Stanford continues run in NCAA field
Gibbs, Tan offer chance at first all-Stanford final since 2001
STANFORD, Calif. -- The possibility of an all-Stanford singles championship match still exists, as freshman Nicole Gibbs and sophomore Stacey Tan are through to the singles semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships.
Gibbs and Tan posted quarterfinal wins on Saturday afternoon to continue their impressive tournament runs. The players are on opposite sides of the bracket and, with one more victory, could square off Monday afternoon in the first all-Stanford NCAA title match since Laura Granville defeated Lauren Kalvaria 10 years ago in Stone Mountain, Ga.
Gibbs already has some experience facing a teammate, knocking off senior Hilary Barte 6-4, 6-1 during Saturday's quarterfinal round. The 18th-ranked Gibbs increased her team-leading overall record to 46-5, winning her ninth consecutive match and eliminating her second top-10 opponent in as many days following a three-set win against No. 7 Allie Will of Florida.
Ranked third nationally and seeded No. 3 in the postseason draw, Barte ended her senior season at 33-6 overall and concluded her tremendous career with a 136-29 record. A four-time All-American in both singles and doubles, Barte had won nine consecutive matches entering Saturday, surrendering six games or fewer in each of those contests.
Gibbs will now face another top-10 foe on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, meeting No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Jana Juricova of California.
Tan grinded out a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Baylor's Nina Secerbegovic in her quarterfinal match. After winning her second three-set match of the tourney, Tan is now 11-2 in such matches this year. Playing primarily at the Nos. 4 and 5 spots of Stanford's stacked singles lineup, the 43rd-ranked Tan is now 31-9 overall.
Tan meets Florida's Lauren Embree on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.
In doubles, the third-ranked tandem of Barte and Mallory Burdette continued to cruise through the draw, moving into Sunday's semifinals. Barte and Burdette edged Georgia's Kate Fuller and Chelsey Gullickson 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Saturday, improving to 28-6 overall and winning their 13th consecutive match dating back to March 26.
Barte and Burdette face a familiar opponent on Sunday, hooking up with the nation's No. 1-ranked and top-seeded team of Juricova and Mari Andersson from California.