ATHENS, Ga.- The nation’s only program to have its entire singles lineup represented in the NCAA Singles Championship draw, No. 11 Stanford pushed five of its six players into the round of 32 on Wednesday.
Stanford has produced 16 all-time collegiate singles champions (14 NCAA, 2 AIAW), with Nicole Gibbs repeating last year as the NCAA champion.
Ellen Tsay was the lone Cardinal player eliminated on Wednesday, falling 6-3, 7-6 (5) to Notre Dame’s Quinn Gleason. Tsay, who wrapped up the season at 24-10 overall and 14-5 in duals, was a near-lock for the Cardinal during the year at the No. 5 spot, helping anchor the team’s back-court depth.
The tournament’s No. 3 overall seed, Ahn cruised past Virginia’s Stephanie Nauta 6-3, 6-0. Improving to 28-4 overall and 19-3 against nationally-ranked opponents, Ahn guaranteed that she will close out her career on The Farm having never lost back-to-back matches over a four-year span covering 112 contests.
Hardebeck, who entered the individual tournament having lost five of her last seven with only two victories since April, pulled a 6-2, 6-2 upset against Virginia’s Julia Elbaba, the nation’s No. 4-ranked player. It was the first win in over a month for Hardebeck, who is still a dangerous opponent after completing a freshman year that included 36 victories and an NCAA clincher against No. 1 Florida.
Stanford’s heralded rookie trio of Davidson, Doyle and Zhao also advanced, with Davidson and Zhao prevailing in straight-sets. Perhaps Stanford’s hottest player, Davidson routed Auburn’s Pleun Burgmans 6-2, 6-0 and has not allowed more than four games to an opponent over her last six sets combined. Zhao breezed past Mississippi State’s Georgiana Patrasc 6-1, 6-1, defeating her ninth nationally-ranked foe while collecting her 26th straight-set victory of the year.
Doyle required three sets to advance in her match, outlasting TCU’s Stefanie Tan 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-1. Stanford’s team leader with 34 wins, Doyle improved to 4-1 in three-set matches this season, with three of those triumphs coming over the last six days.
The round of 32 continues Thursday, along with the start of the NCAA Doubles Championship. Stanford is represented with its top duo of Ahn and Zhao as an at-large selection.
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Wed., May 21: First Round
No. 3 Kristie Ahn (STAN) d. No. 53 Stephanie Nauta (UVA) 6-3, 6-0
No. 21 Carol Zhao (STAN) d. No. 49 Georgiana Patrasc (MISSST) 6-1, 6-1
No. 50 Taylor Davidson (STAN) d. No. 44 Pleun Burgmans (AUB) 6-2, 6-0
No. 51 Krista Hardebeck (STAN) d. No. 4 Julia Elbaba (UVA) 6-2, 6-2
No. 39 Quinn Gleason (ND) d. No. 54 Ellen Tsay (STAN) 6-3, 7-6 (5)
No. 57 Caroline Doyle (STAN) d. No. 41 Stefanie Tan (TCU) 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-1