37. The Cardinal has captured the doubles point in every match except for the loss to UCLA.