Freshman Hardebeck leads Stanford to title match with win against Florida
URBANA, Ill. -- No. 12-seed Stanford continued its run of upsets by knocking off top-seeded and two-time defending national champion Florida 4-3 in the NCAA semifinal on Monday evening at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The Cardinal will advance to face third-seeded Texas A&M in the NCAA championship match on Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.
Stanford got the crucial doubles point with 8-3 wins on both courts one and two. At No. 1 doubles, the eighth-ranked duo of Kristie Ahn and Nicole Gibbs topped 11th-ranked Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen from Florida. On court two, No. 28 Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay easily won to give Stanford an early 1-0 lead.
Nicole Gibbs knocked off the top-ranked player in the country with ease, beating Embree 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Gibbs has now knocked off both the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked players in the country in the tournament in straight sets, having beaten USC’s No. 2-ranked Sabrina Santamaria on Friday. Stanford also got a straight-set win at No. 2 singles, where No. 25 Kristie Ahn topped No. 17 Sofie Oyen 6-1, 6-4.
Florida bounced back with a straight-set win by No. 89 Brianna Morgan on court four 6-1, 6-3. The Gators also got three-set wins on courts five and six with No. 123 Olivia Janowicz winning on five 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 and No. 116 Caroline Hitimana on six 1-6, 6-1, 6-0. With the match tied at three, No. 14 Krista Hardebeck had enough gas in the tank to outlast No. 51 Alexandra Cercone of Florida for a 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3 victory to send the Cardinal to the national championship.